Simon Hare

Country: United Kingdom
Sector: Primary & Secondary Education
Job title: Assistant Director of Learning for Modern Foreign Languages
Subject of study: Modern Languages
Year of graduation: 1988
Type/Level of study: Undergraduate

Current Employer/Organisation Name

The Folkestone School for Girls

What have you been doing since leaving Exeter, and what are you doing now?

When I graduated in 1988 the world of work was very different to what it is now and having studied a non vocational subject for my degree there was no clear path. To ensure honest I kind of fell into an advertising sales job but this random choice set me up for many years of interesting and fulfilling work in “the media”. After many twists and turns I left the media world in 2011 for a very late gap year which allowed me to work in the charity sector in South America and Southeast Asia for more than 3 years, and eventually I moved into teaching.

Why did you choose this career? And what do you enjoy most about your work?

The best thing about working in media sales in the late 80s and early 90s was the travel. The world was really just waking up to international trade, but as a linguist I was able to really seize the opportunities that cross border business offered. My various jobs took me all over Europe, the Middle East and the US. It was a fantastic experience and at the same time I was learning more and more about publishing and advertising which helped me to progress in my career, finally reaching the dizzy heights of being a board director for one of Europe’s biggest publishing houses.

Please tell us if you were a member of any societies, groups or sports clubs?

I was president of the Spanish Society 1987-88.

What did you enjoy most about your programme and what was the biggest highlight?

The year abroad was a life changing experience for many reasons!

What did you enjoy most about studying here?

I loved the campus, the friendliness of the French and Spanish departments and of course my fellow students.

Why did you choose to study at Exeter?

For its reputation for Modern Languages and because Exeter was just such a nice place to be.

What skills and experiences have been most useful for your career?

Obviously fluency in two foreign languages is invaluable but I’d say it’s the “soft skills” that are most valuable things that you eland through extra curricular activities and just trying out lots of different and challenging activities.

What advice would you give to a current student who wishes to pursue your career?

Be prepared to switch careers – it gives you a new challenge, new goals and keeps you mind active! Plus, it’s the way of the world now.

What are your plans for the future?

Stay in teaching until I retire and then set off travelling again. A Three and a half year gap year just wasn’t enough!


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