Siobhan Quinn

Siobhan Quinn

Tell us about your degree - why did you choose it? What elements of the degree inspired you to study it?

I came to Leeds initially in 2008 to complete my undergraduate studies in German and Spanish, I then returned to the University in 2013 to begin a Masters degree in International Business. I decided to study this degree as I had travelled to China in 2009 and India in 2012 and I had a real passion and curiosity to find out more about these countries, particularly India, and to learn what they have to offer the rest of the world. Through my language studies I have also developed an interest in the European Union. The range of modules on offer as part of the MSc International Business meant that I could encompass a number of my interests. 

What was the best part of your studies here? What did you enjoy the most?

I really enjoyed the Emerging Markets module. Every lecture I learnt something completely new. Having the chance to research nations like Brazil, Russia, India and China, as well as other countries opened my eyes to how quickly some nations are developing. Having a number of lecturers teach the module too meant that we really were learning from the experts on these nations. 

Outside of the classroom, being a course representative was definitely the best part, because through that I really got to know almost every single one of my classmates. I made some fantastic friends from all over the world, made two friends in particular who I know are going to be very close friends for the rest of my life. It wasn’t always easy, because culturally we are all very different, but seeing us all together at the end of the year at the summer ball was a fantastic moment.

Do you think the experience and skills you gained here will help/helped you in your future career plans? For example, how did the employability tutors develop your skills, how did the careers service support you?

I decided back in September to apply for Teach First, because I have such a passion for learning and education thanks to the opportunities that I have had, and I want to share this passion with young people. When I gained a place on the programme my personal development tutor, Elizabeth Bailey, was a great support in helping me decide whether in fact it was the right decision for me, particularly as it meant juggling a rigorous summer training programme with the difficulties of a Masters dissertation. She gave me the confidence to realise that if I wanted it enough I would be able to complete both aspects which, sure enough, I did. 
How do you think the Business School improved your employability?

Before starting my Masters I had never really properly considered my future career, and I especially hadn’t considered what aspects were important for me. At the start of the programme I had no idea what I wanted to do after my Masters had finished, but within a few weeks I had applied for Teach First and I gained a place at the start of November.

How has your career progressed since leaving the Business School? Have there been any notable highlights?

I am now teaching Spanish at Bradford Academy, in Bradford and I absolutely love it. I definitely made the correct decision. Being able to share my passions for the globalised world in which we live, through the medium of a foreign language, really has brought together my skills and my interests. Despite the early morning starts and the late nights, marking books and planning lessons, I thoroughly enjoy going to work every day, and the young people I work with, though challenging at times, are great fun too! 
What are your ambitions for the future?

I will definitely stay in education in some form, but I would like to do some different things, perhaps work my way up into a more managerial role so that I can bring in some of my business skills, maybe even move and work abroad for a bit too.

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

My defining memory, that I know will stay with me for a while yet, was seeing one of my Chinese friends get up to make a speech on behalf of the cohort at the International Business summer ball. I remember meeting this particular student during the orientation week, and him apologising to me for his lack of English, but throughout the year he made an effort to get to know everyone, to spend time with every nationality, and seeing him there giving a speech at the end of the year made me feel really proud of him!!

I would definitely recommend the Business School to others who want an international experience, friends from all over the world and the chance to learn a variety of new things.