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Graeme Hamilton

Where are you from?

Belfast, Northern Ireland

What degree pathway did you study at Queen’s?

I studied single honours Modern History and graduated in 1997.

Why did you choose to study History?

I enjoyed the subject at school. I thought it represented a good general arts degree that would be sufficiently flexible to allow me to pursue various avenues of professional employment when I had a better sense as to what I wanted to do.

What did you particularly enjoy about studying History at Queen’s?

I enjoyed the range of modules that were offered from local history to African history. The tutors were friendly and helpful.

What did you think of the social life in Belfast?

It was an interesting time politically and more and more venues, bars etc. were opening up, particularly around the University area, as a result. The social scene was therefore exciting and vibrant. I think it’s even more dynamic now with political stability and more people discovering Belfast for the first time.

What is your current occupation? What are you enjoying about your career?

I’m a solicitor in a large firm in Belfast. I enjoy the variety of work, the intellectual challenges presented by it and, for the most part, the interaction with clients.

Would you recommend studying History to other students? What advice would you give them?

Yes – it is a very good general arts degree that offers flexibility with regard to future employment. Many students go straight away into degrees such as law and accountancy which I would find, to be honest, pretty dull and then fall into those professions without ever really thinking about what it is what they want to do. The study of History imparts various disciplines such as the ability to analyse often complex material and communicate a thesis effectively, and rewards original thought. These disciplines are transferable in all fields of employment.

My advice to those studying History would be to focus on areas (whether that is countries, regions or times) that you are genuinely interested in. That will make the process of learning easier and communicating more effective.