Laura loves Durham

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­Name: Laura da Costa
Degree: BA Education Studies-English Studies;
MA Research Methods (Education)
Graduated: June 2009, January 2011
Nationality: Belgian
Current Status: PhD Candidate in Educational Research (Durham)

Before I came to Durham University, I had never been to England before. I keep trying to leave, but every year I find new reasons to stay at Durham. I initially came to Durham wanting to teach International Baccalaureate English to high school students in international schools. Over time, with my continued participation in different societies and activities, my interests and career ambitions have changed several times. Whether it be through careers fairs, company presentations, advice on interviews and assessment centres, or one-on-one chats with careers advisors, I have found support from the Careers Employability and Enterprise Centre at every step of the way. At a presentation they put on by a local market research consultancy, I made good contacts and obtained a part-time job. For over a year now, this continues to provide me with an understanding of how research at the commercial level is undertaken, and affords an interesting counterpoint to my own academic research. Importantly, I now know that after my PhD I have the options of staying on to do postdoctoral study (one more reason to stay!) or put my research skills to use in market or political and social trends research. I also know that if my career ambitions change once again, there are people at the Careers Centre who can help steer me in the right direction.

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