It is often said that one of the best things about university life is the life-long friends that a person makes during their time in school. University is a phase of life where one learns to become independent, and in most cases university friends become family. We were delighted to catch up with Jessica and Justina about a year after they both graduated from LUG, and even more so to find out that their friendship was still going strong after university. Not only did they both graduate with degrees in Economics & International Relations, but they both went on to work in the British High Commission!
Here’s what Jessica had to say:
‘I’m the Chevening and Projects Assistant to the Strategic Partnerships and Diaspora Relations at Political and Communication Department at the British High Commission, Accra. My respsonsibilities include assisting the Project and partnerships officer with administrative work and logistics, assisting in event planning and execution, managing the database and social media, assisting in the competitive bidding for funds (CAPF) for the Association and assist in compiling the necessary paperwork for Chevening applications and interviews. My Lancaster degree has definitely given me that edge to understand and think intellectually with every task I have been given at work. Having a joint-course degree has also increased my skills in multi-tasking, prioritising and most importantly, meeting deadlines! Lancaster created a learning and practical environment which has contributed to my delivery and as well as behaviour at work. Justina and I met the first year in Lancaster university. Little did we know our bond will grow so much that we end up having similar goals, banter, and similar initials (JA). From meeting deadlines, word limits and crunch time essay snack of famous Amos, we kept each other grounded and were always ready to help each other in our academics and what we know about life. Although my initial plan was never to involve International relations (IR) with my Economics degree due to my limited knowledge, it was satisfying to know I have a friend like Justina to coach, encourage and teach me in areas I fell short. She is truly the IR to my economics and I, her economics to her IR. Lancaster gave us the chance to meet each other but also to come out with a successful first-class degree! Leaving university with a worldwide recognised degree and a lifetime friend is a great way to start a journey. And I thank God for that every day!’
Judith also shared her thoughts on her internship, education and life after LUG:
‘I am working as the Programme and Administrative Assistant to the Social Sectors Team at the Department for International Development (DFID Ghana)
I assist programme managers and advisors on the day-to-day management of UKAID social sector programmes. Primarily, in health on the Health Sector Support Programme, in governance through the Strengthening Transparency and Accountability Responsiveness programme and on the Leave No One Behind social protection programme. I am also the lead programme manager for the Private Sector Malaria Programme (PSMP).
My degree tested my limits, it pushed me to be resilient and to prioritise. I have always multi-tasked, having been involved in the arts, as well as being a student athlete in addition to my studies. And though challenging, the permanent structure primary and secondary school gave me kept me in line but this was absent at the tertiary level. I had to be more intentional with my activities and I had to make plans and stick to them and I had to be the first person to hold myself accountable and it has helped me grow in more ways than one.
I met Jessica after our introduction to Economics class and we bonded over weave and accents. Later on we would bond over deadlines, word limits and Famous Amos chocolate chip cookies –it’s the fuel for champions I tell you. And though at the time I was sure I hated chocolate the same way I was starting to hate Econs, Jessica helped me with my first bite and the rest was history. And though she didn’t anticipate how much politics we’d have to cover to earn this degree, I was there to answer her questions and help her see that she was going to ace anything that came her way. She really was the Economics to my IR and I the IR to her Econs. And we couldn’t imagine it any other way. Lancaster gave us a great education and a degree that is recognised worldwide but most of all it introduced us to friends that would last a lifetime. And no matter how we got here or where we intended to go, we know God knew what He was doing when he sat JA next to JA!’
We look forward to following these friends-turned-sisters as they crush more milestones together!