Name: Katherine Brown
Degree: MSc Global Health & Public Policy
Doing now: Head of Research & Communications, Institute of Alcohol Studies
What were you doing before you applied to the MSc?
I worked in Government communications, acting as a project manager for public health promotion campaigns such as tobacco control, HPV vaccination and organ donation.
Why did you apply to the programme?
I was always interested in the policy behind the PR and wanted to learn more about the decisions being made from the outset about public health spending. I also felt that I was at a stage in my career where an additional qualification would help fast-track me into a job within a different discipline, as opposed to starting at the bottom of the ladder per se.
What are your best memories from your time studying here?
Having lively debates in seminars with enthusiastic students from around the world really was an enriching experience. It was great to hear so many different country experiences and learn about other health systems, it really helped to broaden my outlook and understanding about global health policy.
What's it like being a student in Edinburgh?
Edinburgh is a fantastic city to live in - I'd move back in a heartbeat. Not only is the city centre buzzing with things to see and do, but you have the wonderful Scottish countryside on your doorstep to go and explore.
What have you done since graduating?
I quickly found a job within an organization that looks into evidence-based health policy, where I was able to apply all the skills I'd acquired during the course. Outside of work I've tried to keep as physically active as I was in Edinburgh. I've run a second marathon (Edinburgh was my first - it's downhill at the start!) and recently returned from a cycling holiday across Nepal.
What are you doing at present?
I work for the Institute of Alcohol Studies, which is an independent research organization that looks into policy solutions to reduce levels of alcohol harm in society. My role involves a mixture of research analysis and advocacy work. Alcohol is quite a hot topic in the UK at present, with rising levels of disease and social harms, including crime. It is also an area where there are tensions between major stakeholders, such as the drinks industry and public interest NGOs, which makes the policy process more interesting to say the least. My MSc research has certainly helped me find my feet in a fast-paced environment, where an understanding of the 'big picture' is crucial to making the right decision.