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Vivien Bateson BA Philosophy, 2012

Communications Office Coordinator, Central European University

Vivien Bateson's Photo

Hi, I'm Vivien Bateson and I studied BA Philosophy within Philosophy at the University of Southampton.

Philosophy has been integral to every aspect of my professional life so far. Having taught me to appreciate the importance of a well-reasoned approach to facing problems, philosophy encourages clear communication in a professional environment.

Why did you choose to study at Southampton?

Southampton has an excellent system for communicating with prospective students and applicants; this is what initially interested me in the university. I was then able to visit for an interview and had the opportunity to speak with some of the faculty, and be given a thorough introduction to the philosophy course itself. That day made my experience at Southampton University a good one from the very beginning!

What did you like most about your degree programme?

Philosophy at Southampton University is a programme that allows students to study as many core modules as possible, encouraging students to become familiar with many branches of philosophy, which are all integral and relatable to one another. The programme taught us to connect the dots and appreciate the complexities of arguments in relation to the bigger picture. Faculty often taught courses for which they had carried out extensive research and published interesting research on; this is reflected in their teaching and in-depth discussion with students. Guidance from lecturers and tutors was always available, especially throughout the dissertation period.

Which were your favourite branches of Philosophy?

Philosophy of Language was a module I thoroughly enjoyed and took a keen interest in. This module introduced Wittgenstein’s earlier and later works on language, and the meaningful contributions he made to the fields of language and logic. Logic was a module I initially found extremely difficult; it was not until my third year that I realized how significant and relevant this module is to the course as a whole. With some practice, I came to very much enjoy it.

What have you been doing since you graduated?

Since graduating, I have been working at the Central European University in Budapest, Hungary. Southampton’s reputation is well recognized internationally. I work in the university’s Communications Office, handling financial and administrative tasks, as well as working on its visual identity, branding and publications. I also organize and attend many lectures for academics and politicians from around the world, which has encouraged an interest in healthy debate between academics and practitioners at a very international level. I hope to study public policy in the near future.

How has studying Philosophy helped your career?

Philosophy has been integral to every aspect of my professional life so far. Having taught me to appreciate the importance of a well-reasoned approach to facing problems, philosophy encourages clear communication in a professional environment. This is always an excellent way to put forward and circulate your ideas, and help others to develop theirs! My philosophical training has allowed me to better understand the infinite complexity of defining the argument itself, enabling me to examine issues along a continuum from the microscopic to the macroscopic, comparing and contrasting on the way.

Are you still interested in philosophical ideas?

Yes, every day! I still read some of the core texts from the philosophy programme, and enjoy friendly debate with fellow philosophers.

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