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Sona Shaik

November 23rd, 2021

Making the Most of LSE… 7,636 km Away

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Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

Sona Shaik

November 23rd, 2021

Making the Most of LSE… 7,636 km Away

0 comments

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

My experience at LSE as a General Course Student was unlike most others. I was incredibly excited to be accepted onto the programme in 2020/21 and couldn’t wait to arrive in London. However, like so many of our plans in the last 18 months, COVID-19 threw a spanner in the works. It meant that I studied remotely, and just for a single term (the General Course is normally one full academic year), from my home 7,636 km away in the United States.

As I joined halfway through the year and couldn’t physically be on campus, I felt like I had made a mistake and would miss out on many of the opportunities that come with being a GC’er. However, in hindsight I think it was this exact feeling that propelled me to make the most of my time at LSE, both academically and professionally. As I reflect on the last year, here are some of the things I recommend doing to get the most out of your experience.

Join A Society

Joining a society is a great way to engage with LSE’s diverse student body and meet people who have similar interests and goals. LSE has more than 200 active societies so there is bound to be something that aligns with your interests – whether that is anime and manga, beekeeping, or business intelligence. Societies that are more professional or academically inclined provide numerous opportunities to network and gain relevant experience. As a GC student, I contacted six societies that I was interested in and ultimately joined two societies where I attained a leadership position and worked on a consulting project. If you do not know where to start, I recommend looking through the LSE Students’ Union website, which lists all the societies as well as their social media handles and contact information.

Undergraduate Research & Micro Internships

Some departments and centres offer Undergraduate Research Assitantships and Internships, which allow students to gain experience in planning and conducting scholarly research all while working with world renowned professors. There is also the Micro Internship scheme which provides undergraduate students who have limited work experience the chance to work for employers in fields like the charity sector, NGOs, and International Development. These opportunities give you a chance to develop your skills and enhance your employability. It is important to note that as a GC student you may not be eligible for all programmes and schemes, so it is crucial that you check ahead.

LSE Careers

LSE Careers is a valuable resource as a GC student, particularly since you will have access to their support even after you finish your studies. As a GC student, I used this resource mainly to polish my resume and cover letter. My appointments with advisers were helpful as I was given advice pertaining to both the content and visual aspects of my work. More recently, while applying for Graduate studies at LSE, I have been able to receive feedback and advice for writing academic personal statements.

Furthermore, LSE Careers and the GC team host a variety of events throughout the year focusing on further study, alumni career progression, and sector themed events, to name a few. Attending these events gives you an idea of certain industries, career paths, qualifications, and job searching strategies. And sometimes panellists provide their contact information and accept LinkedIn requests which is a great way to expand your network and make connections within the industry.

Finally, on CareerHub you will find internship and volunteering listings from all over the world. Even if you do not plan on applying straight away, it still may be worthwhile to take a look and see what types of opportunities are available. I researched several internship positions and looked up many companies but did not make any applications until later in the term. Through CareerHub I was able to secure a summer internship and interned for LSE Generate, where I worked for two start-ups. Currently, I still work for one of the start-ups and, more generally, I would suggest that working at start-ups is an excellent way to shape and grow with a company.

 

My GC experience was by no means what I thought it would be when I was applying to it, however, I’m still grateful for all the opportunities and resources I had access to and what I accomplished during my time at LSE. Remote learning presented new challenges and required adjustments, but where one door closed another one opened.

About the author

Sona Shaik

Sona Shaik is completing her BSc in International Political Economy at The University of Texas at Dallas and was a General Course Student in 2021 under the Department of Government.

Posted In: Study Abroad

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