Ally McCrow-Young

‘Broadening my worldview’ at Lund University

The Lund University Experience: ‘enriching and encouraging’

In the following sections, Ally describes her way to and through the programme.

The Lund University Experience: ‘enriching and encouraging’
Ally says she had ‘a great experience at Lund University; it was a real privilege to be able to study at the postgraduate level, particularly in such a welcoming environment. The university overall was a wonderful place to study, and my time at the department was enriching and encouraging’. She goes on to say that since the programme is international, she, ‘had the privilege of making friends with students from all over the world. This experience has been so inspiring, and coming from such a small country like New Zealand, these kinds of opportunities are rare, so it was a real highlight of my experience’.

Choosing media and communication studies
‘I chose this Master’s programme because I thought it would complement my Bachelor’s education where I majored in Film, Television and Media Studies. The theoretical foundation to the programme also really appealed to me since I aimed to continue within academia, and this programme would provide a solid foundation for future studies’. She goes on to say that, ‘As a media and communications student, I’m extremely interested in the intersection between global politics, social structures and the media, and I’m committed to making real social change through research. This degree subject spoke to these interests, as we were encouraged to follow our own research paths while also developing strong theoretical skills’.

‘Broadening my worldview’ at Lund University
Ally says that her time at Lund University has ‘helped me in so many ways, from practicing the craft of academic writing and research, to broadening my worldview and meeting such a diverse group of people’. She goes on to say that ‘I can’t stress enough the privilege of being a student, being able to immerse yourself in a subject and being encouraged to develop and explore your own interests. The amount of support I experienced from teachers and classmates really helped me throughout the programme, and has continued to inspire me in my future endeavours’.

Advice to future students of the programme
‘I would advise you to make the most of your time at Lund. It’s not often you’re able to take the time to become an expert on a topic that interests you, or be around so many likeminded people. Even though it can often be stressful when deadlines are looming, don’t forget to enjoy yourself and support each other, that’s the key to having a great experience in the programme’.

Writing a thesis
During the last semester of the programme, students write a master’s thesis in media and communication studies. Here, Ally describes her topic and the process of writing: ‘I wrote my thesis on political engagement through alternative consumption, addressing the multiple online and offline spaces of commodity activism through a case study of [the company] Oatly’s consumers. I was particularly interested in how individuals navigate their own political identities within a corporate setting, and the implications of political activism that is inextricably linked with consumer culture’. She goes on to say that, ‘Through my research, I found that consumer activity negotiated top-down power from Oatly through a creative and diverse fusion of online and offline engagement, connecting micro individual participation to the macro political community. There was a strong duality to this political engagement, where individual participation and emotion operated simultaneously as brand work for Oatly and as a way to enhance personal engagement with the vegan, animal rights and environmental causes. The process of researching and writing my thesis was a unique experience, and I learnt a lot from it! Not just the knowledge I gained from conducting the research itself, but also the act of gathering data and the organisation of a large research project’.

After graduation
‘I’m currently working on freelance projects as a content writer and editor in Malmö, but my focus is on publishing journal articles and participating in conferences. I’m using this time since graduating to improve my writing and also being involved with helping the current programme students with study skills and alumni advice’. She goes on to describe her future plans, ‘My colleagues and I have founded the Lund University Critical Animal Studies Network which centres on education and continued networking and research in the field. With the network, I’m working to organise seminars and workshops with other organisations both within and outside of academia, such as local activist groups’. In the future, Ally says that she plans to ‘pursue PhD positions in Sweden, as I would love to continue my research and develop my teaching skills’.

Sidansvarig: michael.rubsamenkom.luse | 2020-06-15