- Megan Milam
- Washington DC
- MSc in International and European Politics
- Doing Now
- Congressional Staffer
Tell me about yourself! Who are you and where are you from?
My name is Megan Milam. I grew up in Idaho, in the US, but I lived in Washington DC for two years before moving to Edinburgh. In Washington, I worked on policy issues and legislation for a Member of Congress. I graduated in November 2006 from the MSc in International and European Politics.
Why did you decide to do the IEP degree?
I have always been passionate about foreign affairs and international politics. I studied Politics as an undergraduate at Princeton University in the United States, and I planned to go abroad to do my Masters Degree to gain another, fresh perspective on foreign affairs. Situated in the UK, which has close ties to both the European Union and the United States, Edinburgh University provided a unique perspective on the world and international relations. The combined focus of international affairs and the European Union greatly appealed to me as well.
Because the IEP professors and students came from a variety of countries and backgrounds, the courses provided a forum for discussions and debates that truly reflected the global community and provided a broad international perspective. In addition, I also wanted to attend university in Edinburgh so I could learn first-hand about the Parliamentary system of government. While I was pursuing my IEP degree, I was able to work part-time at the Scottish Parliament.
What were your best memories?
I found that my favorite memories always involve the people I met in Edinburgh and the friends I made - whether at dinner parties or continuous coffee dates or nights out in the local pubs and bars. The IEP professors took a strong interest in the academic and professional welfare of the students. They were easily accessible and always ready to grab coffee or a drink and discuss the latest political events or potential career paths with you. And my classmates were motivated, curious individuals with interesting and unique perspectives that livened up any conversation, whether we were discussing politics, football, or the latest reality television show.
What is it that you do now and did the degree help in your career path?
After I received my degree, I spent two months working as a stagiaire for the United Nations Security Council in Washington DC. My international experience, both as an intern for the Scottish Parliament and as a Masters student in the IEP program, made me a unique applicant for this program and gave me the global perspective that is critical for anyone working at the United Nations.
After my internship, I was promoted to a new position in Congress to continue my work on legislative and policy issues. My Masters degree greatly improved my writing and research skills, which are essential for any job but particularly for a Congressional staffer. In addition, my greater understanding of politics and foreign affairs has been extremely helpful as the United States continues to make decisions impacting its role in the global community.
How did you like Edinburgh as a city?
Edinburgh is a fabulous city, and I feel very lucky that I was able to live there and enjoy it. It is a very student-friendly city. The University is located within easy walking distance of many affordable student flats, shops, restaurants and pubs as well as New Town and Old Town, the famous historical neighborhoods of Edinburgh.