Orsolya Dobe

UCL - Social Sciences

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Food and Families Going into Hard Times

I study European, Social and Political sciences at UCL, and I’m a first year Laidlaw Scholar.

Going into the Laidlaw program, I expected to be treated as a student not as a colleague but I was taken really seriously and professionally and that was a great experience as a first year undergraduate student. The scholarship has taught me lots of skills I can use either in my further studies or my career in general. I feel it was a really good chance to gain research experience and to build my own skills with time to reflect on my abilities and my ambitions.


I feel like excelling in academics is not really enough in today’s world therefore the leadership training is important to everyone. I had previous leadership experience but the Laidlaw leadership program is so much more than being a leader in a classical sense. It taught me about different kinds of leadership and how you can apply them to lots of different kinds of situations. I really enjoyed the team building activities as it was amazing to see people from other disciplines solve problems in a completely different way. As a social scientist it was really interesting for me to observe how engineers or medics tackle the same problem in a completely differently.


I carried out qualitative socio-logical research into food and families in hard times. The main skill I developed was how to deal with qualitative data, which was a really interesting experience going through real interview transcripts and having a more detailed insight to the topic. Through my research I got the chance to go to a conference at UCL where I was the youngest person in the room. Being mentored by a leading academic at the Thomas Corren research unit was an amazing experience. When I was doing my background reading I came across the name of my supervisor multiple times and that was a shock to me that I work with the best in the field. I got to ask them questions and they actually listened to my opinion about their research, which was so unexpected for a first year undergraduate student.


I think what will really benefit me is to be part of a network and create connections with talented ambitious students all over the world. When attending the scholarship I met interesting people from different disciplines with big ambitions. We tried to keep contact and meet up a couple of times during the scholarship as I feel like it is really important to share this experience with others.

Go to the profile of Georgina Sánchez

Georgina Sánchez

Digital Content, The Laidlaw Foundation

Hi! My name is Georgina and I was one of the people responsible for creating the Laidlaw Scholars Network. I am also a former Laidlaw Scholar and soon to be a graduate from University College London. It's a pleasure to meet you!

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