Mengqi Sun, CEID Class of 2021
Current Position: Assistant Lecturer in Primary Education Faculty at Shijiazhuang Preschool Teachers College
My main responsibility in my current position is to teach the course Primary Education to the students in Primary Education Faculty of Shijiazhuang Preschool Teachers College. In China, college belongs to the level of higher education, but due to the fact that students entering college generally have lower scores in the college entrance examination than those entering university, the recognition of college is not as good as that of university. The students in this college are going to be primary school teachers after three-year study. And most of them are going to work in schools located in relatively less economically developed areas due to the educational level limitation.
On my career journey, CEID helped me a lot, especially in terms of courses and events. Regarding courses, the CEID and Education Policy and Politics of Education (EPPE) courses had a great impact on me. CEID helped me realize that education is such a grand concept that it is not equivalent to teaching or pedagogy. In the CEID course, I explored the relationship between education and culture, education and economy, education and gender equality and issues of concern for NGOs and the GEM Report. In the EPPE course, I found my interest in the field of comparative education, which is policy analysis. When you are conducting policy analysis, you will find that the reasons and purposes for some phenomena in the field of education are not as simple as they appear on the surface. And my dissertation also focused on this point, I studied socio-economic inequality in China’s HE internationalisation policy by doing critical policy analysis.
In terms of events, what impressed me the most was the PhD Panel and Career Panel. During my studies, whether to continue pursuing further studies and pursuing a doctoral degree was also a question that I considered. After participating in PhD Panel, I thought I should figure out whether I want or I really need a doctoral degree. After careful consideration, I gave up the idea of directly pursuing a doctoral degree after graduating with a master’s degree. For me, pursuing a PhD is to research specific issues that interest me, not just to improve my academic qualification. However, I had almost no experience working in the field of education, as a result, I had not yet gained a deep understanding of some phenomena or issues. It might be more meaningful for me to pursue a PhD when I discover some phenomena and issues through my work experience and aspire to study them.
Since I decided to work after graduation, the Career Panel helped me a lot. I really appreciate that Career Panel provided us with lots of practical skills such as CV writing and ways of searching career for opportunities.
In pursuing a position after the master’s degree, the biggest challenge for me was to make clear what kind of job I would like to do. Ultimately, what motivated me to make up my mind to work in college is my interests in policy analysis. But when I search for those recruitment positions, I found all of them requires at least three-year teaching experiences in school or colleges, and most of them require a doctoral degree. Then I thought if I am unable to secure my ideal position for the time being, I should at least do a job that will help me achieve my future career plan. Working in college first is very suitable for me at present. Compared to those who work in enterprises, those who work in universities have a relative advantage in applying for a PhD. At the same time, working in college can also help me accumulate work experience.