The Bartlett Development Planning Unit


Ruoxiao Song

Ruoxiao Song
I enrolled at UED in 2017 after receiving my Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from Wuhan University. My main reason for applying for this programme was my keen interest in learning how to promote social justice in the context of rapid urbanization. Since I also minored in Business Administration during my undergraduate studies, I found UED to be the most suitable institution for me to deepen my understanding of economic issues through a developmental lens.

UED’s programme was skilfully designed to provide me with both theoretical knowledge and opportunities to put what I have learned into practice. For example, the module ‘An Introduction to Public Economics and Public Policy’ covered the fundamentals of microeconomics, typical market failures and effective governmental interventions. The module ‘Managing the City Economy’ elaborated on the various components and dynamics of urban economies with abundant case studies. Members of UED’s alumni also highlight the fact that this programme exposed students to practical opportunities. As part of our London project, our team researched the creative industry in Old Park and Park Royal. Apart from enhancing my academic skills, this project also allowed me to experience and explore London – one of the greatest and most dynamic cities in the world. Another field trip to Peru also served to improve my research skills and provided me with a unique cross-cultural experience which has proven to be highly valued by multinational organizations.

The programme’s dissertation was also a fascinating experience for me, allowing me to learn how to conduct a systematic and comprehensive research project. My supervisor, Dr. Colin Marx, tirelessly offered his guidance and support throughout the entire process. From drafting the outline to identifying the methodology, he guided and assisted me in every way he could.

On my last day in London, I received an internship offer with the UNDP Bangkok Regional Hub. This was the perfect ending to my postgraduate studies at UED, and I did not realize that it would also mark the start of my future career path and a great adventure.

At the UNDP BRH, I interned with the Youth Team, which may not seem to be directly related to UED. However, during this internship, I found that I was able to apply several skills which I had learned from UED to complete my assignments, such as selecting the most suitable methodology, collecting data, reviewing the literature, and thinking critically. From my perspective, education is not only about learning theoretical information and acquiring practical skills, but also about learning how to learn. I believe that studying at UED has taught me how to learn, and this is something that will benefit me throughout my entire life. Following my internship, I was fortunate enough to secure a position as a consultant at UNDP.

Thinking back on my time at UED two years ago, I would say that UED met nearly all my expectations and opened the door for me to the wider world. I will always remain grateful to the faculty at UED and DPU for providing me with such an amazing learning experience.

Linkedin - https://www.linkedin.com/in/ruoxiao-song/