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James Maxia

James Maxia

BSc Politics and International Relations (with study year abroad) (2019)

What did you enjoy most about your degree programme?

I really enjoyed the BSc course because I benefitted from a lot of flexibility in terms of module choices, allowing me to specialise in the areas of Politics and International Relations that I found most interesting. Personally, I enjoyed the public policy and conflict studies modules, which were really easy to relate to the real-world. I also think that the focus on data analysis and research methods added another layer that I really appreciated, as I think that learning how to navigate statistics, whether in academia or reading a news headline, really made me a better critical thinker.

Please tell us about the award you received.

I was awarded the Victor Wiseman prize for the best undergraduate degree result in Politics. To be very honest, receiving the award was a surprise. At the beginning of my course, I don’t think I could have envisaged or foreseen such an outcome but now, looking back at the many hours I spent in the library, I can only be proud of this achievement. It is, more than anything, a tribute to the friends and family who supported me, as well as some great lecturers who were able to push me to reach my potential.

What has been the highlight of your time at Exeter?

I think my two highlights of my time in Exeter were my year abroad in France and fourth year. The first was just an incredible cultural and personal experience, which forced me out of my comfort zone and allowed me to meet a lot of very interesting people. The second could be kind of surprising, as everyone associates final year with stress and work. However, I found that I was very comfortable knowing how things worked at the University and, with everyone in the same boat with the workload, I really enjoyed my downtime with my friends.

What will you miss most about the university?

I think what I will miss most about Exeter are the people I have had the pleasure to meet here, without whom I don’t think my university experience would have been the same. I am certainly going to miss the strong friendships that have accompanied me along the four years, but I am sure that I will keep in touch with them. I will also undoubtedly miss the friendliness and willingness to help of many tutors I have had the pleasure to work with. 

What advice would you give to current and future students?

Three things. Firstly, I’d say that good results and producing quality work doesn’t happen overnight, but through commitment, seeking feedback and trying to constantly improve. Secondly, look to find a balance: there is no point in achieving it all if you can’t take time to enjoy it. Finally, I’d say to be bold, show your character and take every opportunity you find along the way.

What are your plans now that you’ve graduated?

I will be starting a two-year masters course in International Relations. After which, I hope I will have the opportunity to work in an organisation or industry where I feel I’ll be able to contribute and hopefully get the chance to give something back.