A leap of faith: Doing a Master’s degree at RGU

If I were to describe my motivation to do postgraduate degree in one meme, it would be this!

Applying to RGU

It was my final year of BA Combined Humanities (History, Literature and Philosophy) and my coursework was piling up and so was the pressure to decide what to do next. Although I loved doing Humanities, I was unsure of what career prospects it would lead to.

Early months of January 2018 were slow, stressful and confusing; however, there were three things that I was absolutely sure of; I wanted to: move out of India, pursue my love for Journalism and land a job in the media field. More than a year later, it is safe to say that doing a Masters’ in Journalism at RGU has helped me move closer to my goals than ever before.

I woke up one day and began applying to universities across the globe, suddenly I had a purpose – I was writing up SOPs, getting references and recommendation letters, and looking up scholarships. RGU caught my attention because of their top graduate employment record and their scholarship opportunities for international students. In addition to all of this, getting to live in Scotland was a pure bonus. I applied for the MSc Journalism programme and when I received my conditional offer in a few weeks, I was ecstatic.

Receiving a Scholarship

With my conditional offer, I was eligible to apply to the Scotland’s Saltire Scholarship, a programme of scholarships offered by the Scottish Government in collaboration with Scottish universities for students from Canada, China, India, Japan, Pakistan and USA. I was highly intimidated by the competition and almost sure that I would not get it, but I always believed that a leap of faith is all it takes.

A few weeks later, I received a scholarship offer letter from RGU and suddenly everything fell into place. I was gearing up to move to Scotland – the move was tough, but I would not have it any other way; Aberdeen feels like home now.

For most international students, securing a scholarship is close to impossible. There is massive competition for a handful of scholarship awards and anyone that is applying is bound to feel nervous. But you are way more talented than what you think and if you make a genuine application, then you have good chances at securing it.

Beginning studies at RGU

The first semester of my programme was hectic – News Writing, Media Industries, Digital Journalism and Shorthand – I was learning so many new things and it felt great. My course instructors were of immense help and guided me every step of the way.

I read online and on boards across the university that RGU had strong industry contacts and would help with student employment but I never believed that it would manifest into reality for me. Guess what? It did.

Our course instructor shared with us an email from the editor of the Evening Express newspaper in Aberdeen – they were looking for a temporary news reporter to help out during Christmas. I put in my application and crossed my fingers for a positive result. I was called for an interview and once again, the universe proved to me that all I had to do was take a leap of faith.

I got the job and it was a paid position; honestly, it was a jackpot that I thought I’d never hit. Apart from the pay, the job was a hands-on industry experience that allowed me to practically apply all of my theoretical learning. Once I finished the job, I also treated myself to a backpacking trip to the Baltics and Finland.

Soon after, I did a placement with Scottish Field Magazine in Edinburgh and I also am a Student Ambassador with RGU’s Marketing team. None of this would have happened if I had not made the choice to study at RGU.

I will be graduating soon in December and the ‘what next?’ question is back once again. But hey, a leap of faith is all it takes right?

Swetha Akshita

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