International Alumni Profile: Rebecca Rellstab (MSc Occupational Psychology)

Rebecca studied for an MSc Occupational Psychology at Birkbeck.  She was born in Toronto, Canada, but grew up in Switzerland. She was living in Italy at the time of applying to Birkbeck. She spoke to us about her time at Birkbeck and what she’s up to now…

Rebecca studied the course via network learning, which allowed her to continue to work and live in Rome. “It was a really fantastic way to study. I found it just as engaging, if not more engaging than a face-to-face class or seminar as lessons were open for two weeks and allowed the seminar group to read each other’s contributions and reflect upon them before replying. This resulted in a deeply engaging and reflective learning process and which to this day, is one of the most personally and professionally enriching experiences I have had.”

Studying and working at the same time was hard work, Rebecca acknowledges, but she made as efficient use of her time as possible. “I remember my commute on a busy bus through Rome, passing the Colosseum, along the Tiber, all with a pile of reading materials on my lap!”

Rebecca looks back at her Birkbeck degree with fond memories. “The staff were very accessible and worked hard to make our experience a good one.” She would come to London every so often as part of her course to participate in weekend seminars and study with fellow students in person; they developed a tight-knit study group, and even to this day she is still in touch with several of them.

Rebecca is now working for the United Nations in Geneva, where she leads the Diplomatic and Client Services Team. She says that her degree most certainly helped her with her career progression. “It developed my curiosity and strengthened my ability to withstand and work under pressure.”

Her advice to prospective students thinking of studying at Birkbeck: “Develop a strategy which will allow you to work alongside studying for a degree. Be creative and tap into your support networks when needed.”

If you would like to provide an alumni profile and be featured in our e-newsletter and blog email 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *