Alice Hartley

'I really enjoy the diversity of the people I live with and how we come from all walks of life... '

  • Alice Hartley

Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Sociology

Studying towards a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Political Science

Originally from Wellington, Alice came to UC because she felt the University offered exciting arts courses that could take her down numerous pathways.

'I am very interested in society and the way it all works, whether we are aware of it or not. I was always motivated to go to university. Learning about things you enjoy is exciting, and it is fun when you are passionate about what you are study.'

Alice is planning a career as a policy advisor, ideally working in a government department such as health, education or social policy. She is confident that her degree will set her up well for this path.

'Sociology and Political Science help you look at the world in a critical way. The theories that we learn about often put into perspective many things that we take for granted or assume are common sense. Sociology challenges you - it allows you to ask questions that are open ended but you don't need to have an answer for them. I really like that about Sociology - you can show that you are critically analysing how society and people function.

'I love the fact that we studied this incredible range of diverse issues - things that we knew about and things that we didn't even know exist. Often the issues that I learn about in Sociology link up to the issues we talk about in Political Science. I do feel that the topics we learn about are real-world issues that are important. Furthermore, they are controversial and often they don't have simple answers.'

During her time at UC, Alice has been invited to join the Golden Key International Honour Society, which recognises academic success and gives opportunities for community service. She also won a number of scholarships. Another key experience was to take the ARTS 395 Internship course, in her case at Christchurch City Council.

'I was keen to work on a project that simulated real-life policy making. I ended up producing a policy memo for the Christchurch City Council and Age Concern about fear of crime among the elderly. I also completed problem definition and policy design exercises as tools to help my policy recommendation.'

When she isn't studying, Alice enjoys boot camp fitness programmes and dancing, and she keeps up her cultural interests with movies and reading.

Alice lived in a hall of residence in her first two years, choosing College House for its traditions, house spirit and smaller numbers, and because her two sisters had gone there and loved it, so it was an experience she wanted as well.

'The support network is so essential in your first year because things can seem overwhelming,' she says. 'With all the cultural and sporting activities it's an easy way to meet new friends, and it pushes you into a social environment.

'I really enjoyed the diversity of the people I lived with and how we came from all walks of life. The friends I made then are ones that I know I will have for life.'

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