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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From MA in Education to Lecturer post

Name: Nguyen Thi Thu Huyen

Degree: MA Education

Graduation year: 2009

Nationality: Vietnamese

Employer: Ho Chi Minh City

University of Education, Vietnam

 I am really proud of being a graduate of Durham University – one of the oldest universities in the UK in one of the most beautiful cities with the famous Durham Cathedral. I received enthusiastic support from the lecturers and other staff in the School of Education and was able to settle down quickly and study effectively during my time at Durham. I had a chance to join all of the free English classes in the Language Centre of the University, which helped me to improve my English quickly. The Library in the School of Education was amazing and I could easily find all the required resources.

With the master’s degree and experience of studying in the UK, I quickly found a job back Vietnam. I have applied my new knowledge and skills in my work as a lecturer in my current role at Ho Chi Minh City University of Education. My students always ask me about living and studying in the UK and I am happy to promote Durham University to them. If I have a chance to return to Durham to study for my PhD I will not hesitate for a moment. It would be my dream come true.