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Caroline Sloan (BA; MA Archaeology 2005)

We love hearing your stories. Here, we meet Caroline, who tells us about the exciting ventures she has had since graduating from Reading, her memories of the Silchester field school and how her Archaeology degree inspired her first novel....

If you would like to share the story of your time studying Archaeology at Reading and the life you have led since, click here to complete your alumni profile today.



After serving in the Royal Navy for four years, I decided to go back to university and study a subject that was interesting, stimulating and fascinating - Archaeology. I graduated from the University of Reading with an Honours degree in 2005 and soon thereafter moved to New Zealand where I bought a cattle farm and worked as a legal secretary. In 2010, I moved back to the UK and managed to publish my first fantasy fiction novel, Iara. Writing, working full time for a trade association and working part time as a VIP hostess at a private hospitality suite at Silverstone still left me with some spare time so I decided to return to the University of Reading to undertake postgraduate studies in Archaeology.

Why did you choose to study at the University of Reading?

The professors in the Department of Archaeology are so passionate about their subject that it makes learning a pleasure.  They are constantly pushing you, inspiring you and astounding you!  Being amongst such knowledgeable persons makes learning addictive.

CarolineSloanimage2What was the best bit about living and studying in Reading?

I have met some incredible people and made lasting friendships; not to mention receiving a top rate education.  But the best bit was being inspired enough to write a book because of what I learned studying archaeology.

What top tips would you give to students who are beginning their studies?

If you want to do well at University, study a subject that interests you.  It will keep you motivated throughout the duration of the course.  And if possible, take the time to learn a language!  

What are you up to now? How did you get there? 

I am currently the Office Manager for a trade association specialising in the HVACR industry. Since leaving University I have held numerous jobs including working for a fashion wholesaler; recruiting actuaries in London; specialising as a legal secretary in Intellectual Property; owning and running a cattle farm; working at a 5* country house hotel organising celebrity weddings; and organising events for the motorsport industry.  I like to try different things and have come to the conclusion that I love writing the most because I get to use my background in archaeology in my stories!

CarolineSloanimage3What would be your top tips for students interested in working in this sector? 

Research exactly what aspect of archaeology you want to follow. I am not so interested in field archaeology, but if you are then make sure you get plenty of experience volunteering on local digs. I enjoy the research aspect, so I volunteered at the Natural History Museum, London - museums are always keen for volunteers to help out with ongoing projects. Take time to consider what really interests you - including the period you wish to study!

What does the University mean to you and what is your favourite memory?  

One of my favourite memories is spending the summer at the University of Reading's field school, Silchester (Calleva Atrebatum). Every day was entertaining - from cleaning the disgusting port-a-loos from as great a distance as possible to the excitement of finding some Roman treasure only to realise you were looking at a twig!


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