- Course: MSc Management
- Year of graduation: 2015
- Nationality: German
How did you hear about Leeds University Business School and why did you choose to study here?
I was able to choose from several universities in Europe and North America. However, Leeds University Business School is one of the best Business Schools in the UK and Europe. Their accreditations, programme outline, network opportunities and alumni employment rate were some of the main reasons why I chose to come to Leeds.
Tell us about your course?
The MSc Management course is very diverse. This includes the people as well as the modules and development opportunities.
The cohort is made up of students from over 30 different countries, many speaking three or more languages. I consider that one of the greatest assets of my experience at Leeds, because I was able to connect with friends from many cultures around the world with a mix of previous employment or study backgrounds.
The course is well-structured and well-taught. The modules include all major topics that are important for future managers in the workplace. One of the most important learnings for me personally was the appreciation for the developing change of what it means to be managers and leaders. There is a shift from traditional to more dynamic views to what good managers and leaders are. The world of tomorrow needs people who think unconventionally and enable positive change. Understanding and leveraging the power of people and mind were key experiences throughout the year which impacted me a lot.
What are the best things about your studies so far?
The thing I have enjoyed the most is that it is challenging. It certainly is hard work and demands a lot of discipline. But at the same time it is a good mix of work and fun. The old saying “work hard and play hard” applies here.
As a student it’s important to not just focus on the academic elements of studying, but also to look left and right might which might be at least equally important. I like that there are countless opportunities across the University which aid you to do so. If you manage your time well, you give yourself flexibility and, for example, can go on all sorts of trips and explore the UK on weekends.
I have always enjoyed internationality. I have worked and studied in five different countries so far, but my environment has never been as international as during my MSc at Leeds. I think that everyone on the course benefited from the great diversity in cultures, languages, professions and perspectives. It was an eye-opener in many occasions which has helped us to understand each other better and develop genuine appreciation for differences and similarities in cultures and mindsets.
I became friends with wonderful people e.g. from Nigeria, Mongolia, Venezuela and India which I otherwise might never have met. The opportunity to connect with people from distant regions and cultures is something that I know everyone on the programme does look back at with big smiles and wonderful memories.
What are your career aspirations, do you have any plans for when you finish your Masters?
I have very high ambitions for myself as I am a very driven person and aim to make a positive impact wherever possible. This is in my professional as well as in my personal life. Meeting these expectations can be challenging, however the University offers a great amount of support to create personal and professional development plans, which are an integral part of the course.
There is support such as a personal tutor, the Careers Centre, career and job fairs, networking events and many more. I feel that the support I received helped me to grow and take the necessary steps to achieve my goals. Since there are so many opportunities available, make sure you use them as much as possible. They can really make a difference when used effectively.
How was the transition to study in the UK from a foreign country?
The transition from my home country (Germany) to the UK was very smooth. The cultural difference isn’t as big as it is in many other cases. Therefore, it was relatively easy to feel comfortable. However, many others took a little longer to get used to the way things work just because differences are more significant and take a little longer to adjust to.
In all cases, the University provided a broad range of support to help us get used to the environment and feel supported. There are activities which are specifically targeted at international students.
However, I found that through the open integration of everyone in the Masters programme, the biggest support network were peers. Everybody helped each other wherever possible, which built a strong network and support system.
What has been your experience of the facilities, the staff, your peers, the city of Leeds and the Yorkshire region?
Many people call the Maurice Keyworth Building, where the business school is based, the ‘Hogwarts of Leeds’ (like in the Harry Potter movies). It is a beautiful building which combines old structures with modern interior design.
Coming from a sports background I also love the Edge, which is the University of Leeds fitness centre. It’s one of the most modern gyms with all kinds of machines, equipment and classes. They also have a swimming pool, sauna, climbing wall and squash courts – I can only recommend all of these.
As said before, my classmates came from all regions around the world. The friendships that were made will last very long I am sure. One of the big advantages of having friends in all parts of the globe is the ability to travel and connect. In a global world like it is today this can only be an advantage from both personal and professional perspectives.
Are there any experiences outside of your studies that you particularly enjoy?
I was fascinated by the opportunities the University has to offer outside of the classroom. The Students’ Union is one of the best in the UK. They offer a huge variety of clubs, societies and events. Everybody would be able to find something they are interested in. Go check it out, it’s awesome.
I personally joined the Taekwondo, Enactus and Enterprise society. Especially the work with Enactus has provided me with great opportunities to work on projects that have a real impact on people, businesses and the environment. Activities like that also look great on your CV, which are often significant advantages in job applications.
In addition, I think Spark is a great part of the University which I used it a lot. Spark offers support to students who already did or are planning to start their own businesses. It is an invaluable opportunity that you should definitely use if you are interested in enterprise and start-ups.
Would you recommend the Business School to others who are considering studying here?
Absolutely. The reasons why I would choose Leeds again and again are the great Masters programme with an extremely diverse cohort and the development opportunities everywhere in and around the University.
It is a fantastic way to develop professionally and personally.
Since the University has so much to offer I advise everyone to invest some time before or at the beginning of the course to familiarise yourself with what opportunities are available. The development, experience and memories you get out of your time at Leeds are only limited to what you are willing to put in and ask for.