Peter Angelides graduated with an MA in English in 1984.
Peter is a line manager at IBM Hursley Park, the company's largest software development laboratory in Europe. He also works with the IBM UK graduate recruitment team. He lives in Hampshire with his wife and two children. In his spare time he is a creative writer, and has written three 'Doctor Who' novels for the BBC. He graduated with a MA (Hons) English in 1984.
Manchester-born Peter came to the University of Dundee because of its flexibility. "I originally wanted to teach core subjects at secondary school," he explains, "and Dundee offered a rare chance to do joint honours in English and Maths. I also wanted to be somewhere that I couldn't just nip home for the weekend, because living away from home is an education in itself.
"Dundee's four-year honours degree provided loads of academic opportunity. In the first two years my courses included English, French, German, Philosophy, Psychology, Computation and Statistics, before I concentrated on English for Junior and Senior Honours." In his final year, Peter was able to take a specific paper in the Texts of Shakespeare's plays, plus a researched dissertation on Alan Bennett's TV plays. "In 1984, John Schlesinger was filming Bennett's 'An Englishman Abroad' in Dundee, because the play is set in Russia and he thought the Caird Hall looked like Moscow! So I was able to meet and interview the author."
Peter says that the English department developed key skills by encouraging participation. "Academically, they provided small tutor groups, offered elective papers, and encouraged personalised research. More broadly, they arranged study visits to the Burn at Brechin, plus theatre trips at Bonar Hall, the new Rep theatre and elsewhere around Scotland. That gave me the confidence to get involved in the Students Association, to write for the student paper 'Annasach', and to run a candidate's campaign for Rector. The English department even gave me the chance to present the undergraduates' case for a new library to the University Grants Committee. And because my subject choices were so broad, and because the campus is so compact, I got to meet and study and socialise with a really disparate range of people--programmers, lawyers, dentists, economists, medics, historians, artists, and linguists--from all round the world."
In the four years after graduating from Dundee, Peter took part in an Oxford University summer school, did academic work in Glasgow's John Logie Baird Centre for Research in Television & Film, and worked as a journalist. Since joining IBM in 1988, he has interviewed and assessed hundreds of people for training schemes.
"Companies these days rarely want to hire just niche skills. They look for graduates who have an aptitude to learn, who can communicate well, who can plan and organise, who demonstrate analytical reasoning, and who can take a variety of roles in a team. If candidates can demonstrate these skills, and they have a passion to work in your business, then they're ideal hires no matter what their degree. But I think studying English at Dundee gave me a sound foundation for all those things."
And was it useful for those 'Doctor Who' novels? "Well, it didn't do any harm. Though let's be honest: none of my books are ever likely to appear on the reading list for the Twentieth Century Literature paper."
More about Peter Anghelides on Wikipedia.