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Institute of Education

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Q&A with Ave Le Blanc

Ave is from Trinidad and Tobago and completed her MA in Education, Health Promotion and International Development in 2017.

What were your motivations and route to graduate study at UCL?
I love to learn and I always wanted to do my masters and my PhD. Before coming to UCL, I had completed an Associate’s Degree in Journalism/Public Relations and a Media and Communications BA.

Why did you apply to UCL for graduate study?
There was a wealth of funding options available. UCL also has a great reputation in academia.

What do you find interesting about your field of study and what inspires you?
My field of study is in health promotion and I am very much interested in the aspects of communication and advertising for health and social change. I love advertising and communication, and I love the idea of combining tactics of traditional marketing to enhance the delivery of vital information. 

I am inspired by the attention paid to health promotion in more economically developed countries. Unfortunately, it is difficult to attain a paid job in this field in Trinidad and Tobago, so the best practice approaches taken by other countries inspire me to work toward the development of evidence-based health promotion in my home country.

How do you think the system of learning and/or researching at UCL differs from that in your own country?
It was refreshing to have a tutor to guide us through each aspect of our dissertation, and on other module assessments. This is not fully provided at most of my home universities. 

Hanging sculptures of birds in flight in front of graduating students
What are your career plans?
My aim is to work for a health or social change agency in the UK. There, I hope to gain some experience in the field, and then implement these learnings in my home country.


What was the best thing about your course?
One of my course leaders. I felt motivated to better myself academically, and to also feel free to be open-minded and creative in my studies. 

If you receive funding either through a scholarship, award, studentship or bursary, how has it helped you achieve your aspirations and what impact has it had on your studies?
As a Commonwealth Shared Scholar, many activities were arranged for us to network. I would not have been able to do my graduate degree if I was not granted a Commonwealth Shared Scholarship. I always wanted to live in London, and do my graduate degree, so two of my aspirations were brought to reality. I felt as if my opportunities were limitless, and this filtered into my studies.

Did living in London benefit your studies?
It was an amazing experience living in London. It benefitted my studies in that I was granted the opportunity to learn about the experiences of so many people. This provided me with a multi-dimensional view of the world, which broadened my thoughts and enabled me to think more critically. 

Do you think studying at the UCL Institute of Education is a good investment?
Definitely!