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Class of 2020: Holly Worrall

We’re so proud of our class of 2020. They've overcome enormous challenges to graduate, but at the same time they've been determined to make a difference - helping others, grasping opportunities to develop their skills and showing their Essex Spirit in so many different ways. Now we're taking the chance to celebrate their achievements.

  • Date

    Wed 22 Jul 20

Holly Worrall, wearing a black top and standing against a white wall

Holly Worrall, who was drawn to Essex for its international community, is already using her degree to advance space exploration in an internship focused on preparing teams for missions to suborbital space, Mars, the Moon and beyond.

BA Global Studies was the obvious degree choice for Holly, who had lived in five different countries before enrolling at Essex: “Being exposed to such a diverse range of perspectives made me realise that a number of global issues could be and needed to be solved cross-culturally,” said Holly.

In June she started a six-month internship at Advancing X, an organisation which works to improve team design, efficiency, performance and cohesion. Holly supports candidates taking part in the Career Astronaut Competition which allows individuals and teams to take part in a competitive training process undertaking challenges in extreme environments which prepare them for space travel.

Her role also involves collaborating with the International Space Station National Lab which, working with NASA, aims to advance research not possible on Earth.

The biggest challenge of her internship is working remotely across different time zones: “You really have to keep on top of things and coordinate with people effectively,” she said.

“You have to work on building rapport via a screen or through emails which means you have to focus on speaking clearly, coming across as enthusiastic and doing anything you say that you are going to do.”

It’s an experience she believes is giving her valuable opportunities that will help her in the future: “I am being introduced to people across the globe which has opened up a number of opportunities.

“Working with Advancing X also gives insight into a company which is at the forefront of the space industry, being able to work for them allows you to see how a fast-paced business environment really works,” she said.

Holly, who plans to complete an MSc Science Communication and train as an astrosociologist, had this advice for students joining Essex: “Ask questions, not only if you don’t understand some of the content but when approaching any essays look for the next step. For example, don’t just answer the question, go beyond what the question is asking of you and try to find something extra.”