Multi Story Edinburgh

Ayah-Sofia - Class of 2020 - Re-evaluating plans, a calm introduction to London and mystery heights.

December 15, 2020 The University of Edinburgh Season 1 Episode 12
Multi Story Edinburgh
Ayah-Sofia - Class of 2020 - Re-evaluating plans, a calm introduction to London and mystery heights.
Show Notes Transcript

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 twelve we meet International Relations graduate Ayah-Sofia.

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.

All opinions expressed are those of the individual and do not necessarily reflect those of the University of Edinburgh. 

Multi Story Edinburgh has been created and produced by the Alumni Relations team at the University of Edinburgh. If you are interested in telling your story, please get in touch and let's talk.

Music: Since When by Mise Darling. 

Sonia Mullineux (host):

This is a snapshot, a moment, a sneak inside the minds of our graduates. This is Season One, Class of 2020.

Ayah-Sofia:

I'm Ayah-Sofia and I studied International Relations, so I just graduated. I would say that it's been quite an interesting year. So last year, I had spent the whole past year travelling, and studying abroad and also working abroad. And then I came back in fourth year with, I guess, like two things on my mind. I wanted to look for a career with a social impact and I wanted to live in London. So I like, started getting involved in like societies, and applying for different jobs and just getting back in with everything. And then strikes started happening and then a lockdown happening. And I guess from there, I really had to reevaluate all my plans. I started looking around, and I found a job in a place called Frontline. And it was working in a social work charity. I really liked the look of it, I applied, and then I managed to get it. And I had a four day gap between my last essay to my first day starting there. So it's very different from what you hear about other graduates. And I just sort of jumped straight in there. Because of everything. I've been working completely remotely. Um, and I haven't met, like any of my colleagues. It is quite strange. Yeah, there's like a running joke to see how tall is everyone. And, and because you're always seeing people in a tiny box, and you know what their face looks like. But everything else is up to your imagination. I just passed my six month stage of work. And I was thinking about being six months since I've written an essay, and at university, your life just constantly revolving around doing assignments and learning and learning. And then now I am working at this job, I guess, I used to have like impostor syndrome, and it sort of faded away because, erm through this, I'm able to see that everyone doesn't have all the answers. We're just learning about them together, and you just come together and come up with solutions. Since you can't meet anyone in person, I think you have to be really proactive in thinking like how can I get to know people in my organisation? Especially when they're not in your team. I'm just looking out for lots of opportunities, saying yes to everything, and asking for help. I think when you join an organisation, they've already seen something in you. And you don't have to constantly prove yourself. Um, I think by learning more, especially in the beginning, when you're asking lots of questions, you're able to have a solid foundation and like solid understanding of how everything works. And maybe like, a couple of weeks later, a month later, some of those are asking you question, and you're like, oh, I actually know the answer to this. When I was reading up about it, I was initially thinking Oh, just like a departure from international relations. Erm, I think lots of graduates have to try and decide whether they want to continue in the path of their degree or do something different. But then I started learning more about the industry and going to different events. And I actually saw like lots of links, yeah it's quite interesting, how, say, when you have children at risk of trafficking, they will get social work support. So I was able to see like a link between my classes and the theoretical context I was studying, to my practical work. And so I think it's like no matter what your degree you can really go into any path. I think I've noticed like lots of people looking for work, even with, like, first class degrees or big long CVs. I think what we've been seeing from recent events is there's been such an increased demand for public services. And from that there will be a greater need for more talented staff. So I think people were like, I think we're gonna see like an uptake of people looking for careers in like public and third sector. And I would really encourage that because, just from all of my experiences I've seen that there's so many people out there who could really use help. And we just need more communities coming together and helping out everyone. I'm from Edinburgh and, and I moved to London over in June. London's nice, I have a nice flat and it's not too far from the centre. So I've just been exploring and walking. There was a time where I walked erm from Hampstead Heath which took me about five hours. It's like a really nice city, it just is very different to what I imagined it would normally be like, but there's still people there. And I think that's the most important part of the city. People have been telling me about their experiences and pre pandemic, and it does seem like you are always on like 100 dial. Whereas for me, it seemed very relaxed, and I'm working from home and just going out to go for a walk. But I guess without experiencing that I can't really know what it is like. I think it will start to get like busy again, especially with like the introduction of vaccine. I don't think it will be normal, normal as they ever were. And you can even think like last year, there would always be crowded people packed in a room or queuing. And I don't know if people will be comfortable to do that as much anymore. I feel like there are some parts of the pandemic, which is useful. I think say for example remote working. That's really, it's really has advantages to people with disabilities or people who need more accessibility support, or who are caring after a family member. And so I think having that ability to work from home is something that should be kept on. And I think more like offices are really seeing the benefit of that.

Sonia Mullineux (host):

We also ask our graduates to share a place. Somewhere special, somewhere we can get together when all this has finished.

Ayah-Sofia:

Even with all the places I've lived and travel to, I always do come and return back to Edinburgh. So I know lots of people know about Arthur's Seat, and they usually just go straight to the top. But if you stop yourself from doing that, and just go around the side, you if you just keep on walking, you'll reach Duddingston Village. And I'm not sure if lots of people have been here. But I think it's is really quite special. It's like a small place. You feel like you're transported into a different city. But you're only a 13 minute walk from the city centre. And so there's like a big rock wall, there's a river like running past you and lots of hills. And there's also a nice pub that does like a good steak. And there's Dr. Neil's garden, and you can just sit by the lake and look at the swans. And if you keep on walking, you can reach the beach. So I think it really just symbolises like how unique Edinburgh is, and it's filled with tradition, and old architectures and so much history. I think it doesn't even matter what the weather is like, I've gone running there like when its pouring rain, and I hate running. But actually just going and trying to do that and running with all this nature around you instead of all these cars is, I don't know, by the end of it. You're wet, your're sore but you're also kind of relieved.

Sonia Mullineux (host):

Thank you for listening. Join us next time for another graduate and another story.

Kirsten Roche:

Wherever you are with planning for your future, the Career Service is here to support you. As a recent graduate, you can continue to use all of our services, including full access to MyCareerHub, online appointments with our career consultants, our full calendar of employer events and support with the application process. Find out more at ed.ac.uk/careers