Felicity Hammond aspires to turn her passion for helping people into a career, creating a positive impact on the world. She is currently completing postgraduate studies at the University of Newcastle studying a Master of Social Change and Development. Felicity recently shared her insights into studying the program, and is excited to see where NEW can take her.
1. Why are you studying the Master of Social Change & Development?
Throughout my life I have always had the goal of helping people, and throughout my academic career it became evident that how I wanted to help people was through a combination of listening, outreach and aid. The Master of Social Change and Development course has allowed me to follow that goal, while also giving me opportunities to turn what I want to do into a career.
2. How have you benefited from studying this program?
This program has allowed me to not only explore my own personal reasons for wanting to change the world, but also explore how this is possible, how it has been done in the past, and interact with others who have the same goals as I do, both online and in person, both student and teachers.
3. How would you describe the support you receive from the teaching staff?
The teaching staff are not only wonderful and brilliant in their own capacities, they are also understanding of the fact that while study is important, life and other factors cannot be ignored throughout the year, and unfortunately sometimes impact your study path. They really work with you to make sure that when things outside of your control happen, your hard work is not derailed. They also work with you to make sure that you are understanding everything they provide throughout the different courses, including mixed-methods of in-class and online discussion, online outreach discussion posts, and they are very quick to reply to emails - even those sent at 2am.
4. What facilities have you benefitted from having access to while studying the Master of Social Change & Development?
The ability to choose between online, online and on-campus, and on-campus only allowed me to personalise my study around my already busy life. Other facilities, such as libraries being open long hours, has also helped when home was impractical to study from, and that allowed for meeting places for other students within courses to meet up and discuss topics outside of class and work on group assignments. The careers hub as well has shown me different paths where my current and past study could take me, while also preparing me for realities outside of uni, such as interviews, resumes, and making connections.
5. Where are you currently in your career and where do you hope the Master of Social Change and Development will take you?
I'm currently at the very beginning of my career, not yet working within the development or aid sector, but I am excited to pursue many different paths once my study is complete, including government work, not-for-profit work, work abroad both for governments and NGOs, or possibly even pursue more learning through research, either as another masters or a PhD. This course has given me the chance to see opportunity outside of a 9-5 office job, and I'm keen to see where these chances take me.