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What next after PAIS… a talk to launch the PAIS MA alumni network

PAIS talkStaff and students attended a recent event to launch the Politics and International Studies (PAIS) Alumni Network. Three PAIS MA alumni spoke about their post-PAIS experiences giving current students some valuable insights into the possibilities that holding a Warwick PAIS MA opens up for them and also some hints and tips on finding that perfect career.

All three speakers spoke about the difficulties and uncertainties that they faced immediately after graduation and spoke about the need to remain optimistic, but also to gain as much work experience as possible and to always remain focussed on the type of career that you really want to do. All three speakers were highly enthusiastic about their respective careers and felt that all of their careers provided them with opportunities to put the skills and ideas that they had developed during their MA into practice in the real world.

Our first speaker was Aisha Aswani who is the ethical trading manager at the Co-operative a job in which she is responsible for over 1,500 supplier sites in 70 countries. Aisha graduated with an MA in International Political Economy in 1997 and has gained over 15 years of experience working on ethical trade issues. Aisha spoke about her path into ethical trade and how she sought to build a CV that would get her into the kind of work that she had set her heart on after she came across a newspaper article on ethical trade.

The second speaker, Helen Jane Martin, graduated in 2012 with an MA in International Relations. Helen spoke about experiences as a senior advisor to Labour’s Shadow Policing Minister in Westminster and her more recent move into development work – taking up a position as a press and media officer with the International Medical Corps. Helen stressed that parliamentary jobs are a great place for MA graduates to start their careers – providing graduates with steep learning curves and a plethora of new skills and experiences that are easily marketable to employers in other sectors.

Finally Akash Patel, a 2013 graduate from the MA in International Politics and East Asia talked about his experiences working in a small start-up and his recent experiences working as an analyst within the design and technology division of Barclays. Akash talked to the students about the pros and cons of working in start-ups as opposed to the corporate world and gave them an insight into what is going on within the cutting edge FinTech sector.

PAIS is looking to have more events of this nature and to maintain closer and better links with its MA alumni. We will be establishing a mailing list and also a LinkedIn group for our MA alumni. If you would like to be on this mailing list then please email us at and let us know how you are getting on and whether you would be interested in delivering talks to students in the future.