Emilia inside the Esther Simpson café

Emilia Larkin

How did you hear about the Business School and why did you choose to study here? 

I had heard positive reviews about Leeds University Business school from students who had previously studied here. I did my own research and found that The Centre for International Business at the University of Leeds is recognised as the world’s leading research centre for international business. The rankings for both the Business School and my course made Leeds the ultimate choice  to study International Business at Masters level. 

Having studied in Leeds for my undergraduate degree I understood what a great city Leeds is as a student. The city has a vibrant life of its own, however, you also have access to the surrounding countryside in no time at all. It really has been a home from home for me in the past four years; the city is a great environment to both live and learn. 

Tell us about your course - why did you choose it?

I knew I wanted to study International Business at Masters level and the modules on offer at the Business School appealed to me straight away. The nature of the course is broad, giving an excellent holistic view of international business. You learn how to conduct business across different markets in a rapidly changing global landscape. There was flexibility to tailor the course to my specific interests in depth. I personally chose to study the electives ‘Chinese Business’ and ‘Global Business Immersion’. 

I liked that the University's strong corporate links meant that I could engage in a company-based dissertation as opposed to a traditional dissertation. This provided an opportunity for greater practical development especially concerning consulting. 

The course also hosts a range of students from various countries. I knew working in a multicultural environment, especially in teams, would allow me to network and develop my cross-cultural skills which I could take forward into my future career. 

What is the best part of your studies? What are you enjoying the most? 

One of the best parts of my studies has been engaging with exceptional, like-minded people on my course during our practical elements. The practical approach of the course offers opportunities to apply theories to real-life business cases. This really aided my learning and made it more enjoyable seeing what we had learned come off the page.  

For example, in my ‘International Strategic Management’ module, in teams, we created our own start-up company in a simulation practice and grew our business globally over a number of rounds. We needed to take all the knowledge we had garnered and put it into practice in order to succeed, really allowing us to grasp the challenges and opportunities of operating in the international business environment. 

What are your career aspirations? Do you think the experience and skills you will gain on your course will help you in your future career plans?

My career aspirations are to become a consultant within the field of international business. I would like to work in a dynamic environment and potentially gain experience across multiple industries on a global scale. The personal growth that you can realise when each project is different further attracts me. 

The University has really helped develop me both academically and professionally, not only in my modules but with help from the fantastic careers team at the Business School. My ‘Professional Skills for International Business’ module, with the help of a professional development tutor, undoubtedly helped me develop my future employability skills. I received support on creating my own professional development plan and how to action it. 

Not only have I learned from my course, but the Business School offers extra events and webinars from outside organisations, which I feel really shape your all-round development. They help to broaden your perspectives on interesting and important topics whilst also providing networking opportunities. 

Do you have any noteworthy achievements from your study at the Business School that you can tell us about? 

I really enjoyed my ‘Globalization of Innovation’ module as it is such an intriguing and key area of international business. I was excited to see my keen interest reflect in my grade, achieving the highest marks on the module in the exam. 

What is your impression/experience of the facilities, the staff, your peers, the student union, the City of Leeds and the Yorkshire region? 

A Masters degree is intense as it is condensed into one year of teaching, that’s why I believe it’s very important to maintain a work life balance. You can do just that in Leeds as there’s so much on offer. 

The city centre is actually relatively small, but I have always been surprised that in such a space there is so much to do. The Leeds City Council organises events such as the UK's largest annual arts and light festival (‘Light Night’), Bonfire Night and the Leeds Indie Food Festival. There are also a great variety of shops, bars, restaurants and historic places of interest. 

Leeds is situated near the Yorkshire Dales which offers a great escape from the bustling city life. 

What would you say your defining memory of studying here was? 

In my module ‘Global Business Immersion’ we had company presentations with nine leading multinational enterprises in their respective industries. My presentation skills were an area I really wanted to develop so it was an excellent module for me to study. From my first presentation with Wunderman Thompson to my last one with Versace, I was able to gain confidence in both presenting to and engaging with industry professionals. Coming to the end of the module and reflecting on my development and progress in these areas was definitely a defining moment for me. 

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

100% yes. My course has exceeded all expectations. If you want to be taught by leading industry experts in their chosen fields then you should certainly consider studying at Leeds University Business School. The environment really challenges a curious mind. Studying at the Business School I feel has prepared me both academically and professionally so I can take my next steps with confidence.