Our Alumni

Our graduates are now enjoying a wide range of interesting and rewarding careers around the world.

Examples of some of our students’ first and subsequent post-study career destinations can be found below:

Where are we now

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What is your background?

I grew up in Durham, North Carolina, before going to Northwestern University in Chicago for my undergraduate study.  While I was there, I started studying Russian and Czech language.  This led to an increasing interest in the Central and East European region, and I eventually graduated with a minor in Slavic Studies. After finishing school, I wanted to live abroad, so I first went to Georgia to teach English in a small town east of Tbilisi and then moved to Liberec, Czech Republic, to spend a year there as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant.  It was there that I discovered the IMRCEES programme, and the rest is history.

What is the best memory from the programme?

All of my best memories from the programme revolve around the friends that I made there.  I count them among my best friends in the world, as we all have this niche interest that not too many people share.  Looking back, my favorite memories mostly involve trips that we’ve taken together – to Istanbul, to Transylvania, to Moldova, to the Baltic States, or to Belarus for the hockey world championships, just for example.  Whenever we have reunions, I’m reminded of how wonderful it was having everyone in one place in Glasgow.

What are you doing now?

Now, I live in Prague, freelance writing and working in the educational department at the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes.  We develop history-teaching materials, and my specific focus is trying to help teach communist history to those whose countries did not experience it.  If you’d like an example of what we do, the website that we have been developing is called Socialism Realised: www.socialismrealised.eu

What advice would you give to our current students and applicants?

I have three pieces of advice – talk to everyone on your programme, because you may never be part of such an interesting and diverse group again.  Take every trip that comes your way, because you’re in the perfect position to enjoy them.  And explore Glasgow while you’re there – it may not have a communist past, but chances are you’ll end up somewhere else, so take advantage of all that it has to offer while you can.

What is your background?

Before enrolling on IMRCEES, I received a Master in Political Science at the University of Zagreb in Croatia.  I always joke that I am a poster girl for Erasmus, as in addition to Erasmus Mundus, I spent 5 months at the University of Wroclaw (Poland) as part of an Erasmus exchange programme and I worked for 5 months in Brussels as part of an Erasmus practice programme.  After graduating from IMRCEES, I did an internship at the European Commission, after which I started working as a consultant in Brussels.

What is the best memory from the programme?

There were so many good moments during the 2 years, that it is almost impossible to select the top 10 let alone to choose the best one.  I lived in three amazing cities, and I met so many people, many of whom became dear friends that I see still today.

What are you doing now?

After graduation, I worked for the European Commission, first as an intern and after as a interimaire, in the Montenegro Unit of the Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations.  I am currently working for Schuman Associates, a consultancy in Brussels that specializes in EU funding.  In my work I assist clients with the implementation of their funding strategies in External Aid Practice and Structural Funds Practice, with a special focus on markets in Croatia and Western Balkan countries.  I am also more and more involved in guiding clients through various other EU funds, like Horizon 2020, LIFE and Erasmus.

What advice would you give to our current students and applicants?

If possible study at various universities, join different clubs and initiatives, do a summer internship and try to connect with as many people as possible.  Once you start working, the experience and people you met through this two year programme will become invaluable.  Finally, relax and simply enjoy the experience, as it is really one of a kind.

I am a Finnish diplomat and I currently work at the Department of Communications at the Ministry of Affairs in Finland.  More specifically, I am the Deputy Director of the Europe and Neighbouring Areas Unit and my work focuses largely on Belarus, the Caucasus, Central Asia, Russia and Ukraine.  Before joining the foreign service, I worked in a small NGO in Washington D.C. whose work was centred on interreligious dialogue, conflict resolution and research on sectarian violence.  After graduating, I also completed a traineeship at the European External Action Service where I focused on the EUs Eastern Partnership initiative.

During my second year, I studied in Kazakhstan, conducted field research in Kyrgyzstan, continued my Russian classes and interned at Transparency International’s office in Almaty as well as the Finnish Embassy in Astana.  I believe the best part of the programme is the fact that it offers so many different avenues to gain experiences and hone one’s skill set, and of course prepare for the ‘real world’ after university.  In addition to improved research and networking skills, gaining expertise of Russia, Central Asia and Europe has benefited me in my current and previous jobs.  In fact, I believe my background in Russia and the countries of the former Soviet Union was a key reason why I was admitted to the  foreign service in the first place.  Moscow’s bolder foreign policy in the last few years has made it very clear that there will be a demand for experts on the region – especially if you are from a country that borders Russia.

What is your background?
I’m originally from Langley, which is a town in British Columbia, Canada. I received my undergraduate degree in International Studies from Simon Fraser University. For most of my studies, I’ve had a strong interest in the former Soviet Union and took all the courses related to that part of the world that I could while doing my Bachelor’s degree. I did a work exchange programme in Ukraine when I was 19, which peaked my interest, but was then drawn to Central Asia over the course of my studies and I focused on that region while at the University of Glasgow. Throughout all the school work, I knew I wanted to be a journalist and worked at my school paper in Canada and also edited and managed a now-defunct international affairs magazine for students called The Hidden Transcript, which the IMRCEES programme supported during my tenure in 2012-2014. During my second year in Kazakhstan, I freelanced and blogged for several media outlets while writing my thesis.

What is the best memory from the programme?
It’s hard to pick one moment. I made a lot of great friends during the progrmame and was able to travel, live and do research in several different countries. IMRCEES also funded me while I did an internship after my first year in Washington and that helped me get a sense for the city and build some ties that were useful after graduation when I was looking for work.

What are you doing now?
After graduation I was hired by Foreign Policy magazine in Washington D.C.  I started there as an editorial researcher, fact-checking articles, doing editorial tasks and blogging but was promoted over the years to editing and reporting. In addition to reporting in D.C., I also did reporting trips in Europe and Central Asia and was able to hone my skills as a journalist and truly get a sense of what it’s like to be part of a fast-paced and dynamic news organisation. I left Foreign Policy as an Associate Editor in August 2017 and currently live in Helsinki, Finland where I work as a freelance correspondent for several U.S. publications, like The Atlantic, Public Radio International, and Foreign Policy magazine. I currently cover Northern Europe, the Baltics, and Eastern Europe.

What advise would you give to our current students and applicants?
Work hard and take risks. The programme offers a lot of opportunities and other avenues for important experiences, skills and contacts that will come in handy, but it’s up to you to make it work. Enjoy the experience, make friends and roll with the sometimes stressful flow of coursework and your thesis, but don’t be shy about taking the initiative to get more out of the programme.

I’m a graduate from the EM IMRCEES’ first batch in 2012-14. I had previously studied Russia and the former Soviet Union at a graduate level through an MA at the University of Bologna, but I was looking for a more focused programme and a better chance to explore the region. Glasgow, and KIMEP during the second year, gave me that possibility. Plus, it “forced” me to explore Estonia and live through a Baltic summer for an internship, not a bad requirement! My fondest memories span from the initial “where are we?” moments that we lived together with our classmates, to the kindness of all the faculty and staff, be it in Scotland or in Kazakhstan. In Kazakhstan, I was noticed by the chief editor of a specialised newspaper, The Conway Bulletin, who hired me as a correspondent. I’ve been at the Bulletin ever since and moved up to be the Business News Editor at the newspaper’s headquarters in Edinburgh. So the Scottish adventure lives on! Prospective students will need to be prepared to study hard, especially on their own time. Picking a thesis topic early always helps, but know that professors are always there for any academic U-turns.