Hi, my name is Lily Rose Fitzmaurice and I'm going to be answering some questions for the Liberal Arts Alumni Showcase.
Why did you chose Liberal Arts at Warwick?
Once I discovered the Liberal Arts at Warwick programme, I was pretty set that that's the one I wanted because I felt as though the Warwick department really, really tried to make sure that there was still a feeling of community and also that even though you're working in these different departments and you'll be going out to other areas of the University, that it all ties back in and you're getting that core skill set within Liberal Arts. I think often in universities in the UK, you can study Liberal Arts and you'll be going to these different departments but there's nowhere where it ties it all together. I think the Liberal Arts [Department at Warwick], because it's such a small community, you feel so close and your tutors really, really care about your specialist interests and helping you kind of cultivate that area. I was somebody in my year who had quite a niche area of interest, it was quite different from the other members of our year group and my tutors were just fantastic. They helped me so much in finding the right modules for me and choosing my dissertation topic. I wouldn't have changed anything, I think the Warwick department is really special for how they've cultivated the ethos of Liberal Arts.
How has Liberal Arts at Warwick prepared you for your further studies?
Liberal Arts at Warwick really does help you if you want to go into academia first of all, because you really are learning to think interdisciplinarily, through a problem-based lens, and also it does require a huge capacity for independent study because obviously, with Liberal Arts, you're not guaranteed that your tutors are going to have the same interests as you, even though they of course help you immensely in forging those interests and those specialist problems that you're interested in working on. I was really interested in how we could cultivate these constructions of children and childhood, which wasn't necessarily an area that was a specific interest of my tutors, but they would help me. I would go and do the independent research, I would come to them, especially Bryan who was my dissertation supervisor, I'd come to him with what I'd been reading and my ideas, and we would kind of have this dialogue and he'd go 'oh well have you read this? Maybe you might want to look at this?' and we'd forge that kind of space together in our dissertation meetings. In that sense, there was a lot of those fundamental skills that you really need for postgraduate studies, as obviously as you progress in your postgraduate studies it becomes more and more independent. I think Liberal Arts has set me up really, really well for it.
What advice would you give to prospective students?
I would suggest that you speak to somebody, speak to alumni, or speak to a current student in Liberal Arts, because I think sometimes if you have not gone through, or if you don't know anyone who's gone through a Liberal Arts structure and if you haven't yourself, it could be a bit difficult to get your head around how it works coming from A levels, so I would say speak to a student and speak to one of the tutors in the department, I think that can really help. Also, I went to the Open Day and that really was for me what cemented my interest in taking Liberal Arts at Warwick.
Do you have any final words about your experience of Liberal Arts at Warwick?
If I was to say any final words about my experience at Warwick with Liberal Arts it would be firstly that I wouldn't change anything, but also if I was to recommend it, one of the main reasons I would honestly say is not only did the course help me immensely in terms of my next steps but also the department fundamentally care about you as a person. They really want to get to know you and your interests and support you in any way that they can and I think I have developed so much as a person as well as an academic by being in the department and having that community and still feeling supported by that community a year on and knowing that that community still exists and is there as I start my postgraduate studies. So I couldn't recommend it enough for anyone who is looking for a kind of space where they get the opportunity to explore both themselves and ask those ask those big questions and cultivate their own area of interest. I couldn't recommend it enough.