GHSM Alumni Talk: Announcing Valentine’s Day Edition!

Blog post by Katya Baker, Student Experience Officer, School of Global Affairs

image003We have six wonderful speakers joining us this Valentine’s Day, and they’re here to talk about what they’re doing now and how they got there, and to answer your questions:

 Should you do more study after graduation, or go straight into work? Does your dissertation really matter, can it shape your career prospects? Is a graduate scheme worth it? Can you work whilst studying? What’s the point of doing an unpaid internship? When should you start applying for jobs for after graduation? Should you do a PhD? Can you still get a job or into graduate school without a first? How do you find a job, where do you even begin to look? Charity vs commercial vs public sector? Is getting work experience earlier better, when should you start? And, have you used anything you learnt?!

Here are our speakers, ready to tackle all those queries:

Lydia Joiner, a graduate of the Global Health and Social Medicine BSc, who is a successful candidate of the Civil Service Fast Stream and currently working for the department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Lydia swooped the awards at graduation for top marks and also for best dissertation – an ethnographical study in Liberia, where she spent six weeks and came back with 80,000 words worth of field notes. Lydia worked and volunteered throughout her degree as a youth worker and as a “whatever charities need” worker.

Emma Maun, a graduate of the Ageing and Society MSc, has over a decade of international humanitarian work experience. Currently doing her MPhil and PhD in our department, Emma has previously worked for the British Red Cross (in South Asia), the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (Burma and China) and the British Council. Emma has had a non-traditional path into postgraduate study, and actually worked for these incredible organisations before doing her masters!

Sumayya Allam, a graduate of the MSc in Gerontology, is currently working for the British Medical Association at a policy advice and support officer. Previously, she was with the Pensions Policy Institute as a policy researcher. Sumayya is an example of someone who went straight from their undergraduate, to their postgraduate, to a very cool and adult job as a researcher! She’ll be able to talk us through a more linear approach to a career plan.

Quitterie de la Villemarque, a graduate of the Global Health and Social Medicine BA, went straight into postgraduate study and is currently doing her masters in Social Policy and Development: NGOs (MSc) at the LSE. Quitterie worked during the summers at refugee camps: first in Morocco, and then twice in Greece. Working in Ritsona Refugee Camp with the NGO I AM YOU (who she still does advocacy work for) really informed the masters programme that she’s on.

 Kristin Clawson, a graduate of the Global Health and Social Medicine BA, is a successful candidate of the graduate scheme Charity Works, and through the scheme is currently working for Terence Higgins Trust. Through the degree Kristin also worked for the Patients Association as a policy, campaign and research intern. Kristin also completed the last year of the long distance, so if you’ve been thinking of moving out of London and don’t know how to balance that, she can talk you through it.

 Yu Ting Chen, a graduate of the Global Health and Social Medicine BSc, is our special guest! Currently working as a research assistant in the public health school of the National University of Singapore, Yu Ting has made us a video of what her work life is currently like, and she gives some wonderful and very candid advice. Yu Ting, as an international student, found it difficult to find work in the UK despite checking the boxes for grades and internships (for Macmillan Cancer Support and the Taiwanese National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences) – in her video she talks through her experience of finding graduate employment, and gives some much needed sympathy to those in their last year of study!

 What makes it Valentine’s Day edition? There will be cakes, cookies and love hearts for you all! Come spend your afternoon with us, ask all the questions you like to email me (but this time to people who can answer them especially well!), and leave the event feeling hopeful and happy. Whilst not everyone’s programme of study could be represented by our speakers, I do hope that you attend anyway – they have a range of life and work experiences, lots of opinions, and do represent a variety of possible futures.

 The event should appear on your timetables soon, and in the meantime you can read up on the speakers and say you’re attending through this link:

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