Stephanie Mayer

Entering the course as a psychology graduate with an ambition to pursue a career in evidence-based policy development and consulting in the field of education, I found the course’s unique focus on the intersection of research, practice and policy very appealing.

Retrospectively, the programme offered exactly what I was hoping for and what I needed. Not only did it provide me with in-depth theoretical knowledge, it most certainly equipped me with transversal skills that gave me flexibility in my career choice and continue to give me flexibility in doing my job on a daily basis.

The programme presented a substantial workload, comprising both coursework and a dissertation, and providing excellent opportunities to frequently assess and display one’s progress and to receive continuous feedback and guidance throughout the year. Generally, being taught in a small group of twelve students allowed for a very personalized learning environment and close-knit relationship to our tutors, who offered a maximum of support.

Writing my MSc dissertation most notably shaped and sharpened my way of thinking and working. A perfect combination of independent, self-responsible field work, and extensive, exhaustive supervision helped me to grow both academically and personally.

Not only the relationship with my supervisor, but the entire atmosphere at the department was very open and warm, encouraging a frequent and close exchange and interaction between students, tutors and administrative staff, both socially and professionally. This gave me a sense of belonging to the department, to a network of students from all over the world, to a unique and international community.

Ever since my graduation I have been employed with the Austrian Ministry of Education in Vienna, where I am involved in the national implementation of European educational policies and initiatives. Working at the intersection of European and national interests can be a challenging task for someone, who just finished university. My education at the department made me confident and competent to take and to enjoy this challenge.

In that sense my year at the department and on the course was probably one of the most enriching years in my life, both intellectually and emotionally, which will nourish me for many years to come.