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School of Social and Political Science: Graduate school


Patrick Hogan

Patrick Hogan
Patrick Hogan
Illinois, USA
Doing Now
Scottish Executive

My name is Patrick Hogan and I'm originally from Arlington Heights, Illinois, just outside of Chicago. I went to Western Illinois University where I majored in Political Science with minors in History and Pre-law. After graduating, I worked in London for six months, and decided come back to the UK as a postgraduate.

Why did you decide to do the IEP degree?

I had decided as an undergraduate that I wanted to get a PhD in International Relations and had planned on applying to programmes after taking a year's break. However, I enjoyed my time in London immensely, and wanted to return to the UK for a Master's degree, envisaging it as a first step towards a doctorate. I looked at several universities in England and Scotland before choosing Edinburgh, and applied for the IEP course. The course attracted me because I felt it would help me develop the analytical skills necessary for a PhD, while the scope and prestige of the programme would undoubtedly help me in the job market in Britain or America if my plans changed. I was fortunately accepted onto the course and leapt at the opportunity to study at an internationally renowned university.

What were your best memories?

Getting to know and spend time with the other students on the course probably constitute my fondest memories of IEP. I was instantly struck by everyone's intelligence and motivation, though there was never a sense of a cutthroat, competitive atmosphere. Quite the opposite in fact: everyone was extremely convivial and friendly, and I thought there was a strong, shared bond between the students, typically developed during all-night essay writing sessions.

What is it that you do now and did the degree help in your career path?

Since graduating I've decided to stay in Scotland and I am currently a Policy Officer in the Scottish Government's health department. I'm the policy lead for telecare and telehealth and also support my directorate more generally in driving forward Scotland's agenda for health and social care integration. I answer written questions related to my work submitted to the Government from MSPs, compose Ministerial briefs and promote my policy areas in Scottish Government and across the public sector. Prior to this, I was a research intern for four months with the think tank Reform Scotland where I contributed to reports on higher education and broadband policy.

Without IEP, there could have been no way I would ever have landed these positions. As an American, I needed something to demonstrate credibility to potential employers and being able to list IEP on my CV gave me just that. It was a rather dismal economic time when I graduated but the fact I was still able to get these positions speaks to the true value of the course.

Though I've had a uniquely rewarding tenure in the Scottish public sector, I am looking forward to the next phase of my professional career: beginning my long sought-after PhD. Familiarity breeds success, and I'm aiming to be back at Edinburgh next autumn starting a project with my IEP dissertation supervisor.

How did you like Edinburgh as a city?

I first visited Edinburgh while I was living in London and, upon stepping out of the train station, fell instantly in love with it. Maybe that's the reason I have yet to leave! It's a gorgeous city, especially when those intransigent Scottish clouds break and the sun shines through. It's easily walkable, though its relatively small size doesn't diminish its cosmopolitan character. Edinburgh is consistently at or near the top of polls ranking the most desirable places to live in Britain and after studying here, you'll understand why.