- Course: MA Global Development
- Year of graduation: 2022
- Nationality: Kenyan
Please tell us a bit about yourself
I am an international postgraduate student from Kenya. I completed my undergraduate in Economics in 2020 at the University of Warwick and did a year of work training as a consultant working with NGOs. I also worked in this year as a Research Consultant in Kenya. I am passionate about work that puts into practice my understanding of economics and works with the community to better overall standards of living.
What made you want to apply to your course and to Leeds?
I applied to the University of Leeds because the MA in Global Development offered me the skills and information I was most interested in when I chose to pursue development studies. I had also previously visited the university when I was trying to choose a university for my undergraduate and remembered how much I liked the city and campus. I was also very inspired by the interests and research of the lecturers in my department.
What is it that makes you passionate about your area of study?
My passion for development comes from the fact that every country in the world is in a constant state of development. I am also interested in the role of economic theories in developing and how all countries can learn from each other’s victories and failures in policy and programmes. I also believe that through studying development and being part of the academic discourse, I can contribute to the positive representation of what are considered ‘developing countries’ such as my country Kenya.
What do you think of your course so far – what aspects of the course have you enjoyed the most or are looking forward to the most?
The course has been very informative and enjoyable. I have gained more skills than I had expected and feel that every module on the course is practical in preparing graduates for work. I mostly enjoyed the Research and Project Skills module and the Engaging the Modern World: The Civic Researcher optional module. These two modules included volunteering and working with organisations, respectively. I was not expecting these aspects and I was very pleasantly surprised and grateful to be taken out of my comfort zone. I would highly recommend both modules for the practical skills they gave me and the friendships and network opportunities that came from doing the modules.
What would you say about the learning facilities at the University of Leeds?
There are great on-campus facilities, especially the four on-campus libraries. I mainly enjoyed using Edward Boyle Library because I was able to book individual study spaces which allowed me to work without any distraction and feel safe especially during the pandemic. The online lectures were also easy to join and participate in. It was clear the university put great care in making sure even distanced learning was easy to do and as beneficial as in person learning.
How do you find the student support from the School?
I felt supported by the School especially in instances where I needed support in my assessments. My emails were responded to quickly and in all cases I was supported from the beginning to the end of whatever issue I was facing.
What other activities are available for students to take part in outside of their studies and which ones have you tried out yourself?
When I first arrived in Leeds, I enjoyed many of the tester sessions offered by the Leeds University Union. I attended some held by the Board Games Society, the e-sports society, the open mic night and the Get Out, Get Active. My favourite was the hike to Ilkley organised by Get Out, Get Active. I made a lot of friends and visited a town I may never have seen on my own. I also attended many sessions with the Board Games Society that I thoroughly enjoyed.
What do you think about Leeds as a city?
The city is very vibrant with a lot of students from the various universities in Leeds. I enjoyed the large variety of stores. I especially like how multi-cultural the city feels with food stores and restaurants from many countries. There’s also a lot to do with friends. I especially enjoyed the cat café and bowling. It was also very easy to set up as a new student because of how walkable most places in Leeds are.
What would you say to anyone thinking of applying to your course?
I would highly recommend the course. The staff are very friendly and very knowledgeable. My advice would be to take the modules you are most passionate about or interested in and feel welcome to express your opinions in seminars. From my experience and talking to my friends and peers, every module is well taught and has something to offer.
What do you plan to do once you’ve finished your course? What are you career aspirations?
My aim is to work as a Consultant in the field of development. I plan to further pursue my interest in research, development and economics, and may consider a PHD in the future.