0:00:02 My name is Michael B. I work as an IT Senior Systems Administrator at a company called Amadeus Capital Partners, which is essentially a private equity financial company, that invests in start-up IT technology companies.
00:00:17 As a young boy my interests varied, actually, quite considerably. My father worked for IBM, but I didn’t see myself getting into IT into computers.
00:00:27 I was very interested in geography, which moved then into history and from history I looked further back into the past into the archaeology. I got an ambition when I was there at school, was to do history and archaeology, because I was extremely good at history in school. But what I didn’t know was how to take that as a career.
00:00:48 I knew that’s what I wanted to study, and I knew it could be done for three to four years, but I didn’t know how to take it from there and I just figured I would follow my interests. I would follow my heart and do what I wanted and when I got the experience of the university system, then I would know how, how to move on from there.
00:01:07 When I got into university it, it was…it was a dream come true. You move in from a school environment into another environment, where you’ve got a lot more personal freedom but, along with that, the university system expects a lot of personal responsibility.
00:01:23 You’re expected to produce the work, you’re expected to obviously have fun, be yourself, express yourself and just get involved within the departments that you happen to be studying in. I saw a notice on a university notice board, advertising for an excavation in Israel and that’s where I went. That happened to be in June 1996.
00:01:47 The experience was absolutely fantastic. You are out of your country, you’re with new people, you’re within the field that you’ve always dreamed about being. You’re surrounded by people who are as passionate for the subject as, as you happen to be, so it was, it was a dream come true.
00:02:05 My interests, when I was back at the university, were in, in early modern humans but there were limited jobs available, so that is always a particular problem. And then my father decided he was not going to fund any post graduate study.
00:02:22 It did happen to be a bitter blow at the time, but I took the view that this opens up an opportunity for, for me to just to do something else and not…and not need to rely on anyone but myself, so I had to look to myself to continue developing my skills sets so I could actually find employment, and the one that was most familiar to me happened to be computers. And then, as I had British citizenship, I decided I was going to come over and make a career here in the UK. Thankfully, someone from Oxford University Press gave me the opportunity; a small contract and I grabbed it with both hands and never looked back.
00:03:04 The archaeology passion has actually never disappeared. I was doing my own research, my own reading and I came to the point where I thought I’m going to actually go back to university and I’m going to do my Masters; this was a burning passion of mine. So, I resigned from my IT job in August 2003 and started my Masters in September 2003 at University College, London.
00:03:31 What I am aiming for later on in life is to actually move up to an IT Manager’s position, but continue my archaeology, out of hours, as I’m actually currently doing, I happen to be working on material from a site in the Sudan, so I’m doing that in my personal time, at my personal expense.
00:03:49 In an ideal world there would be lots of jobs of available within archaeology, but I have to live in the reality that there isn’t. You have a family and you’ve got responsibilities to them, so you need to, you need to plan your life around what is actually happening on the ground and, to me that is actually doing my IT on a day to day basis, which I am passionate about. It is very rewarding and you have a well rounded life by having interests, whether it’s tennis, cycling or other sport; for me it happens to be my archaeology out of hours.