Case study

Alexandra Beedle — MSc Nutrition for Global Health student

London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

Alexandra says her postgraduate study at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine was a steep learning curve but stands her in good stead for the future

Why did you choose this institution and course?

After completing my undergraduate degree in Spanish and Portuguese, I got an internship at Action Against Hunger, a global charity that fights against hunger. It was while working with nutritionists there that I first became interested in global nutrition.

I soon discovered that the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine was one of the top places in the world to study this subject, and that studying there would give me the skills to get a job in the field as a nutritionist.

What does the programme involve?

The School has such a great reputation for many reasons. First, the quality of teaching is so high, with the lecturers always being available to answer questions and happy to be approached at any time. Secondly, it's small and intimate, which makes for a great ambience, and students and staff are passionate about what they do.

Life as a postgraduate student is very different to being an undergraduate in that you have to be much more self-motivated and it is down to you to put in the work. The more you put in, the more you get out.

There are opportunities to get involved with lots of extra activities such as organising TED talks, taking part in a global health simulation, and even being part of some clinical trials. My 10,000-word dissertation is looking at a comparison between diet in pregnancy in adolescents and women from Nepal.

What are your plans for after graduation?

My goal is to work abroad in a developing country, preferably where I can use my languages, either in a humanitarian crisis or in a nutrition clinic. Having studied this Masters I feel well-equipped for a career in public health, especially after gaining new skills in epidemiology and statistics.

Not coming from a science background has meant I have learnt an incredible amount this year, and I know my language skills will be an added asset to any job I apply for.

What advice would you give to those considering the programme?

The programme has been a steep learning curve for me, and it has been a very intense year, but I know it stands me in good stead for the future. I wouldn't be able to get the job I want as a nutritionist without the skills and knowledge I have gained, and the connections I have made, this year.

My advice would be to read and study the books from the reading list to ensure you are adequately prepared for the course, as it is very fast paced. It's important that throughout the year you maintain a healthy work/life balance and remember to enjoy your time at the school.

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