Each episode is a snapshop, a moment, a sneak inside the minds of our graduates. Season one talks to our 2020 graduates about how things are going, or not going, for them. In episode seven we meet politics graduate Khalid.
Each month we meet five more graduates. Subscribe now and find out what everyone is up to and how they feel about this weird and unpredictable time.
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Music: Since When by Mise Darling.
Sonia Mullineux (host) 0:04
This is a snapshot, a moment, a sneak inside the minds of our graduates. This is Season One, Class of 2020.
Khalid Salman 0:15
My name is Khalid Salman and I studied Politics. And I've graduated in 2020. So it's been a very exciting time. Because of this period of change that we're in now, I definitely feel it's very uncertain. It allowed me to really an opportunity, and I'm very fortunate about this, to think about what I want to do in the future. So on one hand, I think I took advantage of this uncertainty to really think and to do things that I never would have thought if it was not basically COVID / lockdowns / quarantine period, you know, I think I would have rushed into apply to graduate schemes. Whereas now I did an online internship, which was one of the things that was sent to me by the Career Service. But this virtual internship was very special, it was an eight week virtual internship. And I could work with, you know, any sector, public, private, or other education sector in Fiji. And it's a it's an organisation called Think Pacific. Yeah. And it's meant to be in Fiji, obviously, this time, Fiji was in my laptop. And it was great and learned so much about Fiji and took this opportunity to learn about how I can help others and they focus on the UN Sustainable Development Goals. And they help different sectors achieve that. So I took advantage of that. And then also something that I never thought I would do at all is actually write or attempt to write articles to get published. You know, and I think this really comes from the fact that I am trying as much as I can to do what I can during these times, before applying whilst waiting, actually, for things to become more clear and more certain, before I apply and thinking about that. Erm, it's kind of nerve wracking, because you don't know how, when it's going to be or, or where it's going to be. But thinking about the future is still a bit. That's still very uncertain. It's a bit nerve wracking, but taking advantage of what I could take advantage of now, which I wouldn't have before, it's very exciting.
Khalid Salman 2:42
My time in university was really an opportunity to figure out exactly what I want to do. And I had no idea in the beginning, I changed my course, multiple times. But the beauty of studying politics at Edinburgh is that there are so many courses you can choose. So I did you know, politics and economics, I did philosophy, I took so many different courses, until I figured out what was right for me. And I'm very interested in in urban development and town planning. And my dissertation was about that field. And so graduating at a time where I just figured out what I want to do, and and having a period of uncertainty really allowed me to think about, okay, how can I take this interest and find a career that suits it, and it allowed me time basically, and I didn't feel under pressure or in a rush to find the career right away.
Khalid Salman 3:46
First of all, personally, I enjoy going and visiting different places and different towns and anywhere that's around Edinburgh, whatever, I had time on the weekend with friends, and I decided one day to visit Dundee. You know, I realised that there was some kind of, you know, construction work happening as soon as I left the station, you know, so I decided to do more research and figured out that they were working on a city plan. And that's the first time that I came across such a thing. That allowed me to, to go back and see who are making these plans, you know, and what is this field that people are working in?
Khalid Salman 4:28
So I decided to write my dissertation on the city plan in Dundee. So you have people from the city council, you have people from the private sector, that third sector and different organisations and I emailed every person that I could, basically to get, you know, an idea of what was happening and how they come up with a plan that will change the shape of a city. People were so happy to respond. I think they were very excited that someone who isn't from Dundee is interested in what's happening in Dundee and their work. But generally as well, I think people when it comes to where they live, can be a bit sceptical of the work that's happening, especially from a local authority perspective. So I think the fact that they saw someone who was interested in their work, they really welcome that, and we're happy to talk to me.
Khalid Salman 5:24
Now, you know, when I read about towns that have been built in a certain way, or that promote a certain kind of lifestyle, which is what I'm very interested in, I go and visit. I mean, back home, I visited a tiny little town in the middle of Saudi Arabia called Ushaiqer. And it's, it's basically all mud houses, but preserved very well. And it has really good drainage systems and, and especially for the time, I think, arguably much better than the ones in modern cities now, so we can learn a lot from the different places we visit. Definitely.
Khalid Salman 6:11
I think, looking back, I think that I was someone who kind of modelled my interests based on the people around me. Whereas in university, not just studying what I studied, but I think living in Edinburgh specifically, allowed me to really find my own passion and interest. And the reason why I say specifically living in Edinburgh, is because Edinburgh is such a condensed city, but a city full of variety.
Sonia Mullineux (host) 6:46
We also ask our graduates to share a place, somewhere special, somewhere we can get together when all this has finished.
Khalid Salman 6:55
Okay, so for me, the place would actually be in front of the New Register House in Edinburgh. And it's on the east end of Princes Street. And there's the reason for that is because Edinburgh is such a condensed city. But it's a city full of variety. And I think that specific point is, for me, the best point that combines so much variety, you know, whether it's place or people, and I would it, you know, I would walk past there every single day back and forth to university, you know, you're in the New Town, in the distance, you have the Old Town, mediaeval Old Town, they're connected, different periods in time, different historical influences, whether it's architecture or stories, or whatever, you know, is around you. On the far right hand side, if you're looking towards the Old Town, you have an extinct volcano, you know, on the other side, you have another extinct volcano, and you have Calton Hill, of course, so that's a variety of landscape in terms of nature, and the very far left hand side you have Leith with, you know, a very different history and different background socially and, and culturally and much more recent, you know, in terms of historical development. So, you can take inspiration from so many different things and different angles in one zone. And in terms of people, you're faced with, for example, in the morning, I would see different people going to work, you know, with University, in so many different fields, you know, and people from so many different backgrounds, from so many different places, you know, I would face tourists coming from all over the world. On the way back to university in that specific point, I would see, you know, maybe street performance, you know, and it would be different every day or a demonstration a protest. So really that point, every day I felt it would broaden my understanding about something or my inspiration about something and I'm in one place and one point that played a big part in changing how I see things and how I look at things and it's a very special place, I think.
Sonia Mullineux (host) 9:18
Thank you for listening. Join us next time for another graduate and another story.
Kirsten Roche 9:33
You're not on your own when it comes to planning for your future. Your University of Edinburgh community is here to support you. And this includes ongoing support for recent graduates from the Careers Service. Why not take a look at our website to find out more about how we can support you get the future that you want. Go to ed.ac.uk/careers to get started.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai