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Chinonso

What have you been doing since leaving the University and why did you choose this career?

Following the completion of my MSc degree in Environment and Human Health at the University of Exeter Medical School, I returned to my home country, Nigeria, where I am currently working as an Assistant Lecturer in the Department of Environmental Health Science, Nnamdi Azikiwe University. Specifically, I lecture 2nd-year students on "Climate Change and Contemporary Issues" and 3rd-year students on "Environmental Health Information Systems" and "Environmental Economics." In addition to my primary role, I serve as a Mentor and Administrator of the First Class Leaders Network (FCLN) -an organisation that has over 1000 first-class graduates as its members, who are seeking scholarships locally and internationally to undertake their postgraduate studies.

I chose this career path because it gives me a unique opportunity to not only transfer my acquired skills and expertise to the younger generation while contributing to sustainable development goals, but also mentor them towards achieving their career goals and aspirations. I love that the job allows me to impart my knowledge to great minds who are passionate about becoming a better version of themselves.

What did you enjoy most about your programme and what was the highlight of your time at Exeter?

The fact that the programme was taught by experts and researchers from diverse fields (including Public Health, Environmental Epidemiology, Psychology, and Economics) at the European Centre for Environment and Human Health, thereby making the course more robust and unique. My biggest highlight was when I received a report that my MSc thesis was graded as a Distinction (83%).

What did you enjoy most about studying here?

Practically, I enjoyed everything but what stood out for me was the conducive environment to study and research. The library at the Knowledge Spa, Truro, is world-class; I often spent more time than I planned there because it was comfortable and organised well.

Why did you choose to study at Exeter?

The University of Exeter ranks among the top 2% of universities globally due to its quality education and high impact research. In particular, I became interested in studying at Exeter because of the excellent nature of the European Centre for Environment and Human Health: the researchers and experts in the centre, graduate student achievements, and, most importantly, incredible interdisciplinary research collaborations. What's more, the University is a world leader in the area and well-known for attracting quality international students across the globe, giving me the perfect opportunity to meet and network with scholars from diverse socio-cultural backgrounds.

What skills have been most helpful in your career so far?

Research skills, critical analytical skills, problem-solving skills, organisational skills, presentation skills, communication skills, statistical skills, manuscript drafting and publication, collaborative experience, time management skills, writing skills, etc.

What advice would you give to student wishing to pursue your career?

I believe that the University of Exeter has what it takes to help bridge a gap between our goals and its reality. So, dear postgraduate students, make sure you are intentional about building yourself and acquiring skills and expertise that will play a crucial role in your career pursuits. If you wish to become a lecturer like me, then you must work on becoming a better writer, presenter, communicator, researcher, problem-solver, and collaborator. What's even more critical to my personal growth and development was the fact that I intentionally sought out mentors in my area of specialization, who not only reviewed all my essays/reports/write-ups but also offered guidance on how to progress in my career. Therefore, get a good mentor and work closely with them.

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