From Aberdeen to International Engagement - Sophia KaricSophia Karic

MA Anthropology & International Relations, 2020
From Aberdeen to International Engagement

Your Time at Aberdeen

Why did you choose to study at Aberdeen?
I could not renounce the brilliant opportunity magnanimously offered by the Scottish Government of an excellent, international, and free education. Looking back, I could not have made a better choice.

Why did you choose your particular course?
I have always been profoundly interested in and stimulated by anthropological phenomena, as well as by any international context. Thus, merging the study of Anthropology and International Relations in such a multicultural environment as the University of Aberdeen's campus seemed to be the perfect choice to me.

What did you most enjoy about your time at Aberdeen? Did you have any particularly memorable student experiences?
I truly enjoyed the multicultural environment which characterises Aberdeen's Campus, where I got the chance to meet people from all over the world, some of whom have become my closest friends.

What I miss the most from my experience in Aberdeen is being able to see them daily.

Additionally, the several positions in which I worked for the University of Aberdeen (namely, porter, catering assistant, cleaner, and student ambassador) have enriched my CV significantly, as well as my social networking and my professional skills.

Did you hold any student leadership roles, e.g. Class Rep, Club Treasurer, Social Convenor?
I held the position of Class Rep for my PIR Dissertation course in fourth year, which represented a great insight into the administrative side of academia.

If talking to a group of prospective students, what advice would you give them to help them make the most of their time at the University of Aberdeen?
I would warmly suggest to engage in as many activities on campus as they can, getting out of their comfort zone, especially linguistically. I would also invite them to check the Univerity's vacancies, in order to ideally get a job on campus which would greatly facilitate their engagement in the community. 

Did you undertake any co-curricular activities while at Aberdeen, e.g. Aberdeen Internships, Career Mentoring, STAR Award?
Yes, I did. I volunteered as a Career Service Student Ambassador, which greatly helped my understanding of the working market's demand, as well as different tactics which helped to render myself more attractive to employees.

If while at Aberdeen you took part in a foreign exchange, e.g. Erasmus or Study Abroad, where did you go and what did you do?
During my studies in Aberdeen, I had the great opportunity of enhancing my social and academic network beyond any expectation. I was offered the opportunity to attend a semester in UFV, BC - Canada, where I experienced an immense intellectual and interpersonal development.

Your Time After Aberdeen

What was the title of your first job after graduating from Aberdeen?
International Scholarships Officer at Politecnico di Milano, where I still work now.

What does your first role involve?
I accept, process and attend a commission which decides which international students are more entitled to obtain Governmental Scholarships.

What is your current role?
Communicating in different languages, checking documents and requirements, ensuring the merit of international students is rewarded.

Please briefly describe the journey from your first job after graduating to where you are now.
Three months before graduating in absentia in June 2020 due to Covid-19 I started job hunting, which led me to Politecnico di Milano. It was a truly stressful and upsetting period, but I am glad I got through it and obtained my dream job at POLIMI.

Was your degree at Aberdeen essential for getting to where you are now? If so, in what way?
Yes, it was. Additionally to my degree, the extensive work experience which I had developed on campus greatly enriched my profile, as well as my linguistic fluency in English, which represented a crucial element during my interview with Politecnico di Milano.

One Top Tip

Should you experience a period of unemployment, do not let it define you. Always try to remain patient and faithful.