Guest Blog Post’s

My journey from an MSc Public Health and Promotion student to a Community Health Worker: The RGU experience

Most people can agree that the end of an undergraduate degree brings along an underlying feeling of uneasiness of what is going to come after student life ends. Questions like – ‘what job do I look for?’ ‘What do I actually want to do?’ arise.

I completed my undergraduate degree at RGU in Applied Sport and Exercise Science and it was through this course, and the placements that came along with it, I realised I had an interest in public health and health promotion. I became aware that RGU offered an MSc in Public Health and Health Promotion and decided this was the next step I wanted to take towards gaining my dream career.

Graduation 1

Since completing my MSc in Public Health and Health Promotion, I have been lucky enough to secure a full-time job as a Community Health Worker with Aberdeen City Health and Social Care Partnership. The job allows me to be involved in various activities making my everyday very interesting and challenging. It can be a little difficult to explain an average day for me – one day I could be assisting a group at a community kitchen to learn food skills, promote the importance of nutrition and discuss how best how to eat on a budget – the next I could be out on a health walk signposting participants to various other groups which may help to reduce social isolation, increase physical activity or just be something of interest to them. The day after I could be in a meeting with community members, colleagues and partners to discuss the start up of a new health and wellbeing initiative through the Health Improvement Fund at a Community Centre and it goes on like that.

The MSc Public Health and Health Promotion course was great in providing me with theory, knowledge and skills to make my hope of working within this sector a reality. The first semester introduced the basic (but still complex) principles of Public Health and Health Promotion with a focus upon Health Inequalities. As I now work within a community setting, I often come face-to-face with these inequalities, allowing me to recognise how the theory fits into practice.

The course also focused upon challenges (which there can be many!) and approaches to address population health. There was an insight into health at all levels; global right down to community. Despite the year flying by and sometimes feeling like there was not enough time to do anything – assignment stress always crept up quickly.

The MSc helped to equip me with a wealth of knowledge and skills which can be transferred into real life. I was lucky enough to be in a diverse class with students from Africa, Singapore, and other parts of UK. It was amazing to hear how everyone could relate to the theory and case studies so differently due to the variation in life and work experiences. This also helped to consolidate that everyone will experience situations differently due to social determinants and past experience.

I would really recommend for anyone who has an interest in public health and/or health promotion to study at RGU. Not only does it have a beautiful campus, but also such supportive lecturers who are always happy to help. They helped to make the year such a positive experience through interactive teaching methods and the sharing of their own professional experiences. I couldn’t be more pleased with my choice to continue my studies at RGU by completing the MSc Public Health and Health Promotion and could not recommend it enough!
Suzanne Thomson.

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

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

It was my final year of B. A 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, I wanted to pursue my love for Journalism, and I wanted to 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 Statement of Purposes (SOP), 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 to the MSc Journalism programme and when I received my conditional offer after a few weeks, I was ecstatic.

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.

Swetha 1
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.

Swetha_2

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.

Swetha 3

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

RGU Go Green

As a student of RGU I have had the privilege of being a part of so many beneficial organisations, societies, students groups and events. RGU is amazing in supporting these activities that allow their students to grow and develop through learning new skills, socialising and by having some fun.

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Leon – My decision to study at RGU

Hi I’m Leon! I am currently a sixth year student at Cults Academy in Aberdeen. Like many, I am  going through the stage in my life where I ‘m required to decide what I’m going to do with myself after I leave secondary school.. It can be an extremely exciting time in someone’s life or very daunting. This may be due to the fact that many young adults may feel unprepared to make the transition from school to university, or they may simply may not have a clue on what they want to study and where they want to go in life. This was most definitely the case with me.

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Sarah’s BA (Hons) Journalism Experience

Journalism to me is about making an impact on this world. It is thrilling, addictive and never fails to get my heart rate up. Journalism is being a part of something that could be history and could change the world, a life, many or none. Journalism is for those who want every day to be different to the next and not know what each day will hold.

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Jo MacSween’s Top 5 Tips for Success in Business and Beyond

Jo MacSween, former Managing Director of MacSween Haggis and RGU graduate has innovated and inspired throughout her career. Unafraid to be bold and take up space, she led her family’s business to fresh new grounds on numerous occasions.

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Hospitality Industry Trust (HIT) Scotland Conference 2019

My name is Sophie and I am a 4th year International Hospitality Management student at RGU. I was lucky enough to attend the Hospitality Industry Trust (HIT) Scotland conference recently which was such an inspiring day!

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Nuart and Painted Doors Aberdeen

If you live in Aberdeen you probably can’t help but notice the art that has appeared on our buildings and doors the past couple of years. If you haven’t, this is a great chance for you to go exploring in Aberdeen to find the various pieces produced by Nuart and Painted Doors ABDN. So take your camera and get exploring!  (more…)

My time in Antarctica

Hi there, I am Harry, a third-year Law student at RGU. During this winter holiday, I was offered the opportunity to support the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust and travel to Antarctica.  After 16 hours of flying and seven days of sailing, I finally reached the Antarctic Peninsula. (more…)