Alumni profile - Lotte Veale
If I could go back and do it all again, I would. I have gained so much knowledge in only one year and didn’t want it to end! It’s such a great place to study, and the course was faultless. If you’re unsure, don’t be – just do it.
What influenced your decision to study an MA in Development and Global Health at Queen Mary? Did you have a particular career path in mind? Before enrolling at Queen Mary, I knew that I wanted to pursue a career in International Development but was unsure of which pathway to take within this sector. The prospect of studying Global Health always intrigued me but was never something I had specialised in. So, I saw the chance to study Development and Global Health alongside each other as a great opportunity.
What aspects of your degree did you find most enjoyable? What modules did you enjoy learning about and was there anything that surprised you in your studies? Despite not specialising in Global Health prior to enrolling at Queen Mary, throughout my degree I leant mainly towards this field of study. I chose a mixture of both development and health optional modules, including; Critical Global Health Geographies, Researching Global Health and Biomedicine and Re-Theorizing Development. My passion and growing interest for Global Health led me to undertake my dissertation on COVID-19, by rethinking the pandemic from the perspective of the global South.
I particularly loved being able to tailor each module to my specific interests. Despite being taught a varied array of topics within each module, when deciding the specific title of each assessment, we were able to choose this ourselves and focus on niche subjects most relevant to our interests. I loved every module that I chose to study and wouldn’t change any of my choices. They were all excellently taught and extremely informative. I particularly loved being taught by ‘experts in the field’. For example, the teaching was divided up so that you were taught a particular topic by an academic who specialised in the subject of the module topic.
Nothing particularly surprised me, but my course definitely provided a platform where I was able to discover my growing interest for Global Health.
What was special about your time at Queen Mary? Can you give one or two examples of your most memorable moments or favourite places on campus? Meeting the people on my course was hands down the most special part for me. In addition to the top quality teaching and the chance to work with experts on topics I’m so passionate about; meeting a new group of people, all with the same interests, was so special.
I still vividly remember the first induction day and meeting my course mates for the first time, and writing this a year later, we are all closer than ever. In particular, a benefit of studying Development and Global Health is the diverse backgrounds of students which it brings together. I have therefore been fortunate enough to meet and develop relationships with such a wonderful group of people from all parts of the world.
During your time at Queen Mary, you worked as a Student Ambassador. What did this involve? Would you recommend the role to others? The Student Ambassador role generally involves working at open days and guiding prospective students on the experience of a Queen Mary student. However, I was lucky enough to be given the task of writing blogs for the School of Geography as one of their ‘postgraduate bloggers’. This was such a great opportunity as it allowed me to develop my writing skills whilst being paid at the same time! I would definitely recommend this role to anyone!
How did you find the transition from undergraduate to postgraduate studies? I think I spent more time worrying about this transition leading up to it, than I did even thinking about it whilst transitioning. It’s obviously a step up, but not to the extent that I expected. I would say the main difference is the amount of reading required for each seminar, but my one piece of advice would be – do it! Not only so you can do your best and achieve to a high standard, but it creates the most engaging and interesting seminars when everyone is able to discuss a topic in such depth.
Now that you’ve completed your masters, what are your hopes and plans for your career going forwards? Obviously the COVID-19 situation has halted a few of my plans, but my long-term goal is to secure a job in the health sector in London. I’m lucky enough to be temporarily working at an Estate Agents where I worked during my university summers. Whilst doing so I’m constantly applying for jobs in this sector or potential research posts on COVID-19. Given the nature of my degree subject, my goal would be to secure a job with international travel (post COVID!).
Looking back, how did your time and study at Queen Mary help prepare you for your career? The careers service at Queen Mary are great. I had a couple of appointments with them where they helped me tailor my CV for specific roles and also gave me general advice on the application process moving forward. The support from the geography department was amazing. Since handing in my dissertation I have continued to receive support and advice from my dissertation supervisor.
What would your advice be to students interested in studying Development and Global Health at Queen Mary? Do it. If I could go back and do it all again, I would. I have gained so much knowledge in only one year and didn’t want it to end! It’s such a great place to study, and the course was faultless. If you’re unsure, don’t be – just do it.
This profile was conducted by Alumni Engagement Coordinator, Nathalie Grey. If you would like to get in touch with Lotte or engage her in your work, please contact Nathalie at email@example.com.