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School of Social and Political Science: Graduate school

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Student Experience and Future Careers

Below are reflections from some of our previous students about their experiences of studying with us and what they went on to do next.

Juneeja Varghese

Graduated 2011

Where are you from?
India.
What were you doing before you came to Edinburgh (e.g. previous degrees, jobs)?
I had just completed my Bachelors in Life Sciences and was doing an internship with the public engagement department of Greenpeace India. 
Why did you come to study with us?
University of Edinburgh is one of the few universities that offer an interdisciplinary postgraduate degree combining Science and Policy with Biotechnology specialization. The University being located in a breathtaking Scottish city was an added bonus. 
What did you do after you left Edinburgh?
I volunteered for food security and policy organizations as a workshop facilitator and assistant researcher.
What are you doing now? And did this degree help to get to where you are?
I am currently working as an Education Coordinator with a food bank in Toronto. In this position, I help coordinate food security workshops for youth and health & wellness programs for community members. In fact, my interest in this field was solidified by the Masters course modules that integrated various food security issues within a global context. Even the external seminars and workshops held at the University helped me approach topics with deeper understanding. A workshop conducted by another department on citizen participation in decision making processes have further helped me in placing importance on public opinions as part of my work.
Tell us the key things you learned from your Masters degree that have been valuable to you since then?
The coursework, readings and discussions with colleagues from various academic and professional backgrounds have been quite relevant especially in taking a practical approach while dealing with cross-cutting issues.
What are your best memories of your time in Science, Technology and Innovation Studies?
My best memories are with the various trips and cultural events organized by the University International Student Council. They allowed me to experience the rich Scottish culture and landscapes. This was also a good opportunity to meet international students from other courses but with similar interests.    
What was it like living in Edinburgh?
Just a year in Edinburgh was enough to etch deep, long-lasting memories in me. This city, bubbling with life even during the wee hours of the morning, is just perfect for students. I couldn't get enough of the various creative art performances taking place in the city throughout the year, especially during the Fringe. Even though the weather was not always at its best, places like the Arthur's Seat provide a soothing effect from the hustle bustle of the city. 
Knowing what you do now, do you have any advice to people coming to study in Science, Technology and Innovation Studies?
Make use of the cultural and intellectual diversity of your classes to explore topics of your interest. Also, keep an eye open for guest lectures organized by other departments, as some of them can really be an enriching experience.

 

Mariana Gallo

Graduated 2011

Where are you from?
I was born in Argentina, from an Italian family. I have double Italian/Argentine nationality, and also spent some part of my life in Italy.
What were you doing before you came to Edinburgh (e.g. previous degrees, jobs)?
I have a first Degree in communications and Social Science (in Argentina), where I focused on how science can be better communicated and used for the benefit of society. I have worked on this area at my home University and also volunteered/worked with grassroots organisations in Argentina, focusing on International Development issues.
Why did you come to study with us?
The excellent reputation of the University, and the specific Degree that was offered.
What did you do after you left Edinburgh?
I got an internship in a UK-based charity in England (Practical Action), and during that period I was offered my current job as International Programme Officer at the Building and Social Housing Foundation, also in England.
What are you doing now? And did this degree help to get to where you are?
It certainly did. Now I am working specifically on how to better transfer knowledge and promote best practices worldwide (in the housing sector), which closely relates the my interest in innovation and development that I obtained during my Masters, and the research I have done regarding that. I think the combination of technical, social and development aspects of the degree made me suitable for the position I am now.
Tell us the key things you learned from your Masters degree that have been valuable to you since then?
An overview of International Development issues, certainly the 'appropriate technology' approach, and the social reflections on science and technology, along with the difficulties and uses in the international development field. Also, the research I undertook in Kenya has been crucial from a professional and personal perspective, providing valuable experience in the research and international sector.
What are your best memories of your time in Science, Technology and Innovation Studies?
Living in a beautiful, lively city, feeling privileged from being part of such a wonderful institution every day I was there.
What was it like living in Edinburgh?
Excellent. I loved every moment of it. It is a vibrant, exciting city, with activities to suit all tastes and a wide, friendly international community. It is difficult NOT to enjoy Edinburgh!
Knowing what you do now, do you have any advice to people coming to study in Science, Technology and Innovation Studies?
Make the most of it: explore, question, discuss, get involved. I think sometimes all that freedom and possibilities that students have can hold them back from actually engaging. Keep your mind open: is good to know where you want to go, but have the flexibly to learn new perspectives and be challenged. Learning is about transforming ourselves too.
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