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!