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Shanics plans to change the world with DMU's help

Shanics Olton has always wanted to change the world – and is hoping De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) will enable her to do so.

Having originally studied International Relations and Politics to learn more about how the world worked, she is now back for a master's in International Business and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

Between degrees she has gained valuable real-life experience working for Liz Kendall, Labour MP for Leicester West, and is currently gaining extra skills through DMU internships.

Shanics said: “I still want to change the world, and think I can make more of a difference if I work in business. I picked the MSc to enable me to do this.”

The 25-year-old from Corby first chose to study at DMU because she liked the city. “It is very cultural and diverse,” she said.

Highlights of her undergraduate degree were the US politics module and work experience at CASE, a co-operatively-run social enterprise.

She said: “I wanted a role in the community and it helped me decide that this is what I wanted to do.”

During her first year Shanics also supported a start-up international development charity, World Matters.

“It helped me understand the charity sector and the difficulties they face,” she said. “I had to work with other organisations and it gave me confidence.”

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On graduating, Shanics headed to China to teach English. “It was difficult to adjust to a new country,” she said. “But it was really rewarding and I developed skills such as being flexible and thinking on my feet.”

Back in the UK, Shanics spotted a job on the DMU Politics Society Facebook page posted by senior lecturer Alison Statham. 

“I was so excited to land the role as admin assistant for MP Liz Kendall because it was linked to my interests,” she said.

“I worked in the constituency office and my main role was front of house but I was also in charge of community campaigns.

“One that affected lots of people was the Blackbird Road Playing Fields housing development proposal. There was concern from residents about the amount of traffic, level of school places and impact on local GPs as well as the natural environment.”

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Shanics arranged meetings with all interested parties, took notes and addressed concerns. “I had to act on strategies the MP put in place,” she said. 

Eight months in and Shanics was promoted to case worker.

“The best part was engaging with constituents,” she said. “I really valued helping out.”

The job also alerted Shanics to how difficult it is to effect change, which is why she embarked on her master's.

“For me, CSR is about acting responsibly to the internal and external environment,” she said.

Giving Shanics additional skills are DMU's Frontunners and Graduate Champions schemes.

“I am doing the Frontrunners internship with the DMU Sustainability Team as a green behaviour change assistant and it's fantastic,” she added.

“I was a Graduate Champion in the summer with the National Energy Foundation charity. I did marketing and social media and it has given me another string to my bow.”

Posted on: Tuesday 07 November 2017

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