Hello! My name is Max and I’m the Operations Administrator in the Department of Archaeology. In my job, I’m responsible for the organisation of events and bookings in the department, as well as marketing, social media, and running departmental webpages. Before this, I was an undergraduate and then a postgraduate archaeology student at Durham.
Why did I decide to continue working at the Uni?
I loved studying archaeology at Durham University, and I’m very passionate about the subject, but during my masters, I realised that I didn’t want to become an archaeologist after graduating. Throughout my degree, I was given the opportunity to get involved in lots of community projects, such as a dig at Auckland Castle, and during this, I found that I enjoyed public engagement.
I love living in Durham, so when the opportunity arose to apply for a role in the Archaeology Department with a large focus on social media and marketing I jumped at the opportunity! I learned about the role through a student mailing list. The relaxed nature of the interview ultimately convinced me to accept.
Is it weird being a member of staff in my old department?
I was a little anxious about becoming a member of staff within my old department at first. I thought it might be strange to go from having a student-teacher relationship with my lecturers to one as colleagues. However, I needn’t have worried. As they had been during my studies, all the academics in the department were really welcoming and supportive.
Already knowing many members of staff, as well as understanding the way the department operates and archaeology as a subject meant that moving into the role was a lot more accessible than it could have been. I found it much easier to write social media posts and web articles about departmental research because I had been involved in some of that research just a year earlier! Also, as a former student, I can offer a unique perspective on marketing strategies and student support since I experienced them first-hand. This means that the department has a closer relationship with the students and can better cater to their needs.
What is it like living in Durham?
Another area where I was concerned at first was the experience of being a young person in Durham who isn’t a student. Most of my friends from university had moved away and I was worried that it could be quite isolating ‘staying behind’. I soon discovered, though, that Durham has a surprisingly large population of young professionals, and I quickly found a house with three other housemates in similar positions to myself.
There are lots of local sports clubs to get involved in that aren’t affiliated with the university, and for more niche activities Newcastle isn’t far away! Also, being a member of staff at the university opens lots of opportunities for professional training in areas that interest you, in the forms of online courses, Zoom seminars and in-person practical training.
Our Department of Archaeology is a leading centre for the study of archaeology and is ranked 8th in the world (QS World University Rankings by subject 2022). We are an inclusive, vibrant and international community. Our students develop knowledge and gain essential and transferable skills through research-led teaching and lab-based training.
Feeling inspired? Visit our Archaeology webpages to learn more about our postgraduate and undergraduate programmes.