Natalia Santos

MA graduate Natalia Santos talks about her experience of studying a Masters in Corruption and Governance and how it has built her self-confidence and helped her develop her critical thinking skills to make more informed decisions.

Natalia portrait photo in colour

What made you apply to Sussex?

I came to apply to Sussex due to Chevening Scholarship, a programme that offers future leaders the unique opportunity to study at any UK university. I started looking for a Masters course that would fit in my professional and academic goals; that is when I found Sussex and the MA in Corruption and Governance. Plus, Brighton seemed a very cool city, which indeed is.

At that time, I was working with public audits in the Brazilian Office of the Comptroller General. Thus, I wanted to study public management focusing on transparency enhancement and anti-corruption policies. Sussex was the only university in the UK to offer a programme aimed at studying corruption.  Besides the Sussex Centre for the Study of Corruption’s interdisciplinary approach to analyse corruption, the MA programme offered the opportunity to undertake a three-month internship with an organisation active in the field.

What is your standout memory of your time on the course?

I was very impressed by the campus infrastructure and how well organised things were; different from the university I studied in Brazil. A standout memory of my time on the course is a Christmas lunch at Falmer bar. I felt very welcomed, surrounded by friendly people. I almost didn’t miss my family. Just kidding. Also it was all very traditional, just like in the movies. Another great memory is the Language Café. What an excellent idea to integrate students, learn a language and have fun.

What you are doing now?

Nowadays I’m still working at the Office of the Comptroller General. However, I am placed at a different sector with different responsibilities. I work at the Secretariat for Transparency and Corruption Prevention, more specifically with transparency policies for interest representation. At Sussex, I have developed my self-confidence and this is fundamental for any career. I realised I am capable of more than I think I was. Now I feel more equipped to deal with the topics and the challenges of my job. Also, I have improved my critical thinking, which helps me to see a comprehensive view of any situation and make more informed decisions. Moreover, it was very enriching to be in touch with people from all over the world with different backgrounds.