Economic necessity made a postgraduate qualification essential to Stefania. However, her Postgraduate Taught Studentship has eased the financial pressures and allowed given her the time to take part in the University’s thriving sporting culture alongside her MSc Marine Policy.
Can you tell us a little bit about the programme in your own words?
“The programme is mostly theoretically orientated, especially toward the legal and policy-making aspect of shipping. We’ve had some seminars from guest lecturers so far, one of them being delivered from a particularly famous figure in the field. The lecturers have so far been eager to help and easy to approach and my overall first impression has been very positive.”
What did the Postgraduate Taught Scholarship mean to you?
“This Scholarship has been of great importance to me, since I have been able to relieve my parents to some extent from the burden of the fees. It has also been recognition of the effort I put in my BSc studies, since it has been my previous grade that has, in my opinion, played a great role in earning this scholarship.”
Have you been able to secure funding from other places, how else are you supporting your studies?
“I am also partially funding my studies through another scholarship I’ve been awarded from a private institution from my home country, and the rest is provided from family funds.”
What were your motivations for undertaking a postgraduate degree?
“Sadly, in my country it is more or less a necessity to pursue a postgraduate degree in order to be able to merely obtain a job. Competition is very high and very often people are overqualified for the positions they are applying for. Fortunately, I am very enthusiastic about my area of study and it has been very interesting for me so far to learn new things and improve my employability chances.”
Why did you decide to do your postgraduate degree at Cardiff?
“Shipping is a very popular business sector in Greece and Cardiff’s MSc Marine Policy is one of the most well-known on the subject. For many years it has been one of the top choices for postgraduate students that want to enter the area of shipping. The popularity of the particular programme aside. However, Cardiff is most certainly a value-for-money choice – especially compared to London — and a great place to live as well.”
Is there anything about your postgraduate course that has stood out in your experience?
“What has really made a great difference for me and has made the burden of studying much more pleasant is the variety of athletic societies that are available to students here. I have joined 3 different sport societies and taking a little time off every day to follow these activities has really helped me unwind.
“Also the fact that the vast majority of my fellow students in this course are the same nationality as me has been a very pleasant surprise and extremely helpful in dealing with the change in culture and environment and has contributed vastly in me enjoying my postgraduate experience.”
What do you think of Cardiff as a place to live as a postgraduate?
“Coming from a much larger city than Cardiff, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that Cardiff has so far been able to cover all my needs. It is a very picturesque city – the Castle and the Bay are very beautiful – and large enough so that one does not get bored. The city centre provides for anything that one might wish for in order to have a good time. Also, the fact that Cardiff University has so many departments and students means the city is always swarming with young people. Overall I would characterise Cardiff as a typical “student-city” and would definitely recommend it to other postgraduate students for its potential to satisfy all kinds of different tastes.”
How do you think your postgraduate course will contribute to your future career plans?
“The shipping sector has always been very popular in Greece. Having a postgraduate degree definitely helps improve my employability chances. Apart from that, this particular MSc programme has always been very well-known as one of the top postgraduate degrees available on the subject.
“Also, the way it is required of students to work under pressure to meet strict deadlines has certainly contributed in me developing important time-organization skills, as well as presentation skills. ”
What are your biggest achievements as a postgraduate student at Cardiff University so far?
“Although I have not yet received any marks for any assignments on this semester, I feel very content and very proud of myself for managing to keep up with a postgraduate programme in a foreign language. As funny as it may sound, I find that my greatest achievement has been developing my time-management skills as well as coping with word limits.”
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