Jayne Knight

University of Tasmania
Lecturer in Classics
Jacksonville, United States of America
Hobart, Australia
Faculty of Arts
The Politics of Anger in Roman Society: A Study of Orators and Emperors, 70 BCE-68 CE
Professor Susanna Braund

What are your main responsibilities or activities in your current position?

My position involves teaching, research, and administration. I coordinate the Ancient Civilizations major and teach a range of courses in ancient Greek and Roman history and culture and Latin language at the University of Tasmania. I also supervise Classics Honours and PhD students. My current research projects examine political emotions in ancient Roman history and literature.

How does your current work relate to your graduate degree?

During my time in the Department of Classical, Near Eastern, and Religious Studies at UBC I was exposed to a wide range of topics, sources, and ideas that helped me become a flexible teacher and researcher. I also had the opportunity to work as a Teaching Assistant which helped broaden my teaching experience. The rigour of my PhD program ultimately gave me the confidence to take risks and try new approaches in my teaching and research.

What do you like and what do you find challenging about your current position?

I love interacting with students and helping them achieve their goals. The most rewarding part of my job is seeing students grow intellectually and personally during their time at university. I also enjoy collaborating with my colleagues on new teaching and research ideas. Almost all aspects of my work are challenging in different ways, but I think the most difficult part of being an academic is maintaining a healthy balance between work and life. Living so far away from friends and family is challenging as well, but Tasmania is a beautiful place and I am surrounded by fantastic people at work.

Is your current career path as you originally intended?

Yes. I wasn't sure if I would be lucky enough to become a Classics professor, but it all worked out.

What motivated you to pursue graduate work at UBC?

I came to UBC to work with Susanna Braund, an eminent scholar in my field.

What did you enjoy the most about your time as a graduate student at UBC?

I enjoyed having an excellent supervisor who took a keen interest in my research and future career. I made lifelong friends in my graduate program, and I absolutely loved living in Vancouver.

What key things did you do, or what attitudes or approaches did you have, that contributed to your success?

I pursued a broad research topic which was both fascinating to me and likely to appeal on the job market. I took up teaching opportunities and presented research at conferences whenever I could in order to build my CV. I kept an open mind and a positive outlook about what I would do and where I would end up after graduation. I actively sought support and wisdom from mentors. But it is important to acknowledge that success in today's extremely competitive academic job market often depends on luck to some extent. The position that I was offered happened to be a perfect fit for me.

What is your best piece of advice for current graduate students preparing for their future careers?

Seek out good mentors and don't be afraid to ask for help.

What challenges did you face in your graduate degree, or in launching your career?

My biggest challenge has been self-doubt. I have learned that even the most successful people struggle with it at times. My career progression so far has helped me work towards a more accurate perception of myself and my abilities.


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