Telling Our Stories Better: Online Gallery

The Telling Our Stories Better project ran throughout 2021, bringing together alums and current students of the English Faculty to talk about their time at Oxford and their career paths. Led by Dr Sophie Ratcliffe and Dr Ushashi Dasgupta, and managed by Dr Dominique Gracia, Stories aims to challenge misconceptions about who studies English and the career paths they take.

Below, you can see the portraits of the Stories alums and follow each one to read their story.

You can also explore the profiles by industry sector, browse the Stories bookshelf built from alums' recommendations, and see the current English students who helped make the gallery happen

The Stories portraits will also hang in the English Faculty Lounge from January 2022, and visitors are always welcome.

Sectors and industries

The following sections show just some of the sectors and industries where Oxford English alums work. Under each one, we also include alums who weren't featured in the Telling Our Stories Better gallery, but whose stories you can find around the University of Oxford website.

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English alums work across the arts, as actors, directors, producers, and more. Featured alums who work in this sector include:

Many other English alums who work in this sector are featured across the University's website, including:

Featured alums who work in business include:

  • Joe Gollner: Entrepreneur and Founder of Gnostyx Research, Soldier, Lifelong Learner
  • Flo Graham-Dixon: Food Fanatic and Co-founder of Juniper Strategy
  • Anthony Good: Novelist and Software Developer 
  • Nayana Prakash: Consultant (KPMG), DPhil Student, Storyteller
  • James Nepaulsingh: Corporate Lawyer (Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer), Painter, Musician

  • Nazia Du Bois: Global Marketing Leader and Founder of Ricebowl Studios

  • Sam Gilbert: Entrepreneur and Co-Founder of Bought by Many, Researcher, Author

You can also read more about other English alums who've built successful business careers across the Oxford website, including:

Writing and journalism are common career goals for English students. Featured alums who work in this sector include:

Other English alums who work in these fields are featured across the University's website. You might like to see:

Featured alums who work in the public sector or in the political sphere, as politicians or activists, include:

  • Antony Mumford: Manager at the Blue Sky Centre, former police officer
  • Clare Abbott: Arts, Public-sector, and Third-Sector Professional (Shakespeare's Globe, City Lit, Manchester Mind)
  • Lizzie Shelmerdine: Specialist in Project Delivery and Evaluation
  • Naseem Khan: Journalist, Activist, Cultural Historian
  • Lady Kofoworola Ademola: Educator and Advocate for Women’s Education and Social Reform

English alums are also well-represented across the public sector and the political landscape. You can read more about some of our alums across the Oxford website:

  • The Rt Hon Michael Gove MP: Politician and Visiting Fellow at Nuffield College (Nuffield College biography)
  • Baroness Ruth Hunt: Former CEO of Stonewall and Member of the House of Lords (Alumni QUADcast)

Although work in the medicine and healthcare fields may require additional studies, many alums find that their first degree in English has stood them in good stead to meet the demands of roles in these areas. Featured alums working in these fields include:

Teaching and academia are common career goals for English students. Featured alums who work in this sector include:

Other English alums who work in these fields are featured across the University's website. You might like to see:

The Stories Bookshelf

To find out more about the books that our alums recommend, check out the main Stories Bookshelf page.

Below, you can see a quick snapshot of the literature—non-fiction, fiction, and poetry—that our featured alums chose, as well as key texts from Jan Morris (1926-2020) and Naseem Khan (1939-2017), and Pamela Roberts' Black Oxford (2013), which tells the story of featured alum Lady Kofoworola Ademola (née Moore), as well as those of many other black scholars.