Develop a strong foundation
Working as a migration delegate with the Danish Red Cross, Brian Brady uses the skills he has gained from the Master of Disaster Management (MDMa) every day. Brian started out as a volunteer with US Peace Corps specializing in community economic development in Guinea. Later on, he worked with the Danish Refugee Council in Guinea and Liberia. This work eventually lead him to embark on the MDMa, which he finished in 2018.
“I did not have a strong theoretical foundation in the humanitarian realm or disaster management. I had a very practical hands-on experience and thought, ‘Why not go back to my master’s and develop a strong foundation in these areas?’ Field work has always been an interest of mine, which I think is important. This is not the type of job you can do without a strong interest,” says Brian.
Having had a lot of hands-on experience in the field, the MDMa programme turned out to be a great fit for Brian, who thrives in practical surroundings.
“Most of the professors and speakers were or had actively worked in the field, so it was not just theory. The programme was a lot of real life examples and case studies, but at the same time, it had enough theory to give me the academic perspective that I wanted,” he says.
Gaining an academic perspective
Being able to see emergency-situations through an analytical lens is something that Brian learn from the MDMa. A skill, which is needed in a field where the urgency of a disaster might sometimes overshadow the idea of looking in the history books.
“There is sometimes a tendency in the humanitarian sector to think of each crisis as completely new and novel. This master’s gave me the skills to say, ‘What other situations can we look back and learn from, for what is happening right now?’ I gained skills for looking at such situations with an academic perspective that I had not had before, and this is definitely an advantage for me in my current position as well,” Brian says.
The analytical approach to an otherwise very practical field proved very useful to Brian, who uses his skills to work with migration with colleagues from all over the world.
“ I am currently working with migration in the West Africa region, and the analytical skills I have gained from this master’s programme contributes to that. I developed my ability to think critically and conduct research, which are very useful in my work,” he says.
Interview from April 2020