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Global Development Institute

Natalie Collins

MSc International Development: Politics, Policy & Governance 2016

Why and how did you choose to study at The University of Manchester? What prompted you to take on a Masters?

I am originally from Manchester and after years of living in different cities, home beckoned. I was attracted to the diversity Manchester offered, both in terms of the city and the University itself. After my bachelor's degree, I was itching to do something with a bit more of a practical application and felt drawn towards International Development due to its broad scope.  

How has your GDI qualification helped you in your career? 

Having a degree from a prestigious institution has definitely been an invaluable asset while working abroad, enabling me to get interviews at exciting organizations. In terms of work itself, the critical thinking that I developed as a student at GDI has allowed me to be more discerning with campaigns-planning, to ensure that the stories we're telling provide an insightful, nuanced and respectful narrative of the people within them.

What did you enjoy most about studying at Manchester?

The people - both the students and the staff! I had some amazing lecturers whose affirming influence has really stuck with me post-masters. I've also developed some really incredible friendships from the course where our conversations easily flow with between systemic sexism to our favourite holiday locations.

Do you have any tips or advice for current or prospective masters students?

My advice would be, know that you are worth more than any mark, grade or critical comment on your work. Stay curious - you are learning, which means it's not only okay but imperative, to make mistakes.