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Gaining the skills to start my career in Edtech: Alex’s story

Alex Zhao explains how MA International Relations has provided a strong foundation for his career in the field of global education technology consulting.

A young man stood outside of a row of Georgian houses in Bath.
Since graduating, Alex has gone on to work in the education sector with a focus on AI Edtech.

Now working in global education technology consulting, MA International Relations graduate Alex Zhao talks about how the course prepared him for his career.

Hands-on learning in a new country

Coming from China, where internships are not that common, I was drawn to the opportunity to study in the UK and engage in hands-on learning.

After studying sociology at undergraduate level in Bath, I wanted to deepen my understanding of business and gain practical experience.

MA International Relations’ collaborative structure, which incorporates case studies and in-depth topics like accounting, was invaluable for my personal development.

Mastering global strategies for a career in consulting

The course deepened my understanding of the global remit, providing a comprehensive insight into the international orders and structures that govern our world.

By learning about these frameworks, I gained a clearer perspective on how organisations function and make decisions in a global context. Broadening my worldview and equipping me with analytical skills and strategic sharpness to assess and navigate the complexities of international business and politics this has been invaluable.

What I found particularly exciting was the breadth and depth of content, exploring regions and their unique dynamics, including the Middle East, south east Asia, and Sino-US relations. This exposure enabled me to grasp overarching trends while delving into specific areas of personal interest. Such an approach has been instrumental in my development as a regional consultant, providing me with a rich understanding of different geopolitical landscapes and their implications.

The ability to specialise in areas that intrigue me made the learning experience both engaging and highly relevant to my career aspirations.

‘[The course gave me] a rich understanding of different geopolitical landscapes and their implications.’
Alex Zhao MA International Relations graduate (2021)

Making music in Bath

Beyond academia, it is hard not to love Bath! The campus and city have beautiful views, and it’s a good space to study in and to explore with great cafes everywhere.

I play the keyboard and guitar and started learning the drums to play in a band, which we formed in Bath with close friends.

It was easy to find others with an interest in music and a great way to do something completely different away from studying. We were lucky enough to perform at a society event on campus.

Making a difference during my final project

I was involved in a number of standout experiences at my time in Bath. Working as part of a group to assist a local autism charity in fundraising efforts, I was the project’s coordinator and planner, which was fulfilling as we made a tangible impact to support the charity.

I also took on the role of vice chair in the ChinaRen society and, through the Chinese government, we developed a relationship with a small village school, to help teach disadvantaged Tibetan children. Our fundraising and recruiting of student volunteers enabled us to send students on a month-long project to teach there. We have maintained that relationship so that we can continue to work with them.

These are experiences you don’t necessarily anticipate when choosing your master’s, they add a unique dimension.

An international cohort

The international makeup of the University provided an enriching experience. Engaging in volunteer and extracurricular activities alongside my peers and academics was both enjoyable and conducive to building friendships.

I now work in the education sector with a focus on AI Edtech I’ve progressed from being a junior research consultant to senior role, in which I have responsibilities in strategy and business development.

My time at Bath prepared me for multitasking efficiently and operating in a fast-paced environment, which has helped me to excel. It has undoubtedly been pivotal in equipping me with the knowledge required to operate within an international remit.

The comprehensive global perspective I have gained is essential for anyone looking to work in an international context. It has provided me with the tools to understand and interpret global events and trends, enhancing my capability to contribute effectively in a professional setting.

The course's holistic approach to global knowledge has been instrumental in preparing me for a career that demands a nuanced understanding of international affairs.

Looking ahead, I aim to apply the skills and insights I gained from my master’s to pursue managerial roles and advance my career.

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