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Profiles

Mairi Law and Rodolfo Sejas Portillo - Media, Culture and Society, 2006
Computer Games Technology, 2004
How important was your Abertay degree in helping you pursue your career?

Mairi: My Abertay degree helped me to find my chosen career path of teaching English as a foreign language.  Without it, I wouldn’t have felt confident enough to teach English to those who were thinking of studying in an English speaking country.  At Abertay, I also learnt how to conduct research and how to make the most of my studies, which really helped when completing my Master’s degree.

 

Rodolfo: My Abertay degree was extremely important for my career. It gave me a clear advantage during my early working years and it provided validity to my work thereafter. It also allowed me to continue my studies within the UK. 


What does your current job involve?

Mairi: I currently work as the director and teacher of an English language consultancy in La Paz, Bolivia. I predominantly teach English as a foreign language to international organisations and individuals, but I also do other related work such as exam preparation classes. The consultancy offers a personalised, tailored, approach for clients, which means I analyse their needs, test level and design a bespoke syllabus specifically for them.

 

Rodolfo: I am Chief Executive at Elevaste Consultoría, a social enterprise I set up with the mission to promote and support the professional development of young university graduates in my home city of La Paz, Bolivia. My current job responsibilities are broad and they range from setting the direction of the company to monitoring and coordinating everyday work.


What are your lasting impressions of Abertay and Dundee?

Both: Abertay is a great place to study. Everybody at the University was really friendly and helpful.  The library is very good and the student union was full of things to do.  When we were there, the Dundee city regeneration efforts were starting, so it’s wonderful to see the progress that has been made, especially the waterfront project.  We are still in contact with some of our classmates and our old flatmates, so I think we made friends for life at Abertay!


Do you have any advice for students?

Mairi: Make the most of what the University and Dundee has to offer.  The facilities have changed a bit since we were there, but there are many things to do. Just before my final year, the Union moved from Marketgait as the new Student Centre was opened opposite the Kydd Building. Get to know your lecturers – the majority of mine taught me the whole way through my course.

 

Rodolfo: Perhaps the usual advice, though still very important, is to embrace the course and the modules with a clear open mind.  If you don’t fully understand, or maybe disagree with something explained during the lectures or proposed by fellow students, don’t simply disregard it.  Research the topic, understand the issue and then offer your findings for discussions. I believe this will help students build a solid foundation in their chosen field and this can have a huge impact in their future careers. Also, I would advise students to build a network of friends and potential future colleagues from around the world during their time at university, and try to stay in touch with them after graduation.


Do you have any advice for graduates going to live abroad?

Mairi: Thoroughly research the place that you are going to and, if you are going somewhere where people don’t speak your language, try to pick up some of the new language before you go so. That way you can communicate as soon as you arrive.  It’s important to remember that it can be very different living somewhere as opposed to simply holidaying there, so if possible try to live there temporarily first, before committing to any long-term contracts.