"It was clear that Surrey is an academic hub with a brilliant reputation for research"
Why did you choose to come to Surrey?
The course that Surrey offered for International Relations with an opportunity for a 12-week placement was unique and it is the only course like it in the UK. This really stood out for me because work experience and putting into practice what I had learnt was something I wanted.
What was your impression of Surrey?
It was clear that Surrey is an academic hub with a brilliant reputation for research. I thought that the campus and student ambassadors were welcoming so it was easy to fit in straight away and find my feet. Whilst I was at Surrey, I always felt comfortable and supported.
Why are you passionate about your subject?
"Understanding the international arena is critical to finding global solutions to challenges as well as creating opportunities."
Understanding the international arena is critical to finding global solutions to challenges as well as creating opportunities. For me, I want to make a difference where I can and I find learning about how the world works in terms of power, functionality, morality, and more (e.g. national governments, international organisations, NGOs, private sector) fascinating.
Why did you choose to study your course at Surrey?
"Surrey offered a unique course for International Relations (International Intervention) which focused on conflict and conflict resolution as well as offering a 12-week placement, all within one year of study."
I was in no doubt as to which University to pick and I will always be grateful for being accepted onto the course.
What do you like about your course?
I enjoyed the intensity of the learning and what we learnt. I did not come from a politics background (I came from an Ancient History background in fact!) so I was anxious about the learning curve but, in all honesty, I grasped the change quickly. I think that the intensity puts you on a rollercoaster straight away so you don’t have time to think about being worried that you will not keep up and, by the time you realise, you have already achieved so much! I will always cherish my lecturers from my course, they’re what I also liked most about it.
What are the academic staff and facilities like on your course?
"My lecturers are incredible. I will never forget the way they teach, support and mentor."
My lecturers are incredible. I will never forget the way they teach, support and mentor. Despite doing half of my course online/hybrid, I was still able to feel fully supported by my lecturers which was difficult on both students and staff.
What careers support have you received?
I was very fortunate to undertake my 12-week placement with Hong Kong Watch. It provided me with a wealth of skills in only 12 weeks and I was able to work on a very interesting project. I was supported and mentored throughout my placement allowing me to develop as an early career professional. Hong Kong Watch is a fantastic place to learn the skills needed for the beginning of a career. I am now completing an internship with an international organisation following on from my placement. The skills and experience I gained from Hong Kong Watch have set me up to pursue the career I want, and I will look back on my placement and be forever grateful for the experience.
How do you think your time at Surrey has had an impact on your employability once you graduate?
I never expected to be in the fortunate position that I am in now in my early career and, without Surrey, it would not have happened.
Do you have any advice for students thinking about postgraduate study?
"If you want to explore an area of postgraduate study then do: the experience will only add to your life, so if you are curious, go ahead."
If you want to explore an area of postgraduate study then do: the experience will only add to your life, so if you are curious, go ahead.
And get stuck in as soon as your course starts, it will set the tone for the rest of your degree – and enjoy it!
Do you think you’ve changed since you started at Surrey? How?
"The whole of my experience of Surrey has greatly added to my life, allowing me to grow, and has changed me for the better."
Yes, I have matured academically and professionally. My outlook on life has matured as well. The whole of my experience of Surrey has greatly added to my life, allowing me to grow, and has changed me for the better.
What do you plan to do following your postgraduate course at Surrey?
I have finished my course and I am undertaking a six-month internship with the UN Environment Programme in Paris. I will be looking at my next steps in the next few months, hoping to remain in the climate arena and international sphere.