1. University of Virginia
  2. Arts & Sciences

Jones

Libby
Alumni director of the American School in London
I say with confidence that my B.A. in English from UVa has been the greatest asset I have professionally. Without it, I would not have qualified for my teaching fellowship in England, which changed my lifeā€¦

After graduating from UVa in 2006, I moved 20 miles north of London, UK to take up my post as a UK teaching fellow (http://www.virginia.edu/cue/ukfellows.html) at Haileybury College, a British boarding school not so far-flung from Harry Potter's Hogwarts. The learning curve was steep: I was an American English major with no teaching experience sent abroad to teach British History, British citizenship, and sex ed! But I adored the experience and ended up extending my one year assignment to two. Upon my return to the US, I made good on my goal of pursuing a journalism career, and after a few internships, including at New York Magazine and O Magazine, I joined the editorial staff at Good Housekeeping. I was surprised to discover how much I missed being a part of a school community, however, and eventually went back to independent education, taking a role as communications manager at a private school in New York City. Two years ago, I crossed the Pond for the second time to follow my British husband (who, as luck would have it, I found on Haileybury's campus six years earlier). I am now in my third year as the alumni director of the American School in London. I say with confidence that my B.A. in English from UVa has been the greatest asset I have professionally. Without it, I would not have qualified for my teaching fellowship in England, which changed my life (and it was a fellow English major pal who told me about the UK Fellows program in the first place). The UVa alumni network was intrinsic to almost every interview I landed in New York and continues to shape my career in alumni relations. I couldn't be more grateful for my undergraduate experience. As an expat, my seminar on Hemingway and Fitzgerald with Sydney Blair holds a special place in my heart, and I think often of the Fitzgerald quote I came across when our class read Fitzgerald's "Echoes of the Jazz Age"--"...and it all seems rosy and romantic to us who were young then, because we will never feel quite so intensely about our surroundings any more."