Economics student Estela

Estela Jankauskaite

Why did you choose Leeds University Business School? 

After thorough research, Leeds University Business School stood out for three main reasons. Firstly, the Business School is a leading business school with a great reputation and ranks highly against other universities.  

Secondly, the Business School is a diverse and inclusive institution with a thriving global community of students and staff. This multicultural environment allows students to experience different cultures through meeting individuals from all parts of the world.  

The Business School also provides a wide range of opportunities to grow personally and professionally, such as study abroad experiences, employability programmes, academic societies and more. 

What do you enjoy most about your studies? 

The best part about my studies is that I can tailor my degree for my specific interests. The University offers a variety of optional and discovery modules throughout the years, which have allowed me to explore my areas of interest in more depth, such as health economics.  

Students can also enrich their university experience by choosing to do a study abroad or a placement year. As I was very eager to put theory learned at classes into practice, I decided to do a placement year at the Department of Health and Social Care.  

The Business School offers a range of extracurricular activities, such as lunchtime seminars and webinars on essential economic topics, which offer you an additional opportunity to broaden your perspectives on topics of interest further, as well as the chance to discuss and network with fellow students and lecturers. 

Have you taken up any of the extra opportunities available to you? What was your experience of these? 

One of the most incredible opportunities our university provides is the chance to study abroad at one of the many partner universities. Though students can study abroad for an academic year, I chose to study abroad for a shorter period in summer. 

I studied Japanese Economy and Politics at Sophia University in Tokyo, Japan for a month after my 2nd year. I really enjoyed my time at Sophia University and Tokyo itself. It was fascinating to discuss main economic events and politics from a Japanese perspective and experience different teaching styles and institutional culture. Tokyo never ceased to amaze me, from a unique focus on art and architecture to vibrant nightlife, full of karaoke.  

In my second year, I became a University of Leeds student ambassador to share my great experience at university with prospective students.  

As I enjoyed sharing my knowledge and working with other students, I also became an ambassador of the Business School and finally an Undergraduate Admissions Intern in my final year. These roles proved great opportunities to improve my communication and presenting skills. 

At the end of my second year, I received a scholarship to attend the Foundation for International Education global classroom programme in London and represent the University of Leeds in a Student Global Leadership Conference focused on a sustainable future. This experience allowed me to develop my leadership skills further and discuss topics of matter with the empowering leaders of tomorrow. 

How has your experience been with the facilities, the staff, your peers and the student union? 

I found the University of Leeds campus a great place to study. All facilities are of the highest quality to make sure they meet students’ needs, from quiet study rooms to cosy cafes in the union.  

The staff are always engaging and keen to help by providing professional support. I found skills sessions in the library and tutor meetings very useful. The people I met on my course and at extracurricular activities went on to be some of my closest friends and study buddies that I will be sure to keep in contact after university. 

Leeds University Union has hundreds of clubs and societies, which are great ways to make friends, find new interests and get involved with university life. Throughout my studies, I attended events, competitions hosted by many academic, sport and cultural societies. 

I have also been involved with Consulting society committee, where I am currently president. 

If you completed a year in industry, how was your experience? Did you feel supported by the University in finding your placement? 

I completed a 14-month placement at the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) working as an analyst. I immensely enjoyed having an opportunity to apply the skills I have gained at university into practice.  

During the beginning of my placement, I had a chance to work on big projects, such as UK hospitals’ purchasing power parities (PPPs) analysis for Eurostat. However, halfway through my placement, COVID-19 reached the UK and it became DHSC’s number one priority, resulting in a fundamental change to my role.  

I became part of a coronavirus analysis coordination hub supporting senior colleagues. Integrating into a fast-paced environment and being responsible for highly important work was an invaluable experience. Due to my successful performance, my placement was extended for additional two months.  

The University of Leeds supported me throughout the process of finding a placement to completing it in unprecedented times. 

What do you think of Leeds and the surrounding region? Where is your favourite place to go in the area? 

Upon arriving in Leeds, I was amazed by nature surrounding the city, particularity the nearby parks which I love to go visit with friends.  

My favourite place is Leeds Dock by the River Aire in central Leeds. Besides enjoying the beautiful area and its buildings, you can take a water taxi ride! 

Would you recommend the Business School to others who are considering studying here? 

I think every student should do their research to find out which university, school and programme is the best fit for them. But from my personal experience, I would strongly advise putting Leeds University Business School in the list of schools to look at, as this institution has a lot to offer to young, ambitious minds. 

If you are not from the UK, how was the transition to a foreign country? Did the University offer support or services that you found helpful? Can you offer any advice? 

I am originally from Lithuania and moved to Leeds a few weeks before term start. Preparation to start my life in the UK required some adjustment. Luckily, the University offers a lot of support for international students to help them settle in.  

Student accommodation featured welcoming staff, activities and events to help you get to know other students. The campus also had welcome teams and student ambassadors to help you get around on your first days, along with the Freshers Fair at the student union, where you can find societies to join.  

To all international students coming to study at Leeds, I would advise you to take advantage of all opportunities provided to you. Keep an eye on the Business School and Leeds University Union online pages, where they announce everything that’s going on at university.