Oliva Sanchez - MSc Public Health and Health Promotion

Oliva Sanchez
When Oliva Sanchez walked across the stage at P&J Live her heart is bursting with pride at being the first Mexican to complete MSc Public Health and Health Promotion.

The 30-year-old from Mexico hopes her own RGU story can inspire others from Latin America who want to be involved in STEM subjects.

Oliva finished the 13 month MSc Public Health and Health Promotion course after discovering a passion for public health which led to her applying for RGU.

She had been working in the chemical industry after completing a biotechnology engineering course in Mexico.

Oliva said as soon as she found out she would be able to work closely with the NHS she knew coming to Aberdeen was the right thing to do.

She said: “That I would have the possibility to understand of one of the world's best healthcare systems by studying it first-hand in the country. As soon as I discovered this opportunity, I was convinced that RGU was the ideal place for me.

“It gave me a lot of technical skills on the subject, I really had an in-depth look at the healthcare system. Moreover, my interactions with classmates from diverse healthcare systems further broadened my perspective.”

During her time at Garthdee, Oliva was International Student Ambassador and President of La Sociedad at RGU Union.  Oliva said that finishing the course has boosted her confidence when it comes to pursuing a career.

She was offered a position with the foundation she volunteered at through RGU and is keen to apply all of the skills and knowledge to the new post. Oliva also won the Elizabeth Hancock Prize for Best Overall Performance.

Oliva said: “Doing a postgraduate course in a language other than my native tongue has boosted my confidence in pursuing my career in the UK. As an International Student Ambassador at RGU and President of La Sociedad at RGU Union, I had the opportunity to meet new people from various backgrounds and develop networking skills that are invaluable as I start my new career path.

“The course provided numerous highlights beyond the modules and the knowledge I acquired in public health practice. The lecturers were amazing, and I learnt so much from each one of them. My time at RGU was characterised by new friendships, an international experience, a new sense of home, resilience and trying new things.

“As the first Mexican to ever graduate from this course at RGU, I take immense pride and joy in representing my country. I hope my achievement paves a path for future women in STEM who want to come from Mexico and Latin America to follow their dreams.

“I want to thank my mum, my family, my teachers and the Mexican community in Aberdeen. Your unconditional support and encouragement gave me the strength to overcome any challenges that came my way.”

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