How my time at Christ Church helped shape who I am today

Hollie Caldeira (BA Hons English Language & Communication 2018) shares memories of her time at Christ Church, why she loves Canterbury and how she got into the world of marketing.


Almost eight years ago, I packed up my things and moved to Canterbury for the first time, little did I know it would soon become one of the biggest chapters of my life and one of my most treasured places to visit.

There were a few reasons that led me to study at Christ Church, the main one being the course I wanted to study. I have always been passionate about English language and literature and from reading the prospectus and the planned course materials, I knew it was the right university for me. As well as the course, the city of Canterbury was another factor that inspired me. As a literature fan, the city of some of the greats – Chaucer, Marlowe – was another great reason to join the campus, with all that history and culture, it was an easy decision. 

During my time at Christ Church I made lifelong friends, studied and graduated with my lifelong partner whom I now live with and we share a fluffy pooch! And ultimately it became the place I learnt more about myself. While studying I found myself intrigued by the world of marketing and as I was studying communication, it became clear to me that marketing was the area I wanted to pursue in the working world. 

Where I am now

Fast forward my university years, I began my working chapter in the software world, working for global and startup firms in the city. Now, with four years of marketing experience, I am currently working as a marketing specialist for the UK arm of a global business, a fintech firm with its HQ in New Zealand. Since graduating I have gone on to study further, having undertaken my CIM Level 6 diploma which I will graduate from in 2023. 

I enjoy the world of marketing very much. One of the things I enjoy most about it is the variety of disciplines you can be working in and the skills that you gain from that. For example, you can be managing multiple projects, for a variety of departments and spend each day working on something different. It encourages you to always think creatively, analytically and challenge yourself, which is something I really enjoy. One of the most exciting things that the industry is seeing at the moment is innovation and automation, everything is becoming digitalised, and with this brings great challenges. As the world we work in begins to adapt to the ultra-modern society, it feels that with every year that goes by, there is new technology and automation out there to learn about which only encourages you to work harder.

One of my proudest achievements in my career so far is being able to undertake the Chartered Institute of Marketing Diploma. I have always wanted to undertake a CIM certification and this year I have been able to do this. I loved studying at university and after a few years break, it has been great to be able to study for a professional qualification that I hope can enhance my career prospects further and help me work to the best of my ability in my current role. 

I thank my time at Christ Church for my achievements. It was the place that made me learn who I am in this world, it helped me build my confidence which enabled me to land corporate roles in the technology community and it helped me with my everyday life. Now, at almost 27 years of age, I feel that I can reminisce on my time in Canterbury and place it as one of the key influences for the personal accomplishments that I have made since graduating.

Reminiscing about the good days

I like to stay connected to the alumni network because I think it’s important to remember the great people I had the opportunity to meet and work with. It is great to see what other students are getting up to in their professional lives and it’s a great way to maintain that connection to the University I called home for years.

Canterbury will always hold a special place in my heart, and thankfully as it is only two hours away, I visit there every other month to catch up with friends, go to my old favourite drinking spots and enjoy the many unique experiences that the beautiful city has to offer.

Thinking of studying at Christ Church?

My advice to prospective students would be to think about the type of course you want to do, the city you want to live in and the culture you want to experience. The most wonderful thing I found about studying in Canterbury was the amount of culture and diversity it has. You can meet people from all over the globe, try a different cuisine in the city every day and learn from a variety of professors from a host of backgrounds. When considering Canterbury, you should definitely get to know the city first, because once you do, it’ll be hard to resist.