Rawan graduated with an MSc in Public Health and Health Promotion in 2018.  She is now working with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as a Humanitarian Affairs Fellow. Rawan is based in Zambia and her role is part of a joint fellowship programme between the United Nations and African Union for young female leaders. 

With UNDP, Rawan works on the humanitarian response plan to provide mechanisms for early recovery and resilience to help protect the lives and livelihoods of Zambians in the light of the climatic change, leading to erratic rain causing droughts in various parts of the country and the Southern African region. 

Speaking about her time at Swansea University, Rawan says:  

Rawan Taha stood by a large tree stump

As a young scholarly African woman, I was looking for a university that provided opportunities for young leaders like myself. After applying for and being selected for the Eira Francis Davies Scholarship for African women in Health Sciences, I decided to study at Swansea. 

What I liked most about my course was the freedom to write my assignments on topics that I chose, and to develop my own curriculums, my own reading lists, and my own interests.  This led me to graduate with a vast knowledge on a wide subject range and to explore fields that ventured beyond the realm of public health. This has contributed to my holistic understanding of health systems through integrating social and medical perspectives. 

I was the Public Health subject representative of my cohort. I was also a member of the Friends of MSF (Medicines Sans Frontiers) society. Through my academic year, I had multiple jobs on campus, and worked with Discovery Student Volunteering Services during the summer as an assistant to volunteers with special needs. 

I also worked as the Research Intern at Swansea University’s Centre for Global Burn Injury Policy and Research under the supervision of Professor Tom PotokarFurthermore, I had two placements: one with Public Health Wales, and another with the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Chemicals in Cardiff. These opportunities have contributed to my academic and career development even beyond my coursework and lectures. 

My advice to current students is to use university time to become beyond your degree, beyond your thesis and beyond your transcripts. Only then will you be able to get a job and live a life that is beyond your expectations.