Reflections from my year as a postgrad student

We have reached the end of what I’m told is summer term (it’s different for PG students, since we keep working through to September) and with it, the end of this blog. It’s been quite the journey, even before the disruption brought on by the coronavirus, and so I have some final thoughts to share.

On London

There is no doubt in my mind that coming to London was the right decision for my master’s degree. Beyond the practical reasons to leave the US—program length, cost, not having to take the GREs—London in particular has been a special place to me. I’m not sure how things will be in the future once the ramifications from the pandemic and Brexit fully take hold, but I am glad I had the chance to experience the theaters, food, green space, and museums here (and glad I came before age 26 to take advantage of many great deals for young adults). I also enjoyed getting out of the city every now and then for some great trips around the UK when I had the chance. I never did find a decent cheap pizza slice, but nowhere’s perfect.

On Environmental Technology

Despite having to constantly explain the “technology” part of the name to my friends and family, I have been quite satisfied with this program. This year seemed rather experimental for the department as they transitioned away from exams and towards groupwork, and there were definitely some teething pains that came with that. Still, I learned a lot, both about environmental issues and how they intersect, as well as general problem-solving. As mentioned previously, I loved my specialist option. Many of my favorite memories of the course were with GECP, from a group retreat to Windsor Great Park to negotiation exercises and discussions about Lord of the Rings characters. I am excited to join the course alumni network, which I have already seen firsthand is well-connected across a great number of environmental agencies and organizations.

On Imperial

I have been less than impressed with some aspects of Imperial, particularly communication with the College, which has been frustrating at best. However, there’s no denying that Imperial is a great academic institution. There is a lot of world-class work going on here and many resources, both academic and otherwise, for students to take advantage of (right now, I especially miss being able to use the pool at Ethos for free). However, it is the connections that I’ve made with my fellow students that will stick with me. Imperial attracts some truly incredible people and I hope that continues even with the inevitable changes that will be wrought by Brexit and the pandemic.

Thanks for tuning in, so to speak. If you are a prospective student, I wish you all the best for your future!

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