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Margaret, Alumna, Sociology BSc (Hons)

Margaret’s Sociology degree helped her to analyse the world we live in today, opening her eyes to social injustice and helped secure her role in the Cabinet Office

After selecting Sociology as an optional GCSE, Margaret Olukoga found herself in love with the subject very quickly. “The diverse subject matter and the ways in which it analyses the world we live in today allows for passionate discourse,” she says. “I knew from that moment that I wanted to study it further.”

Strong reputation

Margaret chose to study her Sociology degree at LSBU thanks to our strong reputation. “I’d heard good things about the University, and knew it was somewhere I would feel comfortable and focused enough to thrive,” she says. “I had friends studying at the University, so I was able to visit the campus to see for myself. The excellent facilities, combined with the great location, made it the perfect place for me to study.”

Passionate lecturers

It was a decision that paid off for Margaret, who found that her own passion for the subject was matched by that of her lecturers – something that really inspired her to perform to her best. “The staff were so dedicated, and were always willing to take time out to help students who showed enthusiasm,” she says. “Their passion mirrored my own, which made the learning journey all the more pleasant. I’m actually looking for more interests to develop as I want an excuse to come back to LSBU and study more!”

Inspiring academics

Margaret can still remember some of those staff members that helped and inspired her throughout her degree. “Antoine Rogers, Dr Juliene Morton, Adrian Budd, and Dr Caitriona Beaumont all stand out in my memory,” she says. “They dealt with everyone as people. Sometimes their help would come in lectures, while on other occasions it would be via catch-ups on specific topics. They were always available on email too – there was never a time I felt unsupported or isolated.”

Course highlights

The help that the academic staff gave Margaret led to some of the highlights of the course for her – the moments she describes as ‘when all the dots connected’. “Sometimes when you are working independently, it is easy to think you’re going off track,” she explains.

“That’s even easier with something like social science where there is so much information available to you. The detail involved in the lectures, and the way the academics would respond to any questions I had prepared helped everything fall into place and made me see sense of everything.”

Specific interest

During her degree, Margaret developed a specific interest in the role of government, something that has since led to a career. She now works as a Group Ops and Executive Assistant at the Cabinet Office. “My job involves making sure the day-to-day and forecast runnings of the implementation unit are running smoothly,” she says. “It’s a space where I am able to learn a lot about how government works and learn from other departments – I also have diary management responsibility for two of the executive Cabinet Office staff members.”

Background knowledge

Margaret thinks that her degree has helped her in a number of different ways. “I understand how wider systems work – things like voting, campaigning, law and policy making – and how they come into play in the office,” she says. “Having that background knowledge definitely helped.”

Strive for better

In the future, Margaret hopes to develop her own business, and become an advocate for women’s rights. “Before I studied sociology, I didn’t really understand how much these issues affect people every day,” she says. “My degree has broadened my mind and opened my eyes to social injustice, and how it is up to individuals to push past social and economic factors to strive for better. That’s what I aim to do!”