Name: Dr. Mike Beer

Current Role: Head of Modern Foreign Languages and Classics, Exeter College

PhD Subject and Graduation Year: Classics – 2008

How did you become interested in the area that you work in?

Became interested in teaching after teaching as a postgraduate.

How did you get to where you are today?

Post PhD, I taught modules at the University of Exeter, the Open University and Exeter College. I took my PGCE and continue to combine teaching with research.

What does your current role involve, any skills and/or personal qualities needed?  

Besides my subject knowledge, my current managerial role involves time management skills, the ability to manage people and to delegate, chairing meetings and liaison with outside organisations.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

The opportunity to engage with my subject area.

Are there any things that are not so good?

Paperwork and pastoral duties for tutees.

Has anything surprised you about your role?

I never thought I would end up being involved in managerial activities and have resisted a move to this area in the past, but I find I enjoy it, it is challenging and I enjoy it.

What key tips would you give to any students who might be considering entering a similar field today?

Don’t be put off by the horror stories about teaching in the press. It’s much better than it is portrayed but you do have to make sure that you carve out a work/life balance.