Maria Perez – a community educator - moved from Spain to the UK after accepting a job offer. After living in England for a few months, Maria soon moved north of the border for work. As time passed, she began seeking out professional development opportunities and began looking at master’s offerings at Scottish institutions. She soon stumbled across the then-new MSc Digital Campaigning and Content Creation course at Queen Margaret University (QMU) and she’s never looked back!
My name is Maria. I’m originally from Spain. I’ve been living in Scotland for the past four years, studying at Queen Margaret for the past year.
I’m a community educator and I was working in the third sector in Spain as both a volunteer and professional at different times. The economic crisis hit and I decided I wanted to learn English and develop myself more professionally so I came to the UK, first to England where I lived for a few months, and then I moved to Scotland and that changed everything.
How did you find out about QMU and the MSc Digital Campaigning and Content Creation course?
I was looking for all the master’s degrees available in Scotland. I went through all the lists in every university for weeks, looking for a particular master’s that I liked and there was nothing. Then, I guess it was about the time the master’s [at QMU] got approval that I stumbled into it. As soon as I looked at it I knew “This is it! This is the kind of thing I want to do”.
I’m interested in all things social, like food, community development, children, education, etc. When I looked at the master’s I knew that what I was, was basically an activist. So with this master’s I could be a professional and support any of those social missions, and that’s why I chose it.
I came into QMU looking for a master’s that was really focused on real skills. Not so much heavily focused on the theoretical or conceptual side of things – although that’s interesting – but I wanted to learn something I could really apply to a profession, and that could lead me to progressing my career.
What has been the most enjoyable element of the course?
I have to say the core modules of the course. I think they are all fantastic. I was a bit scared whether I would be able to work on the technical side of things – like behind the camera - or whether the PR bit would be too much, but I’m finding that I like all of it and they make sense together.
I’ve taken full advantage of all the opportunities the university provides. There are internships, mentoring programmes, and travel funds; students should take the opportunity to explore all of them as they’re so beneficial to your learning experience.
Can you name one thing about the course that you think sets QMU apart from other institutions?
For me what makes a difference with this course are the lecturers. The way they work together, the wealth of knowledge they bring to class every day, the fact they’re always supporting and encouraging and pushing you to take the next step… I don’t know, sometimes they have more faith in you than you have in yourself.
I feel very lucky that I’ve got them around and I think many people in my course feel the same way.
How have you found life in Edinburgh, and Scotland in general?
Edinburgh is one of the most beautiful cities I’ve been to… and I’ve lived in Rome! Scotland feels like home. People are friendly and welcoming and they are open and question things.
I really have trouble explaining what I find so special about Scotland. The moment I stepped off the bus on Waverley Bridge, it was life-changing. I just knew I was supposed to be here.
[Published June 2019]
"Edinburgh is one of the most beautiful cities I’ve been to… and I’ve lived in Rome! Scotland feels like home. People are friendly and welcoming, and they are open and question things."