David Morrow graduated from BIDS in 2014 with a major in Political Science with a thesis focusing on Sex Trafficking. His advice for fellow BIDSters, “try to enjoy your time… [and] find this balance of your ideals and your dreams and think about how you can practically do or make something with this (based on your own abilities strengths etc.).”
The BIDS experience
My name is David Morrow and I come from the United States. I started with BIDS in 2010 but took a break the first year and graduated in 2014. My area of focus was Political Science and my electives were two online courses in the Global Issues Studies Program (focusing on globalization and social change/policy) as well as a course in the global economy. For the thesis I chose desk studies, mainly for logistical reasons. In this I focused on human trafficking (an issue which had served as part of motivation to find a course such as BIDS), this carried through to my thesis in which I focused specifically on sex trafficking.
What did you find useful from the BIDS-programme?
So many elements and aspects of the program. First of all the knowledge I gained from the formal teaching, as well as the skills I gained from being a university student, specifically in this setting (how to write academically, how to work independently as well as in a group etc.). Contact with the other students in the program , which was so diverse in composition, was also a highly useful benefit.
Are/have you been involved in other development related activities?
At the moment not so much. After graduating I worked with a former employer of mine (an online media company in New York) to help refine and strategize their philanthropic (somewhat CSR-like) program.
What did you do after BIDS?
I moved to the Netherlands and went to work on searching for a job and seeing how I could apply my degree and the knowledge I gained therein. My options were slightly limited so I had to take a job which is not directly related to BIDS and this where I still am. Providing for myself financially and paying off my student loans has taken priority. However I am right this moment seeking an internship/volunteer program to supplement my “day job” and see many promising opportunities in this area.
Do you have any BIDS-related future plans?
Oh yes! I hope most everything I do with in some way be directly or indirectly influenced by what I learned in BIDS. I hope to take a development related masters in the coming years. As I said I am also seeking internships (at NGOs at the moment) and hope to eventually gain really well rounded work experience (in a more administrative setting, in an academic setting, in the “field” etc.)
Advice to BIDSters
Do you have any advice for future BIDS-graduates?
Well these may sound obvious, first, try to enjoy your time, even at graduation I began to miss the program, the city, etc. I also think just find this balance of your ideals and your dreams and think about how you can practically do or make something with this (based on your own abilities strengths etc.). Also, get a sense of what opportunities are out there early on (the job market, internships etc.) so when you do need to find work etc. you will know what your dealing with. Basically do everything you can think of to mitigate a potential shock after graduating.
I think also, try not to worry and strive to be confident. Making the most of the degree may take time and it may not immediately get you an amazing job. This program (even if it is still evolving some of the kinks are being worked out) is really something special and people with such a degree are certainly not too common.
What would you like to get out of an Alumni BIDS page?
As a way to stay in touch with the other BIDS Alumni and as a way to get a sense of community I suppose. Also, very important, to help in networking and finding contacts and opportunities for internships/jobs. I must admit I have certainly not utilized the page to its fullest.
Interview conducted by Marika Samuelsson