MA International Relations, 2012
“The course gave me so many transferable skills – not just in how to conduct both quantitative and qualitative research efficiently, but also how to quickly analyse, synthesise and précis a topic, write concise reports and do presentations”
Nikki Green is the HR and Administrative Manager at Prime Research, a global agency specialising in research into strategic media communications. She studied part-time for an MA in International Relations and talks here about her experience.
Since joining Prime Research as a Media Research Analyst I’ve been promoted several times – without my Master’s I don’t think that would’ve been possible.
Prime Research has nine offices around the world, with the Oxford branch a research hub for the company – specialising particularly in the automotive and finance industries. My role involves managing the monitoring of client coverage in over 500 publications and other daily media, alongside dealing with copyright and other issues. As well as following mainstream media we also monitor new and emerging social media such as Facebook and Twitter.
The course gave me so many transferable skills – not just in how to conduct both quantitative and qualitative research efficiently, but also how to quickly analyse, synthesise and précis a topic, write concise reports and do presentations.
It also covered such issues as statistics, good practice in checking data, project management and understanding ways to conduct research efficiently and effectively by being analytical and selective – all topics directly relevant to my role at Prime Research.
It was the lecturers – Lucy Ford and Gary Browning, in particular – who inspired me to continue my BA with an MA. I didn’t want to leave and needed to go back for more – and it had to be Brookes or nowhere.
They, alongside others, had a knack of asking those potent, probing questions that would wake up even the most apathetic students and challenge their attitudes and thinking.
Lucy in particular opened my eyes to the global importance of environmental issues – and how they link into so many areas of International Relations and human existence – of which global security and geo-political issues are just two examples.
For instance, the world’s natural resources, on which such things as humankind’s subsistence and living conditions are dependent, can be the source of civil war – as the conflicts over mineral wealth and rights in the Congo and Sierra Leone bear testament.
For my dissertation I undertook an analysis of the UN 1975 multi-lateral treaty – namely the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, also known as the Washington Convention.The convention accords varying degrees of protection to more than 35,000 species of animals and plants, setting out quotas and bans on trade, and almost all member states of the United Nations are party to it.
Specifically I examined how sustainable development was addressed in the treaty and, in particular, I focused on gorilla conservation – I chose this area partly because of the expertise in primate conservation that exists at Brookes, which meant easy access to leading international specialists in the area.
What I loved about Brookes was being treated as an equal by the academics. They didn’t patronise or talk down to me but valued my opinions as much as those of their peers. And they really go the extra mile to help you succeed in whatever field interests you – whether it’s securing a particular job, obtaining research funding or other goals and aspirations you might have.