Jess Allen

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  • From: Tonbridge, United Kingdom

  • Year in School: PhD, 2nd year

  • Studying: French

About Jess:

I’m Jess and I’ve just finished the second year of my PhD in French. I was born in a small town in the United Kingdom, Tonbridge, from which you can reach Central London by train in forty minutes. I spent the first eighteen years of my life there before heading to Oxford University, where I graduated with a BA in French and German in 2016. From there, I moved to Northeast England to complete my MA in French at Durham University. After spending my year in Durham (the one in the UK!) writing about female friendship in the sixteenth century, I arrived in Ann Arbor in 2017. My dissertation focuses on fathers and daughters in sixteenth and seventeenth century France. Right now, I am working on my Prelims, after which my exact critical approach to the topic will be clearer...

In my free time, I enjoy trapeze and other aerial arts, hot and restorative yoga, art, reading, and travelling. I have travelled extensively in Europe, having volunteered as an English teacher in Poland, worked as a tour guide in France, and worked in a hotel and studied in Germany. So far, I’ve been to 36 countries, with my favourite countries to visit being Bulgaria, Latvia, and Norway. I am looking forward to exploring other parts of the world and am always daydreaming about taking trips to Asia and Australia!

Ultimately, I want to return to the UK and start my own non-profit in the Education or Housing sector. Being part of the House has given me the experience and inspiration to feel confident in pursuing this goal and as a First Generation Student, I want to provide more concrete initiatives to encourage and support others who are in the position that I was in as a teenager. After my PhD, I would first like to gain experience working in Development and Fundraising or Research in Higher Education or in the Nonprofit sector in Asia and/or Europe.