Leticia Salmon told us about her life at Cambridge and after graduation, as she prepares to return to collect her MA.
I studied Education with History, and chose Homerton because I thought it offered a unique community. From the first minute of the Open Day, there was an immediate warm and welcoming feeling about Homerton.Hindu Vidyapeeth (HVP) Nepal-UK is a well-established charity in the UK, and I went out with a group of four Cambridge students and four Oxford students, to teach in the HVP school in Kathmandu. It's then down to us to recruit the group for the following year. I taught English and social studies for two months, and we could go travelling in Nepal for one month. The headmaster is an incredible man (Vishnu Dangi, on the right in the photo above, with the Deputy Head Ghanshyam Yogi on the left). I was planning to go back in 2020 when Covid hit, and I'm really hoping to make it this summer. When I look back, I feel sad about how quickly it went! There was lots of freedom, a beautiful blessing that you take for granted, and university life offered so much – access to lectures, books and libraries, which you take for granted at the time. I look back with great fondness on three formative years: it was what made me who I am as a person.I guess I packed a lot into my time at Cambridge: I was captain of women’s hockey at Homerton, and Event Director for the Varsity ski trip. In my second and third years I joined the Cambridge University Officers' Training Corps, which as well as weekly training nights gave me a chance to participate in incredible summer expeditions. I really enjoyed being JCR Ents Officer in my second year, organising inclusive events for all incoming students, and throughout the year. And organising the logistics for the Pink Week Ball! I also tested my logistics skills by organising the Atlantic Cup - played by Harvard, Yale, Oxford and Cambridge - as part of the CU Polo Team. Perhaps what will stay with me longest was volunteering with a school in Nepal.
I would have stayed in touch with the College more if it hadn't been for the pandemic, and I don’t now live in the UK: I moved to Dubai two years ago to join a company called Thuso, a strategic consultancy in the humanitarian, development, investment, health, and education sectors. We work with NGOs - including UNICEF, UNDP, and UNHCR, and with national ministries, and it turns out I am working with lots of Homertonians! The Managing Director is Matthew Goldie-Scot (BA Education with English, 2004-7), the Founding Partner is Charles Schulze (MPhil Management, 2012-3), and Daniel Cronin (BA Geography 2017-20) joined us recently. The location in Dubai makes it easy to travel - a lot of what we do is in countries like Somalia and Uganda. Some of the work is research, and evaluating NGOs' projects - a bit like auditors - and we advise on public policy. I've recently got back from St Kitts and Nevis, where I was helping the Ministry of Education, Sport and Health to implement a new sports policy. The Education Tripos included international development, which I enjoyed, so I do feel there's a straight line between my degree and my current career. Cambridge helped me develop skills in data analysis and integration which I use all the time. I had to take a reading list of 20 books and turn it into an essay of 2000 words when I was an undergraduate and that discipline still stands me in good stead! And of course Homerton is an international environment: I met lots of international students at Cambridge, and have made some life-long friends.