Our graduates follow a wide variety of career paths after leaving Essex.
These profiles give you an idea of why students choose to study with us and
some of the career paths you may be able to follow.
The Right Honourable Dr John Bercow MP, and Speaker of the House of
Commons, reflects on his time at Essex including his first girlfriend,
political protest and his memories of the Towers and our grounds.
Rt Hon Dr John Bercow MP, Essex graduate and Speaker of the House of Commons
from University of Essex on
Soeren Henn, BA Politics, Oscar Arias Prize winner
In this video Soeren tells us what he enjoyed about studying with the
Department of Government at Essex. He explains how the strength of the
department is recognised at other Universities abroad, which has helped him
secure a place at Harvard University to study for a PhD in Political
Politics at Essex: Soeren from
University of Essex on Vimeo.
Marek Hanusch, BA Economics and Politics
Marek Hanusch, Economist at The
World Bank, Washington, DC
Marek completed his undergraduate studies in economics and politics at
Essex and his doctorate at Oxford. He is the founder of
MUNEX, the Essex Model UN Society. He now works for the World Bank,
where he is responsible for macroeconomic monitoring, lending operations,
policy analysis, and dialogue with the authorities in two West African
"What Essex taught me, in class and on campus, has given me
strong foundations to pursue what I am passionate about
professionally and the friendships I forged have lasted over
Melanie Lim Kwet Oy, BA International Relations
I chose to study at Essex due to the large number of international
students; I knew I would fit in and make friends from living on campus. The
wide range of academic and social facilities enables you to settle and
adjust to your new surroundings easily. The Department is internationally
recognised and I knew I would receive an education of outstanding quality.
My lecturers are at the forefront of the latest developments in political
research and are passionate about their subject areas. This inspired and
motivated me to work harder and achieve more in my time here. The
introductory modules in the first year are fantastic at providing a strong,
theoretical foundation for further study; this helped me get to grips with
new and complex ideas as my course progressed.
Being a member of different societies is a great way to meet new people
and I would encourage everybody to get involved with campus life as much as
possible. Being an Essex student is a unique experience that I am proud to
have been part of.
Lucy Smart, BA Politics and International Relations
Shortly after ﬁnishing her course, Lucy trained to be a neighbourhood
response police ofﬁcer. She now works for an investigative unit, which is
involved with criminal investigations.
I chose to study at Essex because the Department of Government was so
highly rated in the league tables. The reputation of several of the
lecturers was also a key factor in helping to reaffirm my decision.
Academically, I found settling into the University fairly easy. Most of the
modules I took were introductions to the different areas of study, so
provided a solid foundation for the next two years of my course. I was also
struck by the friendly atmosphere at the Colchester Campus.
I feel that, without having had the experience of university, I would not
have gained the confidence or the skills that are now necessary for my
career. My dissertation particularly taught me the discipline of self
motivation and confirmed that I needed to pursue a career I would be
passionate about. I loved my time at Essex and have so many great memories;
I wish I could go back and do it all again!
Ben Wright, BA Politics
Ben Wright, Political Consultant,
Why did you choose to study at Essex?
I was born and raised in Colchester, so studying at my local university was
a natural choice to some extent as I knew the area, the campus and Essex’s
excellent reputation, particularly in social sciences.
What did you do after leaving university?
I interned in the parliamentary office of Liberal Democrat MP Adrian
How relevant is your degree to your current role?
Extremely – it was the perfect academic grounding.
What steps did you take to secure your first job?
I distinctly remember sitting at home over the Christmas holiday and
spending hours writing, printing and stuffing letters into envelopes asking
for work experience with every single Liberal Democrat MP.
What do you find most enjoyable about your job?
I never lose sight of how lucky I am to be doing something I love, putting
into practice my skills and experience and meeting interesting people at the
centre of UK politics.
What tips would you give to students who are starting their
Get in early, try to build up contacts in the field you want to go into and
stand out from the crowd.
What are the best memories of your time at Essex?
The seminars. I found my courses academically engaging and was very aware
that I had a great opportunity to learn from some of the best people in
"Going to Essex was life changing. My career since leaving Essex
has all been a result of the experiences and skills I had
whilst at university."
James T Fowler, BA Politics, Philosophy and Economics
My position with ASDA is as part of the customer data analysis team -
this entails monitoring online sales data (particularly with promotions) and
creating marketing strategies based on our findings as well as the odd
When I went for the interview, the team seemed rather bewildered that a
PPE student would be applying for the position, considering the data heavy
nature of the position. However, the team were really impressed by the
quantitative analysis skills I had learned at Essex, as well as the
inquiring mind which all students from the government department are sure to
What also really helped me get the position was my experience with ICM
Research in the summer of 2013. Not only did it develop the skills I had
been learning at Essex, but it helped me understand the wide options in
front of me with a PPE degree, i.e. I don't have to be a civil servant! I
feel my employment experience so far though can be put down entirely to the
skills learned at Essex, as well as the excellent support offered by the
Krish Odedra, BA Politics, Philosophy and Economics, MA
Global and Comparative Politics
Krish Odedra, Communications Executive,
What was good about your course at Essex?
My course provided a solid understanding of different political systems and
how to interpret political issues and events. It also helped me acquire many
useful transferable skills including the ability to research, source and
examine information thoroughly.
What did you do after leaving Essex?
I stayed at Essex to do a masters but after I finished I moved to London and
worked as a Parliamentary Researcher and Assistant in the House of Lords,
with the Rt Hon Lord Pendry. In February 2012 I started my role at Vizeum.
Which organisation do you work for now?
I work at Vizeum as a Communications Executive, which is part of the wider
Aegis Group that provides media and digital communications services.
How relevant is your course to your current role?
My course is extremely relevant to my current role except I now look at
consumers and consumer behaviour rather than voters. I still use my
analytical and research skills gained from my course.
What other skills and experiences did you gain at Essex that have
I met so many people from different countries and cultures, both lecturers
and students, which was an amazing experience and has helped me since
leaving university. I learnt so much from other people, which was an
invaluable part of being at Essex.
What do you find most enjoyable about your job?
I really enjoy meeting new people and building relationships, which is a
central part of my role. I use my skills to plan media campaigns and work
with clients to achieve their goals. The research in the company is on-going
and we consistently have new data that allows us to see changes in consumer
behaviour, which is fascinating.
What tips would you give to students who are starting their
Essex is a wonderful place to build lasting friendships and strong
foundations for your future. I would say in order to get the most out of
your time at Essex, put in as much as you can and get involved. There is so
much to do and so little time – three years will fly by!
Tugce Ercetin, MA Political Science
I believe that learners need to
find an opportunity to meet with different perceptions, values, cultures and ideas.
In this sense, learners should focus on different areas for studying that broadens
and shapes our rooted or constructed worldviews.
I decided to study this course because I was studying international relations and
wanted to focus on more domestic issues, learning quantitative methods.
All my professors had an open door when I needed to consult and that
provided an understanding and motivation to stay in academia when struggling with difficulties.
Marte Mellerud, MA Conflict Resolution
The course was very interesting and forced students to critically study and evaluate
conflicts and conflict dynamics at the individial, group and state level. The course also gave me valuable methodical
techniques for evaluating different conflict types, both individually and in groups.
After I graduated in 2013, I have in my career experienced that employers have been interested in,
and find my academic background valuable, because of this course.
I can highly recommend MA Conflict Resolution for students that are interested in international relations and conflict dynamics.
Elio Amicarelli, MSc Conflict Resolution
Studying Conflict Resolution at the University of Essex is an incredibly valuable and formative experience.
The substantive modules are designed and taught by leading researchers in their field while the rigor of the
methodological modules is unparalleled within the social sciences.
The teaching staff are extremely approachable
and will always encourage and guide you in developing your research ideas. In addition, during my studies I had the opportunity to participate in a paid
placement scheme and to obtain a contract as research assistant in the departments of Economics and Government respectively.
Thanks to this unique blend, over time I have worked in different research and analytical roles in both the academic and extra-academic
sector and successfully completed a degree in Applied Statistics.
I cannot think of a better place than the University of Essex for a social scientist to start their career.
Jessica Di Salvatore, MSc Conflict Resolution
After a Bachelor Degree in International Relations, I was looking for a
masters degree that combined in-depth study of conflict dynamics with rigorous research methods training.
The MSc Conflict Resolution at the University of Essex meets both conditions. While I was aware of its internationally
recognized excellence in conflict studies, my experience exceeded my expectations.
The teaching staff is very engaged with the subjects, which in turn makes student more enthusiast and active in class.
I also really enjoyed how some courses incorporated more policy and decision-making components. I often think of Essex as a turning-point for my personal and academic development.
Andrew Tchie, MSc Conflict Resolution
I decided to study at Essex because of the attraction to real research,
the departments reputation and the fact that it was the best in the UK for research.
I also love that that department had done amazing work on human rights and conflict studies.
I chose this course because as someone with experience, I wanted to focus my existing skills
but also gain new skills for the job market.
Joe Greenwood, MA Political Behaviour, PhD Government
Choosing Essex was easy; the reputation of the Department of Government
is excellent and the range of available modules is impressive. MA
Political Behaviour was challenging, fascinating and thought-provoking;
the core module was always absorbing and I enjoyed every seminar. The module
Theory and Explanation in Political Science was also a real eye-opener,
reintroducing me to knowledge and understanding that I will value and
remember for many years to come.
I knew when I started at Essex that I wanted to keep the option of
further study open and, thanks to the excellent training that I received,
I'm now undertaking research in an area that I've been interested in for
years. The academic staff are great teachers as well as leaders in their
fields, whilst the administrative and support staff are friendly and
helpful, making studying at Essex easy and rewarding. I've been impressed by
the Department every step of the way and can't recommend it highly enough.
Steffen Weiss, PhD Government
Weiss, Director of Panel Analytics at
YouGov, Palo Alto
Steffen’s responsibilities include statistical analysis of the
operational data from polling and surveys, design and execution of analyses
for internal and external research projects covering areas of marketing,
financial, and political problems. The types of analysis include evaluating
panel participation, analyzing nonresponse to survey questions, and
accounting for survey data through weighting, imputation, and matching.
Nils Metternich, PhD Government
Nils Metternich, Lecturer, University College London
Nils received his PhD from Essex in January 2011 and is now Lecturer in
International Relations at UCL. His research focuses on the strategic nature
of international and civil conflicts and the prediction of their dynamics.
His work has been published in the American Journal of Political Science,
Journal of Conflict Resolution, Journal of Peace Research, and World
"If you are committed to excellent research and want to open
academic doors instead of closing them on yourself, this is
a great place!"
Iannis Konstantinidis, PhD Government
Iannis Konstantinidis is currently Assistant Professor in Political Behaviour
and Political Research Methodology in the Department of International and
European Studies, University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki, and Co-ordinator of the
University of Macedonia’s Public Opinion Research Unit (PORI).
“Essex accounts for my professional life to the full. Although I did have
quantitative skills when I came here, I had no clue how these skills could
be put into practice to solidly explain electoral choices. Blending
theoretical models with empirical knowledge has been a fascinating
experience and this is certainly what studying politics at Essex is about.
Making sense of numbers! I could have hardly done so, had I not been at
Essex. It's the people, the opportunities to talk about models even during
the summer (thanks to the Summer School). You certainly need to spend many
hours to get these skills!
I do not exaggerate when I say that among the Greek academia, it is
pretty much admitted that someone has to spend at least a year at Essex,
if he or she is to be regarded as an electoral analyst.”
He gained an MA in Quantitative Political Science from Essex and went on to
do his PhD in the Department of Government.