Sophie Meyer - Archaeologist and runs her own enterprise that promotes LGBTQ history.
Hello old friends and new girls. I am an alumnus of St Nick’s from 2006. I now work in the Museums sector and run my own social enterprise which celebrates and promotes LGBTQ history.
I remember establishing my love of history from my time at school. I vividly remember going to France on a GCSE history trip, visiting museums and the fields where trench warfare took place during WW1. The opportunities to visit historic sites, such as Blenheim Palace, and come face to face with history is a privilege St Nick’s offers.
I was never the Grade A student at school, and despite my love of history, felt I did not have the academic prowess to succeed where my passion was. Some excellent advice I have carried with me from school is that there is no right way to succeed. I loved history, but being dyslexic I preferred practical to essay based work, the answer, for me, was archaeology.
Since leaving school I continued down the road of history at Alton College and later Southampton University, completing both an undergraduate BA (hons) and Master’s degree in Archaeology. I completed my dissertation on the music of Ancient Rome, inspired by my love of singing and music- another hangover from my time at school. I was a member of Chamber Choir, and finished my Grade 8 with Mrs Busby (who I was so pleased to see still teaches!).
I left the world of education for the cold, muddy realm of field archaeology with the Museum of London. I spent around two years working on excavations from sugar plantations in the Caribbean, to Tudor palaces in Surrey and even digging up medieval plague pits in London. Archaeology is an excellent way to travel and work internationally, to be at the forefront of historical discovery and nothing beats being the first person to hold an artefact since it was buried 1000 years ago.
After a very cold winter I decided to make a slight career veer, inside, and into the world of Museums.
Museums are important as they tell the story of who we are, and I see it as my job to make everyone know that history belongs to the people. I set up my work on championing LGBTQ stories as a response to the lack of diversity I was seeing in how our history was being told. Equality, accessibility and inclusivity are core values that I believe St Nick’s taught me and I live those values in how I act and work.
I can honestly look back and see that the choices and experiences I had at school informed so much of where I am today, from my work to my friends. I met my two best friends, Felicity and Amy, in Year 5 and 20(ish) years later they are about to be my bridesmaids.
My advice for you girls is thus; find your own path, believe in yourself and define your own rules for success.