My name is Ella Hill, I'm a journalist and researcher from the UK. I'm currently interning at the Economist, writing about everything from Tibetan butter sculptures to the contested politics of some of the world's most iconic dishes. Before moving to London I was based in Amman, Jordan for a few months, working as a research consultant for a peace-building organisation. The research project involved interviewing 25 people from 11 different post-conflict zones around the world, from Sri Lanka to South Sudan – a unique opportunity to hear about the challenges faced by volunteers working to bring peaceful dialogue back to their communities.
I recently finished my MPhil in Modern Middle Eastern Studies at Oxford University, graduating with a distinction. Whilst there I learned about Political Islam, Middle Eastern women's movements and Gulf politics and society. I also dabbled in social anthropology in the MENA region and audited classes on IR in the Middle East. A big component of the course was Arabic: over the course of 2 years I gained an advanced proficiency in the language (I'm now continuing my learning at SOAS). Before Oxford, I studied English Literature at Durham University, with Spanish and some Arabic evening classes alongside.
I'm a languages enthusiast: Proficient in 3 languages, I have my sights set on resurrecting my French. After that I plan to acquire some German.
I'm also keen to develop my multimedia skills and have been learning about everything from how to take better photos with a smartphone (an essential for any reporter on the beat) to understanding how to create compelling stories through data visualisation and information design.