Sylvia Kwamboka Ong’ondi
- Course: MSc Management
- Year of graduation: 2015
- Nationality: Kenyan
- Job title: Delivery Director
- Company: President's Delivery Unit
How did you hear about Leeds University Business School and why did you choose to study here?
Leeds University has a good reputation in my country. I first heard of it from my undergraduate professor who had undertaken his postgraduate studies at the University of Leeds. I also conducted some online research on the school. The rankings and cost of the Masters programme played a big role in my identifying Leeds University Business School as my school of choice.
Tell us about your course – why did you choose it?
Having worked for close to four years in the telecommunications industry, I decided that I needed to grow further in my career by undertaking a Masters course. I am an engineer by profession, and I wanted to go into full-fledged management. The MSc Management course offered by the Business School looked like the best option since its module structure gives one a good understanding of the business environment, and imparts the necessary skills required as a manager. Also, the programme includes the Leaders in Residence sessions, which enable students to interact with various leaders in the industry. This was a plus for me since I am very keen on networking.
Did you receive a scholarship to study here?
I did apply for the Mick Yates Scholarship in Leadership and was successful. This was a partial scholarship given by the University; I was very excited to get it.
What is the best part of your studies?
The best part of my studies has been getting to hear from different guest speakers who come in and give talks during some module sessions. Also, the Leaders in Residence programme has been mind-opening and I have gained a lot of insight from it.
What are your career aspirations?
My career aspiration is to be in the top management of an international company. I would also want to be a board member for an NGO. I do believe that through my interactions with various students, module leaders and the Business School, I will be able to achieve my dreams. Coming to the University of Leeds has broadened my perspective especially in terms of a global overview on businesses.
Have you had any opportunities to gain work experience outside of your studies?
I took up an opportunity offered by the Leeds University Centre for African Studies to be a LUCAS Project teacher. This involves teaching children in primary schools in Leeds about Africa, to try and give a better understanding of Africa since there is a misconception of the continent. This has been an amazing opportunity as it has helped me learn more about Africa and also encouraged me to get involved with the local community in Leeds.
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?
The transition has been good. There are a lot of people willing to help you find your way around. Also most of the information you require is available online, so it’s easy to settle down quickly.
What was your experience of the facilities, the staff, your peers, the city of Leeds and the Yorkshire region?
One thing I love about the University of Leeds is that everything seems to work. The online library services are fantastic! The staff are very good and encourage students to excel. They are willing to assist in case of any issues especially with course work. I have had chance to go around Leeds and have also visited the city of York; it is a very beautiful place.
Would you recommend the Business School to others who are considering studying here?
My experience so far has been great and I would definitely recommend anyone who wants to undertake a management course to enroll at Leeds University Business School.