Adviser with Energising Development, Rwanda (Applied Environmental Science and International Relations 2010)
I graduated with a degree in Applied Environmental Science and International Relations in 2010. I chose to study at Keele because I could study both a natural and social science at the same time. I did not find another university in Europe where I could study both environmental science and international relations/studies like I did at Keele. I have never regretted turning down my other university options and going to Keele.
I really enjoyed my undergraduate courses: lecturers adapted the courses to recent events and covered interesting topics with visiting experts. Dynamic members of staff were allowed to shape the course to improve student learning. Additionally, studying abroad for one semester gave me the opportunity to experience my subjects at Rhodes University in South Africa, where international development and Africa's international relations played a much larger role.
The summer after leaving Keele, I had the chance to work as an assistant to the UK representative at the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (who was also a professor at Keele at that time). I then continued with an M.Sc. in Sustainable Development at Uppsala University (Sweden) with another study abroad semester at the Graduate School of International Development at Nagoya University (Japan). After graduating from Uppsala, I started an internship in Manila (Philippines) with GIZ, the German Development Agency, followed by another GIZ internship in Frankfurt (Germany). In 2014 I started as a Junior Adviser at the multi-donor energy access programme Energising Development. The fact that I had both a natural science and social science background, and previous programming experience (from my informatics focus during high school in Romania) was a clear asset for my recruitment. In January 2015 I then moved to Rwanda to implement two projects on energy access as part of a DFID (UK Department for International Development) pilot under the Energising Development umbrella.