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Graduate profiles

Graduate profiles

Our alumni are working in careers that span music, fashion and communications.

Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures alumni are making their names in a variety of roles sectors, including teaching, consultancy and retail.

For more information about relevant careers click here

Name: Claire Watt-Smith
Subject: BSc Management Studies/French, MSc European Business/Spanish
Graduated: 2005, 2006
Place of work: BoBelle, London
Position: Owner

Claire founded BoBelle at only 23 years of age. She became fascinated by business ethics while at Royal Holloway, so decided to set up her own eco-friendly and ethical fashion accessory business.

BoBelle has been featured in publications including Red, Business Review, InStyle, Drapers, The Times and The Daily Mail. BoBelle’s accessory line is now sold in over 50 retail shops, including Fenwick Brent Cross.

What first attracted you to Royal Holloway?

My tutors at college advised me on the best universities to apply to. I knew I had to go for a good university with a good degree and Royal Holloway is a very established university.

What did Royal Holloway teach you?

My degrees have given me the confidence to know what I am talking about. I was giving a presentation every two weeks which has helped me a lot. Setting up a business without my Royal Holloway degree would have been very difficult.

My Masters has helped so much in terms of business, like the ribbon on a gift. You start to come out of your shell and learn so much more. The whole Royal Holloway experience helped to mould me as a person.

What’s happened in your career?

I work all the time, seven days a week, but I love it. You don’t have people around to bounce ideas off. However, through networking, you gain ideas.

You have to think logically and juggle lots of things. You need to know your strengths and weaknesses and think about where you want the business to go.

I still want to develop my brand in the UK, but I am keen to build networks overseas. Ultimately I want to be the ethical fashion leader in the marketplace. I love the networking, meeting new people and exposing the BoBelle brand.

Name: Rob Coveney
Subject: BA French & German
Graduated: 2006
Place of work: GL Noble Denton
Position: Communications Manager

Rob Coveney joined GL Noble Denton as Communications Manager in 2010, and is involved in a wide variety of marketing and public relations projects across the company.

GL Noble Denton is an independent technical advisor to the oil and gas industries. With a presence in over 80 countries, they apply global best practice in safety, integrity and performance across the lifecycle of its clients’ assets and operations.

What first attracted you to Royal Holloway?

I came to realise that I wanted to go to a campus-based university rather than an institution that was sprawled out over a city.

I can remember driving away from my first visit to the College knowing that it was the place for me. It had a great community feeling and I felt very safe and comfortable walking around.

What did Royal Holloway teach you?

The department has a great sense of community and excellent quality of teaching. Staff always made me feel that they were there for me and would do their utmost to ensure that we were making the best of our studies.

I had the opportunity to study areas of linguistics, literature, history, film, philosophy and cultural identity. Joint languages degrees take a modular approach at Royal Holloway which allows you to split your studies equally.

What’s happened in your career?

After my sabbatical year I joined a PR agency in London which was a great place to start my career in public relations. After two years helping to set up the Communications Department I moved to GL Noble Denton.

The company focuses on advising oil and gas operators on safety and how to make the industry more efficient. I was particularly drawn to the international character of the industry and I feel my studies have really helped me.

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