Melanie Mann, Germany

Melanie is originally from Borod, Germany and came to Swansea University to study BSc Health and Social Care. 

Why did you choose to study at Swansea University and what did you enjoy most?

I enjoyed the coastal location of the University, Diversity in Modules , experienced Lecturers who had a practical and academic background and so could teach from personal experiences, extensive study support in form of Academic Tutors and international experience due to students attending University from all around the world. 

How did the course help you to develop your career or continue to study further? 

It helped me to get a great broad knowledge on the topic of Health & Social Care. Particularly useful were the Research Modules (as they were vital for my Postgraduate Career). The course furthermore put strong emphasis on teamwork, bilateral thinking, facilitated independency, created professionalism, and most importantly taught me to think outside the box. This gave me the needed confidence, personal and professional know-how to proceed with my career.

What have you done since graduating?

Postgraduate Erasmus Mundus Master in Public Health & Disaster (the first part was at the Universidad Oviedo in Spain, the second part at the Karolinska Institutet Stockholm in Sweden – it also included an internship at a University in Mumbai, India (Tata Institute) and a local NGO which worked in Disaster Response and served the local slum community).

Where are you working/studying now? 

I have just finished my Master Thesis as part of my postgraduate studies at Karolinska Instiutet. It is a very diverse but also specialized course of Disaster response. The fact that it is sponsored by the European Commission allows me to be taught by leading Researchers and Professionals in the field. This course has opened up contacts and amazing opportunities such as going to India to conduct a study in the slums in Mumbai and conducting Post-Disaster Assessments in Nepal. I also have the honor to study together with exceptionally bright students from all around the globe (leading medics, members of governments and public health experts).

What are your plans/hopes for the future?

Next week I will be travelling to Nepal to conduct a Post-Earthquake Assessment in rural villages. After this I hope to be starting with an exciting new project led by the German Ministry of International Cooperation, which will be based in Beijing and will implement and assess Disaster Risk Reduction Measures to mitigate future disaster impacts and strengthen surveillance systems in two states. After this internship I hope to be able to stay in Asia and progress in my career in the field of Disaster Management. I would love to be working for MSF or the Red Cross in the near future.

Would you recommend Swansea University to other students? 

I would totally recommend Swansea University – it was an amazing experience and was a perfect starting point for my career. I would advise students to make sure to get some practical experiences while studying (volunteering in a related field) otherwise it might be hard to find a job in the field as there is lot of competition. Try to go the extra mile to get a good final mark - It is worth it!! And enjoy your University time - it goes faster than you think.

Socialize as much as you can - become friends with your teacher - dont be shy to ask questions.