MA Humanitarianism and Conflict Response. Graduated 2015.
What inspired you to study this course?
I wanted to gain knowledge of international issues and to develop insight into the challenges faced by different people, in different environments and contexts. I also wanted to explore the actions that various organisations were undertaking in response to emergency situations or during periods of chronic difficulty, and understand the complexity of these situations which necessitate certain reactions.
How has your career progressed since completing your course?
After graduating I completed an internship with a humanitarian research organisation, before applying for the position I am now currently in.
How have the skills and knowledge gained on the course helped you in your current role/career progression?
The knowledge has been invaluable for my current role and for where I hope my career will progress to. It provides you with the ability to approach things holistically, understanding the multiplicity of influences usually at play in a situation. It gives you realistic perspectives, empathy and resilience!
What is your current role and what do you enjoy the most about it?
I have recently obtained an MSc in Advanced Relationship Based Social Work with Children and Families. This was through a two year funded programme, where you are immediately placed in Local Authorities around England.
I am currently working as a Social Worker in Child Protection. Tackling social issues daily is at the heart of what I do, and the purpose of this role is exactly the positive impact I hoped to achieve in my career, although it is not always easy! Having done a few years of academic work, I really enjoy the practical skills I am now developing, in addition to seeing families navigate their difficulties and come out the other side, happier and stronger.
Despite changing from exploring international issues to more local ones, the overlap is so evident in what I do. I hope to merge these two fields and perhaps look at international social care within humanitarianism in the future.
Do you have any advice for people wanting to follow in your footsteps?
Doing this course was one of the best things I ever did, and helped confirm that I wanted to do something with real purpose that has a positive social impact. The course lays the foundations, and introduces you to a lot of things that you can then go and explore more specifically. It doesn't set you on a specific path, but instead allows you to build on the skills and knowledge you have learnt to go out and forge your own.
What did you enjoy most about HCRI?
The best thing about HCRI was the staff and other students I worked alongside. The lecturers, guest speakers, associates and affiliates were all so inspiring and this really encourages you to pursue different areas of research, as they are all so approachable and encouraging.
The friendships I made during my time studying have been amazing, and there is a now a global network of us!
What advice would you give someone considering a master's degree at HCRI?
Make the most of all the different opportunities, get involved in things that are going on, and don't be afraid to explore, research and study areas that seem unfamiliar - you never know, it can move you into a direction you didn't think you were going!