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Brian Murphy

My Story
Brian Murphy

LLB (Joint Honours) Law and Accounting (Graduated 2010)
Teacher of Mathematics and Resident House Tutor, Harrow International school, Hong Kong

How did you get to where you are now?

I gained a scholarship pre-final year through the Business Education Initiative (BEI) to study business for a year in the United States. While there I took an optional class in ‘History of Education’ and found it interesting. I also started going out with a girl from Chile. After the year I returned to Queens to complete my final year.

Following this I interviewed with various accounting firms and secured a job offer for which I managed to negotiate a deferred start.

I applied to teach English in Chile for a year through the British Council, with the option to return to take up the accounting job. I liked the teaching so much that I began thinking of a permanent career change. I was advised by an experienced English teacher in Chile to do a Post-graduate Certificate in Education if I was serious about teaching. I applied for and was accepted to do a PGCE in secondary mathematics at Birmingham City University and I contacted the accounting firm to explain my decision. 

Following the PGCE I taught for two years in Birmingham, then moved to Chile and taught maths at a British school where I was promoted to head of year. I married my girlfriend (from Chile) and after two years in Santiago, Chile, we looked for opportunities abroad. She got a scholarship to study a PhD in Hong Kong and I got a job at Harrow International School Hong Kong, a boarding school where we both now live. 

Making use of Careers, Employability and Skills at Queen's

I took a careers course in my final year at Queens. This helped me better understand what employers look for in graduates and gave me a better idea of what to expect when interviewing with firms.

I attended two employer presentations. Both were useful but one was especially good as the partner whom I would be working under turned out to have the same first and last name as me. I was introduced to him, we chatted for quite a while, and when I had my interview a few days later it felt like I already knew everyone in the room. I was offered the job too!

Advice for other Queen's students

Keep an open mind. Take opportunities when they come along. Be flexible. See the world. A lot of people find reasons not to step outside their comfort zone. If you take the first step and apply for something ‘different’ (a placement abroad, a scholarship, a job requiring relocation or travel, etc.) you could find yourself up against much less competition than anticipated. 

Interested in improving your employability?

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