International politics, frisbees and ceilidhs: Joseph Gayeski's studies at Edinburgh made for an eclectic and fulfilling time.
|Year of Graduation
Why did you choose the University of Edinburgh?
My decision was primarily driven by the global reputation of the both the University’s academics and the city itself. When applying to universities, I was confident I wanted to study international politics, though Edinburgh was the only university I applied to outside of the United States. The more I read about its global student body and the breadth of expertise within the politics department, the more I began to see myself becoming a part of it. The setting of this student experience, the culturally rich city of Edinburgh, made the opportunity all too exciting to pass up.
My time in Edinburgh gave me more than enough to look back fondly on: the city explorations, the ultimate frisbee tournaments, the Highland treks, the illuminating courses on the politics and histories of the world’s diverse regions. My favourite memory amongst all these was the process of writing my final year dissertation. The guidance and encouragement the PIR department offered me as I dove in to an academic inquiry of my own choosing was empowering, and in no small way informed my personal and career choices later on. The ceilidhs and pub nights with lifelong friends are memories I’ll cherish – though I’m particularly grateful for the academic freedom Edinburgh offered in my final year.
Tell us about your experiences since leaving the University
I served as an Americorps volunteer for a non-profit advisory firm in Boston after graduation. The experience, in an unexpected way, prepared me to pursue the academic interest I cultivated at Edinburgh in a professional setting. After a year in Massachusetts, I left for Cambodia to work as a Princeton in Asia fellow with the National Democratic Institute, a non-profit and nonpartisan organisation that works alongside local partners to strengthen democratic institutions. From assisting election observation efforts to supporting training programs for women candidates, the work in Phnom Penh has allowed me to pursue my professional goals while also continuing the interest in Southeast Asian politics, languages and histories that I developed while a student at Edinburgh.
This... led me towards a rich academic adventure and a thrilling start to my career, an experience I’m confident Edinburgh can provide any driven and intellectually adventurous student.
If you’re a motivated, curious, and disciplined student, these differences can become profound strengths. Edinburgh grants its students access to a remarkable wealth of academic resources, student societies, and athletic opportunities; Edinburgh also entrusts that you will take full advantage of them. With just a little intentionality, each domain of the Edinburgh experience can be leveraged to create an experience that’s completely unique to you. This ability as a student led me towards a rich academic adventure and a thrilling start to my career, an experience I’m confident Edinburgh can provide any driven and intellectually adventurous student.