Anna Melenchuk (Ukraine)
Issued: Tue, 11 Aug 2020 15:29:00 BST
Anna Melenchuk (Ukraine)
Current employment: EU Policy Officer at ActionAid International, Research Fellow at German Marshall Fund, Board member at the Institute of Innovative Governance
Looking back, what were the highlights of your time as an International Master’s student on our programme?
I really loved that the program was dynamic, intensive but also allowed for individual learning. I spent a lot of time in libraries but also on doing internships at international organisations. This flexibility of the program positively influenced on my self-discipline and time management skills. One of the highlights I can think of were the regular meetings of our cohort in dormitories hosted by me and Tina Momtaz. We held such meetings on a weekly basis to prepare for seminars and discuss some readings together.
What aspects of the programme did you find challenging?
Academic writing was the most challenging aspect for me as I did not study in English before. Looking back, I am happy that I did my best to address this challenge and took a class on academic writing in Glasgow. And of course, I had 2 years of practice to improve it. As I am doing policy work in my professional life now, this skill is indispensable.
Do you have any advice for future students?
I would recommend to use your free time with maximum benefit for yourself and think strategically. It is important to reflect on possible career paths already in the beginning of the course and explore some internship, volunteering or even part-time job opportunities. During my first year at the University of Glasgow I was volunteering for the United Nations (remotely) and did an internship at British Red Cross in summer. Next year, when I moved to Tartu, I approached few human rights NGOs and offered some of my time to the development NGO ‘Mondo’.
In addition to learning and working, do not miss out on hanging out with your cohort and other students. The connections you make at Universities may stay with you forever.
Has the degree helped you in your professional life, since graduating?
I am always very proud to share that I managed to get two Master degrees in 2 years from such famous Universities. The degree played an important role during my first job interview at the United Nations office in Ukraine. International education and experience are highly appreciated by international organisations. When I was hired, my supervisor told me that the panel was impressed by my education background and it played an important role when the candidates were evaluated.
How successful have the other members of your cohort been in the job market?
I would say that our cohort followed very different career paths. Some of us ended up in Brussels doing advocacy with the EU institutions. Some continued working in academia and some joined business sector. As far as I know, everyone has a job and did not have problems with finding it. The degree equipped us with great knowledge, skills and languages which are popular in the job market.