…by Lydia / from England / studying Environment and Development / MSc student
After having a wonderful time studying English Literature at Undergraduate level, I started to think what I wanted to do with my degree, what kind of career I wanted to pursue. The answer, strangely enough, was not embedded in the mounds of novels and poetry collections I so eagerly delved into during undergraduate studies, but it was in a completely different field – sustainable development. Upon realising this new goal, I knew changing field and getting a relevant degree would be essential, so I came to Edinburgh to study a taught Masters, Environment and development.
However, it became clear early on in my studies that getting a good degree with high academic achievement was just a small box that needed to be ticked on the journey towards employment in my field, and that work experience, volunteer work – the extra-curricular activities were what would make me stand out.
“Luckily, the university knew this too, and provide an excellent platform through which any student, can find careers placements, volunteer work and relevant opportunities in such a wide variety of fields and interests”
Luckily, the university knew this too, and provide an excellent platform through which any student, can find careers placements, volunteer work and relevant opportunities in such a wide variety of fields and interests. This last term, through the careers service, I was notified and able to apply for a volunteer role, helping out at the science festival at the Edinburgh Zoo. The application for the volunteer role was quite rigorous and I even had to attend an interview in order to secure it, something I considered to be good practice for “real” job applications at the end of my time here. My role as a “science communication volunteer” at Edinburgh Zoo during a series of events for a science festival gave me the benefits of working alongside conservation specialists (a dream job of mine, in fact) but also communicating information to a lot of other individuals.
It was not only a fun experience, but one that boosted my CV and Linkedin profile, provided a great opportunity to network with individuals in my field, and as a volunteer role, allowed me to work around my university schedule. Its opportunities like this, that I know will put me ahead of over individuals in the job-hunting world whilst also providing me with priceless and greatly useful experience in my field.