In my previous post, I talked about my childhood, high school, undergraduate degree and first “big girl” job that got me to where I am today in my academic and professional career.
Now, I’m a few months into my year-long graduate degree program. My official degree is Master of Research in Conservation Biology.
I’ve been interested in getting a Master’s degree for a while, it was just a question of when. I loved Brighton and the University of Sussex so much, I decided to return here for my degree. I hope that this degree will help further my qualifications as a worker in the United Kingdom so I can stay here even longer.
Similar degrees at my university are Master of Research in Animal Behavior and Master of Science in Global Biodiversity Conservation. I considered all of these and was really torn between conservation and animal behavior, but the deciding factor was that I thought conservation was more broad scope and I’ve only taken one animal behavior course before. As much as I enjoyed it, I wasn’t confident it was something I wanted to specialize in.
Although I studied at Sussex for a year in my undergraduate degree, I’m getting used to the different teaching methods and expectations all over again. Here has what my experience brought me so far:
Dissertation: I came into my degree with no clue what they expect of a dissertation. Luckily, in the first week of lectures, it was made abundantly clear. We were given a list of about 50 projects and we had to choose our top three. Although we were allowed to make our own project, there was almost no time to do so unless you already came into the program with a very detailed idea of what you want to do and an adviser who would be willing to take you on. With that, my top three choices for projects were: collaboration with inshore fisheries and conservation authority, green infrastructure and quantifying terrestrial wild animal harvesting in that order. Once we made our top choices, we were interviewed by the advisers for each project. It wasn’t so much as an interview as it was a conversation because they want someone to do this work with them as much as you want to do it. After the interview process was over, we were asked to produce an updated list of our project choices as advisers were asked to produce a list of top candidates and dissertations were assigned likewise.