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Student Testimonial 7

I am presently a national coordinator for the 'No Knives-Better Lives' campaign in Scotland. I studied both my first degree, MA (Hons) in Sociology and Politics, and mypostgraduate MSc in Childhood Studies, at The University of Edinburgh.

With so much competition for interesting jobs, I was looking for ways to get a head start. So, in the summer before the final year of my first degree, I began working as a researcher for an MSP (Member of the Scottish Parliament) who was a spokesperson for children and young people within her party. It was the experience of this job which sparked my interested in going on to do childhood studies as a postgraduate degree.

Since completing my postgraduate degree in 2003, I have worked for a number of voluntary sector organisations, and have continually looked for developmental opportunities and challenges. Where funding from employers for professional development has been very limited, I have looked for opportunities to which I can volunteer some of my spare time.

Over the years, I have built up a good knowledge of policies affecting children and young people and now communicate children's issues to policy makers, practitioners and children or young people.

My current position is a 13 month secondment. On behalf of the Scottish Government, I am responsible for overseeing the delivery of their anti-knife crime youth engagement initiative across Scotland (called No Knives, Better Lives).

My degree in childhood studies was very relevant in helping me secure this job as it gave me a sound understanding of the principles of conducting research with children and young people. It also enabled me to learn about the key policies underpinning childhood in Scotland and develop an understanding of child development and children's needs.

No two days are remotely the same! No-one else does exactly the same job as me --– the post is unique. My blackberry is never far from my hand --– the thing I do most is speak to people.

Edinburgh Students