Career case studies: Andrés Cordero, a former Comparative Literature student

In today’s blog, Andrés Cordero, a former Comparative Literature student and fellow doctoral student, talks about his experience as a teacher and why he decided to go into research. Read more to find out what studying for a PhD is like and tips for working in research.

What are you doing now? 

Right now, I’m writing my PhD dissertation. I’m currently on my third year of my doctoral research. It has been quite an interesting academic endeavour and I feel very happy with what I’m doing.  


Is this job role what you expected? What has surprised you about this position/industry?  

It has been both, challenging and fulfilling. I can say that I feel very lucky to do what I chose to do. I guess not many people can say that. But the “bad part” is that I cannot be a PhD student forever. Once I finish my project, I need to face the job market.  

How did you get there?

After I finished my MA at King’s, I worked as a teacher in some schools and polytechnics in Chile (my home country) for a couple of years. However, I discovered that I had a passion for research, so enrolling in a doctoral degree seemed the logical thing to do for me. Fortunately, King’s gave me the necessary tools and qualifications for my PhD application.   


What made you focus on this career? 

I often had doubts about the best direction for me. But, in general, I never regretted the choices I made.  When I completed my MA at King’s I was sure I wanted to pursue an academic career.  


What barriers did you overcome? Were there any that couldn’t be overcome and that changed your career direction?  

The most difficult is getting sponsorships. But I realised that once you get good academic references, the rest was easier.  


Do you have any tips for people interested in working in your area?    

I know that it’s very difficult for people interested in the humanities to get validated by the job market. Unfortunately, we live in a critical era in which the humanities are regarded as “useless”, so I know how difficult it is. Having said that, I believe that if you are motivated and have a passion for what you do, then things come easily. 


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