Robin Trenbath, from the University of Manchester, was Highly Commended in 2016 for his paper "Bordering and Ordering: A Discursive Analysis of Power in Public Space".
After submitting to The Undergraduate Awards, Robin Trenbath graduated with a 1st Class Honours Degree in Politics and Modern History from the University of Manchester, where he was awarded the Edwards & Hooson Prize for outstanding dissertation in social responsibility. His research was also published in an international peer-reviewed journal, Political Perspectives, and he was shortlisted Best Speaker at the British Conference of Undergraduate Research. One of his most memorable experiences at undergraduate level was contributing to the Manchester Refugee Support Network heritage project, for which he collected oral histories of Bosnian refugees who fled violence caused by the disintegration of Yugoslavia in the 1990’s.
Following this, Robin completed an MSc in Comparative Social Policy at the University of Oxford and moved to Bogotá, Colombia, where in the midst of the country’s transition from conflict he has been brushing up on his Spanish and working as an independent International Consultant for various United Nations System agencies and INGOs in topics such as gender equality and business development. He hopes to build on this experience through a practical and evidence-based application of value chain development to post-conflict contexts, thereby achieving the interconnected and mutually dependent goals of peacebuilding and inclusive economic growth. In time, he would like to complete a PhD in this topic, but isn’t in a rush!
Since arriving in Latin America, he has been fortunate to travel to Panamá, Peru, Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay for both business and pleasure, and has plans to explore many countries besides. He also enjoys playing football, often finding that his Welsh style of play is no match for the much more skilful Colombians around him, and learning about the music and culture of his adopted home.
To get to this point, Robin took an unusual path. Having left school early and worked for several years in the healthcare sector supporting adults and children with disabilities, before teaching himself high school qualifications in his mid-20’s, he appreciates the kind of trajectory-changing experience that education can be. He also understands profoundly the kinds of opportunities that The Undergraduate Awards can bring. Robin recounts his experience with fond memories and gives his advice to undergraduates in the position to submit their work this year;
"It might be daunting to share your ideas and writing, especially on a global scale, but submitting an essay to The Undergraduate Awards pushed me to have confidence in my ideas. Doing so – and being recognised for doing so – is an exercise that is very much worth the pain!"
If you would like to find out how to submit to this year's Undergraduate Awards click here.