Halfway There

The last week of the term is always a challenge. Finishing the last bits of coursework in time occupies everyone except the exceptional few who submitted their assignments long before most had started writing them. At the same time, it is easy to overlook the readings for the lectures and seminars. This week was an interesting mix of cyber warfare, ethical foreign policy and the use of propaganda. Moreover, we got our last taster lecture of the regional specialisation modules for the third year. Having already covered Europe, Middle East, South Asia and East Asia, now the topic was the Americas. Now that we have seen all the available options, we have until February to make up our minds. The decision is an important one, as it will determine the focus area of our dissertations for the final year.

Alongside the academic modules, this time I also finished an extra-curricular one. For the past 10 weeks, I had taken part in an optional module called King’s Leadership and Professional Skills Award. The module is open for all King’s students, providing that your application is approved, and is organised by the Career Service together with various employers. The module consists of 10 sessions covering topics such as networking skills, effective communication and interviewing techniques, from which you can choose five. Additionally, everyone taking the module is required to undertake a leadership activity as well as reflect the sessions in writing. Presentation and interview skills sessions are assessed through mock presentation and interview of course. For me, the best feature of the program was the fact that every session was run by a different employer giving me a chance to talk to people from Metropolitan Police to TeachFirst and hear about their graduate programs in person.

If committing yourself to one extra module sounds too demanding, the different career events organised by the Career Service offer a less time consuming way to prepare yourself for the professional life during your studies. The events this term have covered “spotlight sessions” with specific sectors such as the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Security and Consultancy but also more general advice on getting and internship or making applications. Looking ahead t0 2015, the term will start with spotlight sessions on Think Tanks, European and International Policy and Defence Analysis – and all this during the first month.

Thanks to the international outlook of my course, the last week of the term also means not seeing anyone for a couple of weeks as most of us, including me, leave London for Christmas. Unsurprisingly, it must have been the busiest week in terms of socializing so far, there was something happening every evening. Don’t get me wrong, it only made the week better.

I hope the last four blogs have answered some of your questions about studying IR in King’s. If there are gaps, please let me know and I can take care of them next term. Until then, merry Christmas!

Strolling the South Bank

Strolling the South Bank

Life is serious

View from the flat

View from the flat