Many students have passed through Kent but what are they up to now? In the After Kent series, we talk to Valeria Minisini about her journey After Kent. Valeria studied a BA (Hons) in Politics and International Relations as well as an MA in International Relations with International Law between 2014 to 2019.
What do you miss the most about studying Politics at Kent?
There are so many things I miss about studying Politics at Kent – from being surrounded by an international community of students and academics to having the opportunity to network with leading figures in the world of international relations and conflict analysis. Studying at Kent enabled me to discover what I was enthusiastic about and build a set of skills required to pursue my chosen career path. I’m grateful for the support I received across both my BA and MA degrees!
What are you up to now?
I have recently started working as a Research, Advisory and Policy Assistant at Conciliation Resources, an international peacebuilding NGO working in countries such as Ethiopia, Papua New Guinea and the Central African Republic. My role involves providing technical and administrative support to senior staff members specifically on themes such as gender and mediation.
How has studying Politics at Kent prepared you for the future/current position?
During my MA, I had the opportunity to intern at the Conflict Analysis Research Centre at the University of Kent, which inspired me to plan for a career in peacebuilding and conflict prevention. I had completed a few modules focusing on these areas during both my BA and MA but was keen to put my knowledge into practice and the internship gave me exactly that. I came across names of renowned academics in the field who I now see mentioned in many of Conciliation Resources’ publications.
What advice would you give potential/current Politics students?
Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone – joining societies (either academic or community action groups) are a good way to interact with people who share the same interests as you as well as be a part of something amazing. If you’re looking to kick off your career in the charity sector, for example, volunteering is a good place to start as it will show your interest in the sector to a potential employer.
What do you plan to do in the future?
At the moment, I see myself hoping to stay within the peacebuilding/conflict prevention space either in a policy or research-focused role with an international organisation/NGO. I’m keen to continue building a portfolio of skills needed to progress my career in this space over the next few years.
IIf you are a POLIR alumni and studied either an undergraduate, postgraduate or PhD degree with us and would like to share your story, contact us, we would love to hear from you!