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MSc International Relations of the Americas
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Alumni (and current students!) success stories

Daria Chetverikova, MSc Globalisation and Latin American Development, 2013-2014

D Chetverikova

Having gone to Latin America as an undergraduate student, I have developed a profound interest and passion for the region. Globalisation and Latin American Development was a fantastic course that permitted me to develop a wider knowledge about political, social, economic and historical aspects of Latin America and the Caribbean as a whole, while focusing on my main countries of interest, Argentina and Brazil.

Since finishing my MSc, I have joined Accenture, who are a global management and technology consulting firm. I now work within the Health & Public Service sector at Accenture and I am the core team analyst for the Developing Public Service for the Future programme. Delivering Public Service for the Future programme is focused on the strategic development of public services globally. My role is focused on developing the future of public services across Europe, Africa and Latin America. I feel that my MSc course equipped me with invaluable research and analytical skills. The knowledge gained on the course has helped me to “stand out from the crowd” in the interview process and my every day work. Having done dissertation research on contemporary social and political situations in Argentina and Brazil, it is now very exciting to work within a programme that is directly aimed at the strategic improvement of the public sector globally. My day to day work varies from collaborating with our international team based globally on an array of projects to attending and organising C-level summits and conferences across Europe.

I am very grateful for the opportunities I have been offered at the Institute and I would strongly recommend MSc Globalisation and Latin American Development to future students.

Lorna Corbett, MA Latin American Studies, 2012-2013

Lorna Corbett

Having worked for several years in Financial Services, I had been looking to change career for some time and the Institute of the Americas stood out as the ideal place for me to start on this new career path.

For several years prior to the Masters I had had a growing interest in the wine trade, particularly South American wines, and I decided to combine this passion with my studies and look at what is a fairly unique industry in Latin America, a region that relies heavily economically on raw materials and commodities. I was able to spend time in Argentina and Chile speaking with leading industry experts and winemakers, learning first-hand about the economic, political and commercial challenges they face and what strategies they have for tackling these. This experience, along with some professional wine qualifications, has directly resulted in my gaining my first job in the wine industry, starting in a role that I may not otherwise have been considered for given the extremely competitive nature of the sector.

My MA in Latin American Studies gave me a whole host of new experiences and in-depth knowledge and understanding of a complex and increasingly important world region. I have finally combined my interests in a new career – wine, Latin America and speaking Spanish! I am currently working for a leading wine merchant in London, working with South American suppliers almost daily as well as using my business analysis skills gained in my previous career. The suppliers appreciate being able to communicate in their own language as well as my understanding of the range of challenges they face, particularly in Argentina, and I use this to help improve our working relationship. I still see contacts from my dissertation fieldwork at trade fairs and it’s great to be able to get the latest news on the Chile and Argentina each time I see them.

The course has been the launch pad to an exciting new career but has also been a great personal experience, learning from inspiring tutors in a fantastic environment.

Jameela Raymond, MSc Globalisation and Latin American Development, 2013-2015

Jameela Raymond

I chose the MSc Globalisation and Development in Latin America, because I wanted to see how Latin America’s experiences aligned with the rest of global history and I’ve always been interested in issues of underdevelopment and how to approach the problems that underpin it. When applying for the MSc I made an early decision to carry out the course part-time (over 2 years rather than 1); the Masters was more than another qualification, and I was determined to finish the course with an income and some practical work experience to move forward with my career.

I secured a Research and Projects Internship at Transparency International UK (the UK chapter of Transparency International-TI) in March 2014. Transparency International (TI) is a global anti-corruption coalition and functions as a bottom-up movement, with people on the front lines of corruption (in all of its various forms) tackling it through methods most appropriate to their country. The internship varied day to day: I met with ambassadors and diplomats, wrote submissions to parliaments, investigated allegations of grand corruption, engaged with other NGOs and CSOs, and so much more. After my internship I was invited to stay and help TI’s Defence and Security Programme with developing their 2015 Government Defence Anti-Corruption Index, which measures the anti-corruption efforts being made in defence, security and military sectors in 136 countries across the world. Now, I work on TI-UK’s Advocacy and Communications team, as the Public Engagement Officer. I work closely with a diverse mix of sectors and individuals, to broaden the impact of TI-UK’s research and encourage more people to get involved in the fight against corruption. Although balancing the job with the Masters is sometimes difficult, it’s definitely made easier by my genuine passion for the issues I work around.

If you’re interested in working for TI-UK, keep an eye out for employment opportunities here, or if you want to know more about how you can get involved non-professionally, feel free to contact me on jameela.raymond@transparency.org.uk.

Kim Waddle, MA in United States Studies, 2009-2010

Kim Waddle at BBC Sports

After studying History at undergraduate level at the University of Sheffield from 2006-09, I came to ISA [as the UCL-Institute of the Americas was then known] to study for an MA in United States Studies. This included the year-long American Film Studies course at UCL. During my degree and after graduating I worked in fashion retail and finally made the step up to a graduate job in 2011, working in PR and Marketing for a cosmetics brand. I moved onto another marketing role before applying to the Journalism Trainee Scheme at the BBC. After a rigorous application and interview process I was chosen to be one of 12 trainees, beating off stiff competition from some 4,000 applicants to become the only sport trainee in the country. In my year as a trainee I worked across Sport online, on 5 live, and in TV Sport News where I have since found a role as an Assistant Producer. You may hear my voice on the News Channel sport bulletins now and then, and I've even had one of my reports on the ten o'clock news.

I got my chance by bringing something different. The BBC is striving to employ a wider breadth of people these days to reflect their audiences, particularly in news, so the fact that I didn't just have a journalism degree and I'd gained real life and work experience were qualities they were looking for. The historical and political nature of my MA has stood me in great stead in a news environment, and the analytical skills I gained at the Institute are critical to my journalism everyday.

Find out more about the trainee scheme (and watch a slightly embarrassing video of my year as a trainee!) here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/careers/trainee-schemes-and-apprenticeships/journalism/jts