Development Practice Student and Graduate Profiles

The Development Practice suite of postgraduate Programs is very fortunate to have a rich and vibrant student community with students from many different countries and cultures. Our Alumni share some of their experiences about studying Development Practice at UQ.

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16. Nicole Bernstein

I was waiting for a scholarship in 2013 to do my masters but I didn’t get it. So I needed to wait 3 more years to be able to save and fund my studies. It was during those 3 years that I found the MDP and I was determined to do it as soon as I could afford it. So I started the course in 2016 for 2 years and graduated in December last year. 

I decided to study at UQ because of the reputation of the University and its positioning in the rankings. Before starting the MDP I wasn’t clear what was it exactly that I was going to learn. It was hard to define “development” to myself but also when talking with friends and family. It was when reading the program’s curricula that I was highly attracted to the content and believed that would enrich my professional career. Something that was very valuable to me was that I’ve taken the core courses to genuinely understand development but I could also have the flexibility to choose the rest of the courses from a wide array of really interesting courses offered as part of the MDP.

What I’m getting from my studies is the capacity to think critically about contemporary issues that beforehand I was taking for granted without thinking out of the box. The beauty of the MDP is that it really anchors you with well argued theoretical understandings, but it also provides you with current examples and case studies through which you can intertwine theory and practice and enrich your perspective.

What is unique about the MDP is that it really takes you in a journey of reflecting on the way in which we understand the functioning of this world. It’s also unique because it had implications on a personal level as well as a professional level. I learnt ways to enrich my performance at work but I also found myself re-thinking many assumptions I had and questioning daily behaviours that I wasn’t aware of before.

The MDP also enriched my career by making me realise the value of community development. I’ve always wanted to pursue an academic career, and I still do, but through taking courses in community development I became aware of the importance of this work and how to do it properly. It was right after graduating that I was offered a position in an Australian social enterprise and, was surprised about how much my learnings from the MDP were actually fuelling my new work experience.