Find out more about Dolores who is studying MSc International Public Policy Programme.
Why did you join UCL?
UCL is a world-class university with some of the world’s most brilliant minds both amongst the students and faculty. This shows in my MSc International Public Policy Programme, which offers a unique combination of both theoretical and practical courses regarding public policies, the actors which form them, and political institutions. Studying here allows me to focus in-depth on the issues which interest me most, including health-care reform in developing states and how changes affect marginalized groups, especially women.
What were your first impressions of the department?
My first impression of the Department of Political Science was that it is incredibly diverse! Our wealth is in the people which make up the department. There is such a range in the specializations of the academic staff, ranging from specializations on political behavior, to political theory, to terrorism, trade, and much more. What I found most exciting at first glance were the very many research centers, groups, and research projects the Department takes pride in. For example, the Predicting the Escalation of Conflict research project aims to predict the increase in conflict in states, focusing on elections, regime transitions and terrorism.
What is the rest of your cohort like?
The people from my cohort are brilliant! There are people coming from all sorts of different academic and professional backgrounds; people transitioning from studying different languages and even people who have already spent 15 years working as lawyers. We have so much to learn from each other and I hope there will be more chances to do so now that we are back from holidays.
What do you like best about your course so far?
What I like about the MSc in International Public Policy is that it is doing a great job of integrating research modules with theoretical and substantive modules. I think students have a great chance to get a solid grasp of both types of material, and the effort on part of professors to show the overlaps makes it much easier to create a coherent picture of what we have learned so far.
What have you enjoyed most in your time at UCL?
I have really appreciated the help I have received from UCL Careers! The Careers Fairs are an awesome way to get in touch with employers and learn more about working in the field. I have been able to land a part-time job with a London-based health care consultancy, which will be a great practical complement to my studies!
What do you consider your greatest achievement to date?
Working as a Programme Intern for UN Women was definitely the hardest experience I have had so far. Being able to learn quickly and adapt to a fast-paced and stressful environment has been very rewarding. I also feel a great sense of accomplishment with the work I produced there; an example includes an original piece of research regarding the cost-effectiveness of micro-loans to women’s economic empowerment NGOs in Central Asia and West Africa.
What is your favourite book?
Good question! I think it is hard for me to set out a favourite one, but if I really must, it is Ivo Andric’s The Bridge on the Drina. Andric received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1961 in part for this work, which is a phenomenal display of the everyday lives of citizens in what was a part of the Ottoman Empire.
What would your perfect day look like?
Simple. A walk on Hampstead Heath with some hot tea and cake to-go. There is a great bakery nearby, called Wolf and Bear; worth visiting early mornings before it gets busy.
If you could implement one policy in the world today, what would it be?
I would put more money in the hands of women in developing nations. We now have a substantial research background which tells us that all of society benefits when this happens.