Anna Maarova

Tell us something about what you were doing before you came to Oxford

After growing up a bit all around the world, I came to the UK to study Physics and Philosophy at King’s College London. During my time there, I founded the King’s Language Society, launched a few projects in local secondary schools, and travelled, volunteered and interned around Europe, Asia and Latin America. I then qualified as a teacher and worked for three years as a Science teacher and whole-school transferable skills coordinator in inner-city London schools.

What do you like most about studying in the Department of Education?

I love the collegiate, friendly atmosphere often found in smaller departments. The Department of Education is perfect for spending the whole day there: attend a seminar in the morning, have a chat over coffee in the common room, spend a couple of hours in the library, go for lunch and for a walk in the adjacent University Parks, come back to the library and attend an interesting talk in the evening, always followed by drinks and nibbles. What’s not to like?

What attracted you to the programme of study here?

The reputation of the CIE course and of its alumni is excellent, as is the reputation of the University as a whole. I especially liked the emphasis on both developed and developing countries, the small course size (there were 14 of us this year) and the field trip to Paris to visit UNESCO, OECD and the IIEP was fantastic.

What qualities do you think an Education student at Oxford needs to have in order to be successful?

Independence and initiative when it comes to organising your time and making up your own schedule. Discipline and clear idea of what you are trying to achieve when it comes to sticking to your schedule and making the time to take part in as many activities, organisations, lectures, seminars, workshops and events as you can. The ability to engage in a critical but constructive dialogue with your colleagues and to form lasting positive relationships.

We hope that you would recommend the Department of Education as a place to come and study. What reasons would you give for this?

Friendly, rigorous, great staff and students.

What are your career ambitions after you complete the course?

I am planning to work in the field of international development, specialising as much in developing educational systems and structures as possible. Ideally, I would like to spend a few years working in the field with an NGO, either conducting research/monitoring/evaluation or programme management, before moving on to a more analytical role with the government or an international organisation.

If I knew before I started the course what I know now, I would…

Have taken all the quantitative research courses offered. I would have attended even more lectures and seminars outside of the department, especially at the Department of International Development.

What are three things that you might suggest to students coming after you to help them get the most out of their time here?

Don’t book holidays in 0th and 9th week – this is term-time, whatever people say. Stick around.

Make the most complicated calendar you have ever made, compiled of events from across Oxford and the UK, academic and non-academic, serious and not-so-serious, education and non-education related, in college and in the department. And go to them.

But above all, be sociable and meet as many people as you can. The people you meet will be the best thing about Oxford by far, whatever you get involved in.