After double-majoring in political science and economic history, managing two internships during BIDS, and studying one year on a master-level, Eva Theil found her way of making a difference in the world to be teaching. Eva is now enrolled to become a primary school teacher, but has still development-related issues close to her heart. In her interview Eva reveals many inspiring tips for current BIDS-students.
Eva Theil graduated from BIDS in 2013 with a major in political science and then continued onto a Masters programme in Climate Change, Impacts, Mitigation and Adaptation at the the Natural Science Faculty at the University of Copenhagen, where she studied for one year.
Recently, Eva decided to change tracks completely and is now enrolled in a programme to become a primary school teacher. She says the her dreams, aspirations and interests have remained the same, but that she has learned that it is through teaching and working with youth that she would like to make a difference. In this regard Eva still view BIDS as a valuable experience. On the side she works in a Danish think tank called CONCITO that works with climate policy, where she handles administrative affairs and accounting.
Eva’s experiences during and after BIDS
Major and internship
“I first chose to major in economic history, but then changed my mind and also did the 30 credits required to major in political science. I didn’t go for an exchange, seeing that Sweden, being Danish, was already a ‘study abroad’ experience in its own way. Between the second and third year, however, I did an internship for Greenpeace in Austin, Texas and also received a scholarship from LU to attend a summer school on social entrepreneurship in Mexico.
In the second half of my third year, I spent half a year in Nuuk, Greenland doing a five months internship with the Government of Greenland in their division for climate and energy, while also conducting fieldwork for my Bachelor’s thesis. This was a great and very rewarding experience, which definitely did a lot to make the programme as positive an experience as it was.”
During the Programme
“I found the programme to be as much of a personal journey as an academic one. It changed my entire understanding of the world, my perspective, and my way of thinking about issues such as globalisation, social justice and development aid.
I think what I found to be the most rewarding were the friendships I made with people from a wide diversity of backgrounds, but with a common interest in the world that surrounds us. Next to that, I appreciate the understanding that nothing is absolute, constant or indisputably true and that your judgment depends entirely on your value set and on the perspective you choose to apply.”
“Since completing BIDS I have not been involved in any direct development-related activities as such. From an earlier belief that the development field was the most direct way of actually ‘making a difference’, today I’m convinced that one can matter and make a difference in virtually any field and that your social impact is often the greater, the closer to home you are. As such, I’ve become increasingly attuned to making a difference at a very local scale, such as is the case with teaching.”
Some Advice from Eva to BIDS Graduates
“The greatest strength and also the greatest weakness of the BIDS programme is its width. You can do anything and nothing with BIDS in your luggage and it’s up to you to see the possibilities and to create them yourself as you go along.
I guess my best advice would be to listen to your heart and follow it, even if it tells you to go in an entirely different direction than where you thought you would go. My classmates from BIDS are doing such a diversity of things, few of which are a direct continuation of BIDS. Some study journalism, one is an airhostess, another a travel sales person and others again are studying business and finance. I think BIDS is valuable for whichever path you chose, so don’t limit yourself by wanting ‘to use’ what you’ve learned. It’ll always be part of your luggage.”
Lastly Eva sees the BIDS Alumni page as a way to exchange information of the fellow alumnus on their current living place and occupation.