Why did you choose to study at LSE and how did you choose which programme to study?
I chose to attend the LSE for many reasons - namely its global reputation, my passion for the social sciences, and my desire to attend a school with a diverse and multicultural student population. My experience was everything I imagined it would be, and was valuable beyond measure. I chose to study on the MPA programme as I sought a degree which would combine theoretical with practical knowledge, and allow me to arm myself with all the tools required to be successful in the ever-competitive job market. My capstone project alongside an NGO in Brussels at the end of my second year gave me the opportunity to put my classroom skills to the test in a real world context which was an incredibly rewarding experience.
How did you find the student experience at LSE?
While my two years at the LSE were, admittedly, two of the most challenging years of my life, they were also two of the most exciting and rewarding. Particularly in the MPA programme, my classmates became my second family; we developed a close relationship with each other and helped one another to work through the challenging times together. While the workloads were intense, we always found time to socialise and wind down after a long week. Living in London during my master's was an irreplaceable experience (hence why I chose to stay for work after graduation as well!). For those interested in policy and finance, the city acts as a 'living lab', giving students opportunities they couldn't have elsewhere.
Please describe your career path to date
Following graduation in July 2014, I was lucky enough to secure my first job in the following weeks, and I actually remain at the same company to this day. I work for a strategic communications consultancy in London focusing on government and public relations for a diverse client portfolio. I use knowledge that I garnered from the LSE every day at my job - whether it's helping to interpret the effect a new policy will have on a client, or to advise on a company's international political engagement strategy, my LSE degree follows me in my every day life at work. I am now undertaking Italian language classes on behalf of my company in order to build upon our services to our client base.
Tell us about your current job
My day-to-day responsibilities include the creation of policy briefs, multilingual media monitoring on behalf of clients (English, Spanish, Italian, French and Portuguese), and the development of key messages for deployment on behalf of our diverse clients. I further manage various government and public relations activities for clients in the areas of human rights, litigation, private sector development and economic diversification across the UK, the EU and Africa. The skills that my job required was fluency in a language other than English, a deep knowledge of international relations, and the ability to communicate effectively.
Why did you choose it?
I chose my current job as it combined many areas that I find incredibly intriguing and exciting - government relations, public policy and public relations. I also liked the fact that the company was quite small. This aspect allows me to have greater contact with the partners of the firm, and to undertake responsibilities and duties that I might not have the opportunity to do in larger firms. Further to this, the international and diverse client base of my company, which includes the London embassies of various countries, public entities in the MENA region, and publicly listed companies in the UK, is what drew me to the company as well. Working in such a well-rounded international firm has allowed me to expand my horizons on both a personal and professional level.
What advice do you have for LSE students who are looking to enter a similar profession to you?
If you are looking to enter the fields of consulting or government relations, do take the time to get to know the students around you. The incredible diversity at LSE, both culturally and socioeconomically, truly helped me to better understand the world, and the varying challenges that people face, which helps me to undertake more effective work on behalf of my clients each and every day. Take advantage of the university's many groups and societies as these will help enrich you to no end, and help to broaden your outlook on the world and the people in it.