Aaron Kohrs - BA (Hons) History study abroad student

Year of graduation: Study abroad student at Plymouth 2013-14

Current employer: Hickory City Public Schools (NC, USA)

Current job title: Educator 

Current location: Hickory, NC, USA

"University of Plymouth is a rising star on England’s southern shore – working on ensuring quality academics with intriguing research in various fields!"

Tell us what you have been doing since completing your studies.

After leaving Plymouth, I graduated with a Bachelors in History from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. I recently graduated from University College Cork in Ireland with an International Relations masters. My work placement in Ireland with a community organizer inspired me to hold public forums on hot topics in my city. A recent seminar I hosted involved an international diplomat speaker and focused on "Brexit" and the European Union.

Has your career path changed since graduation?

Though I first applied for positions in the political non-profit field after leaving Ireland, as per my degree’s (more specific) qualifications, I simultaneously started substitute teaching in the local public school system part-time. I fell in love with learning – learning from my students and helping my students learn. I became a high school classroom teacher for a term and taught North Carolina Civics and Economics, enriched state curriculum with topic-related guest speaker, co-collaborated with colleagues to co-teach class, and started an 'international travel club' for students. I want a career change and am now looking for public affairs roles, serve on numerous boards in native region – municipal/governmental as well as a non-profit organisation.

What is the most difficult thing which you have faced in your career?

Certainly there will be many moments in every person’s life – perhaps, in small ways, in every person’s day – that make one doubt: a difficult task, a dull moment. But if you allow yourself to have a second of silence to de-stress, press on and push yourself, as well as allow events and relationships to take shape organically – wonderful outcomes will, in fact, occur. Don’t doubt it. 

What is the best, most exciting or fun thing that you have done in your career?

While studying abroad at Plymouth, I decided to do coursework on weekdays and travel the world on the weekends – I went to nearly 16 countries during the 2013-14 year. I did not simply go on a personal cruise, I took a look at my study’s primary sources: history I could touch: Edinburgh Castle,the Vatican, the Hagia Sofia in Istanbul, and the Old City in Jerusalem.

What, if anything, would you do differently if you could?

Probably engage more with others on public transport while traveling in foreign countries – it’s really the best way to learn about another culture.

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to get in to the same line of work?

Internships, internships, internships – they give you hands-on experience for résumé building, begin relationships with colleagues and employers you might like to one day emulate, and provide a way to test the waters for what you might like to pursue career-wise!

How did studying at Plymouth help you?

Every student I met at Plymouth desired to succeed. When you’re in that environment you can’t help but try to do well yourself. At the same time, the academic environment was not over-the-top as far as cut-throat competitive. A learning environment has to allow its growing population to bloom and not stifle students with stress.

What is your favourite memory of studying at Plymouth?

Walking up the hill from Drake Circus to my apartment on Sutherland Avenue every week carrying pounds of groceries in the British rain. What a walk.

Do you stay in touch with other University of Plymouth alumni or lecturers?

Yes, I regularly e-mail Drs Syska, Bennett, and Tucker of the history department with any related history events I may be up to.

Would you recommend undertaking a course with University of Plymouth, and why?

Certainly. University of Plymouth is a rising star on England’s southern shore – working on ensuring quality academics with intriguing research in various fields. All professors I met seemed to have a balance between caring about students in courses with their research.

Is there anything else which you would like to share with our current students?

Smile at someone you see sitting by his or herself in a dining area. Go up and start a conversation. You don’t realize how many social opportunities you have to grow a relationship in college – where many gather. You don’t realize how relationships build a society to be cohesive. You don’t realize when someone else might need a friend.

Inspired by this story?

For more information about studying history please visit our BA (Hons) History course page. For more information about our range of courses within the School of Humanities and Performing Arts, please visit the school page.

Want to find similar alumni?

If you would like to find out what other relevant alumni from the Faculty of Arts and Humanities are currently doing, please visit the humanities and languages interest area.