Anna Vindics graduated from LSE with an MSc in Social Policy (European and Comparative Social Policy) in 2015. Based on her own experiences she shares some tips on getting the most from your MSc and your time at LSE.
Find ways to actively engage with what you’re learning
Forming study groups when you’re preparing for exams helps transfer passive knowledge to active as you need to develop structured arguments and evaluate others’ mock essays. I found doing this had a very positive impact on my grades; it’s also fun as you can discuss the topic and related questions and ideas with friends.
Take opportunities to explore your ‘true calling’
Your time at LSE is not just about the courses you enrol in. Rather than just focusing on your own field or topic, seek to broaden your mind and knowledge ‘horizontally’. Participate in student societies, attend careers fairs and engage in volunteering. Go to all events that sound even a bit interesting. As a result you may discover a topic that you find extremely motivating and which, mixed with your background, can lead to an amazing opportunity or your next workplace. As the result of attending an event about International Development and social enterprise I ended up volunteering in Ghana and later at OECD working in private sector development. It is completely true what Steve Jobs said: ‘You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.’
Don’t forget the social aspect
Some of my best LSE memories are the fascinating conversations I had with fellow students over a drink about world politics, human rights, different healthcare systems, or having a child. I developed a better understanding of the world from hearing different points of views from people with different experiences and cultural backgrounds. It would have been a shame to miss any one of them.
Invest your time
It is of course a cliché, but it’s true: ‘you only get out what you put in’. Spend as much time on campus as possible. It can be very tempting to stay at home on days when you don’t have classes especially if it is a long commute or to go home to watch series when you are finished for the day. Instead, stay in the library and do the readings for your economic class, have a lunch with classmates at Wright’s Bar, attend an interesting lecture about social justice in the evening, and then have a drink with friends at Ye Olde White Horse and discuss the latest news on Britain’s politics. After all, you only have 3 x 2 months to make the most of this experience. You’d better go all in.