I chose Essex because of its proximity to London. As an international student, I was wary of the struggles I would face fitting in and being in a different country. I wanted a space where I could feel supported while pursuing my goal of continued development as a theatre practitioner. Since coming to Essex, I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience here. Being an hour away from London really paid off when I was invited to join in the Introductory Playwriting Group hosted by the Royal Court Theatre. In addition to being able to experience London and everything it had to offer, I have found Colchester to be my home away from home. Many students work and continue to stay on in the town during and after their studies, providing a tight community of people who go on to invest in the arts here.
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I was converting to psychology from a different discipline. Essex offered a BPS-accredited conversion master’s programme, which suited my requirements. In addition, the Department of Psychology had a strong research profile and diverse staff research interests. This was important as I wanted to gain a broad base of knowledge before deciding what to continue on to after doing the masters course. Essex also had a good sporting culture, which was important to me. I was particularly fascinated by the optional module, Special Topics in Social Psychology. This module gave us the chance to lead seminars and created an excellent environment for discussion of the current directions in the social psychology field. It was in doing this module as well that I encountered and developed the framework for my current PhD studies.
I loved the campus - it's such an inspiring and friendly environment, with a truly international student population. Learning with and from people from all over the world gave me international exposure, which I really believe has helped my career. At Essex, I gained skills in software development, project management, and IT solutions architecture, and now, after working my way up from software developer to a Business Information Security Officer for Bank of America Merrill Lynch, I can fully appreciate all of the opportunities I had at Essex to get where I am today.