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An interview with Shauna- a final year BA (Hons) Sociology and Anthropology student.

Hi Shauna, tell us about the Global Talent Programme (GTP) at BU. What is it all about?

For me the Global Talent Programme was an opportunity to engage with an original style of learning on top of my course and develop global heart, mind and skill sets, which are essential for the global workplace. GTP offers interactive employer-led workshops and many extracurricular activities and encouraged me to apply my knowledge in practice and on a global scale. I achieved my award by completing 3 digital badges.

How did you decide to join the GTP?

I wanted to make the most of my final year at Uni and gain experience without interfering with my course. I found about the GTP through the weekly BU Student email and it seemed like a good opportunity to network with interesting employers, academics and students and broaden my horizons outside of my field of studies. I decided to enrol and attend the first session and it turned out to be a wonderful experience.

Did you have any concerns about the GTP?

I did have my reservations at first, thinking, ‘Would this be for me? Would it be more business and less human centred, less useful for those studying Health and Social Sciences, perhaps?’… But actually, I am extremely glad I enrolled. There was a good balance between focus on business success and how to further the self in the business world, and on alternative, not-for-profit careers, organisations and social enterprises. All these world views helped to strengthen my opinions on global issues and my humanistic perspectives as well as my passion for my course (anthropology) which ultimately assisted my studies.

Was the programme relevant to your course of study and career plans?

The remarkable thing about GTP is the universal applicability of the skills gained.

The Global Employability aspect of the programme ensures the usefulness and adaptability of the skills in any career path. I found it relevant to my field, where the ability to successfully communicate across cultures and in a range of settings, ensuring clear understanding, sensitivity and refraining from imposing your own perspectives are vital.

The programme helped me to consider potential careers in international and sustainable development and reducing global inequalities and challenged me to become more adaptable to new and uncertain environments, using initiative and problem solving. Being thrown into situations where you may feel uncomfortable is bound to happen in the everyday life– therefore these skills are essential in becoming a global citizen.

What kind of activities did you do?

I attended the majority of the core workshops last year and wrote short reflections for each of them. They inspired me to consider different perspectives, careers and sectors and challenged my knowledge of the world and my own aspirations whilst growing my passion for making a difference.

In addition, there are practical activities to choose from and I engaged in various cultural and volunteering work. For example, as a member of the Reducetarian society I volunteered at campus events and organised charity bake sales to raise money for local animal shelters. I also helped to wrap gifts for the Christmas collection and assisted the homeless charity “hope for food” at soup kitchens. The activities however are not only centred on volunteering. There are endless ways to engage, utilising your interests and skills.

Through the GTP I was also able to enrol on the Summer School in Zaragoza, Spain. It was a fully funded opportunity to apply my learning from the past three years in practice while being immersed in a different culture. I engaged with mini anthropological and social research projects which aided final presentations for the global summit on sustainability!

Have you benefited by being part of this programme and how?

Definitely! I met so many interesting people, learnt new skills, engaged in new ways of learning and teaching. The talks from business professionals were extremely useful as this was not something which I experienced through my three-year course and was helpful to see how my academic learning could be applied to the world of work. And the Summer School in Spain was a great experience both academically and personally and I would not have found this opportunity if I wasn’t involved in the programme.

What are your personal highlights from the programme?

For me, the highlights of GTP derive mainly from the people I met and the community I very quickly became a part of, widening my circle of friends from other courses and faculties. I also experienced a diversity of speakers with innovative teaching styles, which assisted my studies-I learned new tools, resources and ways to approach learning.

What is your advice to your fellow students?

Take every opportunity that BU offers! I didn’t realise the extent this programme would help me progress. Looking back now I am delighted to have been a part of a wonderful experience, which has taught me so much that I would not have learnt on my course alone.

Thank you Shauna, we are sure you will make a success of your mission to make a difference! Keep us posted!

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