Alumni Profile – Thomas Reilly (2008-2012)

15th October 2018

How did you come to study at Blackfriars, Oxford?

I first encountered Blackfriars when I took part in the Visiting Student Program for my Junior Year at Providence College, Rhode Island, USA.  I studied Classics, and there really was no better place to be than Blackfriars, particularly considering its close proximity to the Sackler Library!

I enjoyed my time at Blackfriars so much that I decided to return for a second B.A. in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics.  It was more or less like being a visiting student again, but now I had to take final exams!

Tell us about your time at Blackfriars

My time at Blackfriars was really special.  To me, it feels more like a family than an Oxford college, or hall.  I was fortunate enough to be elected JCR/MCR President.  We had a lot of fun.

I was reminded of how special Blackfriars is when I came back for the Alumni Dinner this year.  I felt so welcome after not having been back for more than 6 years, and the Friars cooked for us!

What have you been doing since your graduation?

After graduation, I returned to the United States, worked briefly on a political campaign in Washington D.C. and have now been working in banking in New York City for the past five years.

It’s really great, and I can think of no better way to prepare for a job in banking than the Oxford tutorial system.  It taught me to respond critically and with confidence, and to analyze problems quickly, even when I may not be fully certain of all the details.

What are your fondest memories?

I always enjoyed the Advent Vespers service on the last Friday of Michaelmas term (I think).  It was a beautiful evening of prayer and song, followed by a small reception in the refectory.  The weather is usually dreary this time of year, and the days are getting really short.  The end of term brings with it a certain sense of peace.

Have you kept in touch with fellow alumni?

I have!  On the one hand, we have all gone our separate ways, but on the other, there are a few I see here and there, whether on this side of the Atlantic, or the other.


Blackfriars is always pleased to hear from our alumni, so do get in touch!