What’s it like studying Sociology?

Olivia Parsons

Prepared for the next step

My name is Olivia, and I’m a third year Sociology student from Texas who is sad that my time at Durham has come to an end. Despite the fact that my degree has been disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic, I have honestly loved every minute of it.

Later this year, I will be heading to London to get a master’s in Human Rights and Politics at LSE. I wasn’t quite ready for the real world yet, or the prospect of having to leave the UK so soon, so I knew that I definitely wanted to pursue further study. The Department of Sociology at Durham has prepared me so well that I truly believe I will be successful in this next step. I’ve loved both the breadth and depth of my course which has not only enabled me to learn a wide variety of topics from the discipline but also explore deeply the bits I’ve found most interesting.

Fantastic support

In addition to the support I’ve received academically, the Department of Sociology also has been incredibly helpful in highlighting career opportunities. To be honest, before starting my course, I didn’t really think there were job options for Sociologists beyond the field of social work. However, through various events the Department has held throughout my time here, I became aware of the wide array of opportunities out there.

Despite the frequent public advertisement of opportunities, I actually found an internship opportunity through one of my professors directly. I was so inspired and energized by Fiona Vera-Grey’s module on feminist anti-violence activism that I reached out to her to ask if she knew anyone who might need an intern somewhere in that domain.

Within the hour, she had connected me to a friend of hers, and I’ve been working with her ever since to organize the Reykjavik Dialogue. The Reykjavik Dialogue is a conference that will take place later this year as a convening of activists, frontline workers, and victim-survivors to come together and work on a plan to end violence against women around the world. You can check out the website here.

This type of support I received from Fiona is characteristic of the entire staff in the Department of Sociology. I truly believe that every single person in the department genuinely cares about our success and wellbeing as students and individuals. They’ve been absolutely lovely throughout the entire pandemic, and I feel so lucky to have had such a strong support system in place. They even sent dissertation students a little care package to help us get through the final push!

Truly I couldn’t possibly say enough complimentary things about the Department of Sociology at Durham. Coming here has been the best decision I’ve ever made, and I could not recommend it enough!

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Olivia Parsons

I’m originally from Dallas, Texas. I'm studying Sociology and part of Collingwood College. Since being at Durham, I've played for both the Collingwood and University Women's football teams. I work at the Collingwood bar and participate in various volunteer projects through Durham University Student Volunteering and Outreach (DUSVO).

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