Interview with Isobelle Clarke: graduate talk about success and happiness

Image: Isobelle Clarke

[Carolin Simon | Contributing Writer]

Isobelle climbed high on the happiness and success ladder in the past years. She completed her undergraduate studies with the highest first class honours award, which no full-time humanities student had ever received before. She participated in the TEDx Talks at the University of Hertfordshire and received a scholarship to fulfil her dream of going into deeper research of Forensic Linguistics.

Her success secret seems to be the passion she has for her studies. When I asked her to summarise what her field of study – languages – means to her, she quoted good, old Dumbledore: “Words are, in my not so humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic, capable of both inflicting injury and remedy.” If all of us could find the magic in our studies, maybe we would all be a bit more like Hermione Granger or Isobelle Clarke.

Isobelle believes that her key to success is that she knows when to switch into full power and back to snooze:

“I get up at 7, I have breakfast and get ready and then I begin studying. I would always break for lunch and dinner and then after dinner I summarise everything I have read or learnt during the day. Then by 8:30pm, I switch everything off.”

This structured day routine could be something worth trying for all of us. While she knows how to plan her days, she can also motivate herself. She says that her grades are the round of applause after putting hard work into an assignment to say: “Congratulations Isobelle, you did amazing!” In fact, we should all be able to give ourselves big cheers for everything we have achieved.

During her second year, she was absorbed in a black hole. She lived in a house with extremely messy people, creating every horrific scenario imaginable from bed bugs to mice infestation. Due to this, Isobelle lost a lot of weight and instead found solace in the library. Today she looks back and sees this year as a lesson: “I’ve learnt that we can spend plenty of time complaining, moaning and crying, or we can make the situation work for us and be determined to get out the other side.”

Isobelle was extremely determined to make the best of all opportunities that the University offered her. In her final year, she was a conversational English Ambassador and that was when she took part in the TEDx Talks. Standing on a stage and presenting her ideas have been an incredible experience, Isobelle says. She was astonished by the way she inspired her audience with her talk. One lady even approached her after the talk and thanked her for making her find her identity again. “That was the best feeling to know that I had helped someone so dramatically.”

Currently, Isobelle is composing her PhD research proposal and is on her way further up the ladder. In ten or so years, we might hear about Dr Isobelle Clarke again.

#FirstClass #Happiness #phd #alumna #Graduate #TEDx

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