Jess Waugh is a third year Politics and International Relations student at Manchester who participated on the Global Graduates programme and reflects on her recent travels to New York City.
I applied for the Global Graduates scheme as it seemed like a great experience. When looking further into the programme, I saw that it was only for those who were in receipt of the full student loan and bursary, so I decided to apply, as these opportunities aren’t always open to those without easy access to money. On my course I was unable to study abroad due to financial restrictions, so I viewed the Global Graduates scheme as an opportunity to travel and learn in a different country. I successfully gained an interview for the New York programme and looking back I thought I completely fluffed! Thankfully, I received an email mid-June that I had been offered a place and I began to get myself ready for the trip in August.
The schedule was busy; over 20 visits throughout the week including IBM, the United Nations and NBC (the National Broadcasting Channel). Most of the businesspeople we met were Manchester alumni, so it was really interesting to see their journey working abroad and what helped them get there. One of the highlights of my trip was meeting alumni Simon Jowett of FDM who told us about his journey from Manchester, getting used to work and life in New York and useful tips for our professional careers. He kindly arranged a tour for us of the New York Stock Exchange, which was such an amazing experience.
The impact of the Global Graduates programme was immediate for me – as soon as I got back to University I applied for work experience, internships and I got involved in the radio station which will help demonstrate the skills I’ve learned on my CV
I think one of the most important things I learned on the trip was the skill of networking, making sure you make contacts with whoever you meet as you never know how that might help you in the future. Although lecturers (especially in Politics) tell us this in university, I think actually being in a situation like this made me realise how important it actually is. Another thing I reflected on was how important experience actually is (yet another tip told to us in university and college). Since returning from the Global Graduates programme I have become more involved on campus, including being an active member in the Politics Society and the student radio station, as well as securing a summer internship. I feel that this experience has really helped with my confidence in a professional setting, and I am so grateful that this opportunity is available for students like me.
It was nice to also know that almost every person we met hadn’t got to where they were in a linear fashion. Choosing to study a non-vocational subject like Politics, it was so great to see that I shouldn’t be worrying if I don’t have a career path decided straight away.
New York City is a phenomenal city – the scale of it isn’t comparable to anywhere else I’ve ever been. Without the programme I doubt I would have been able to afford to go on my own, so it was really great to be able to experience a city of that size. Outside of visiting with alumni and various businesses, we were able to see a few of the sights. I managed to see an American Football game (the New York Giants), go to the top of the Empire State Building and Rockefeller Centre, walk most of Central Park and go to the Natural History Museum. It was just a really great environment to see and learn in and I hope in the future my career may take me there again.
The impact of the Global Graduates programme was immediate for me – as soon as I got back to University I applied for work experience, internships and I got involved in the radio station which will help demonstrate the skills I’ve learned on my CV. Thank you for this fantastic opportunity!