Alkan Dogan

Alkan Dogan

How did you hear about Leeds University Business School and why did you choose to study here?
The first time I heard about Leeds University Business School was while I was researching highly ranked British business schools, since I was fascinated by the idea of pursuing a postgraduate degree in the UK. After comparing some of the courses offered by different universities, the modules within the programme schedules, the living costs and tuition fees, I decided to apply for a degree at Leeds University Business School. The combination of an excellent reputation and a strong focus on entrepreneurship made Leeds even more appealing and suitable in regards to my future career aims. Furthermore, getting in touch with students beforehand helped me to get a realistic understanding of approximate living costs, the support received from the University and the excellent student experience resulting from it.

Tell us about your course – why did you choose it? What elements of the course inspired you to study here? 
The MSc Management programme aims to equip students with business management and employability skills by teaching a range of business areas of managerial importance. This course enables students to manage (multi-cultural) teams, understand employee and customer behaviour to manage business processes effectively, and realise business opportunities - challenges every manager is likely to face in the workplace of the future.

As a graduate in Business Education, the MSc in Management course was the most logical option for me, since I was keen to learn more about the business side of things. Furthermore, learning about the Leaders in Residence programme and its frequent events raised my interest. In the framework of this programme, students receive the unique opportunity to ask former and current executives from different sectors on managerial experiences they have had. I consider this programme as highly educational and an extremely valuable support from the Business School. All in all, the MSc Management course was the most suitable programme for me personally because of the extra-curricular offerings and modules that connect the academic side of business with the practical managerial implications.

What has been the best part of your studies – what have you enjoyed the most?
It is extremely difficult to choose what I have enjoyed the most during my studies since there have been several memorable moments. However, if I had to decide on one particular thing, I would choose the value of a diverse environment. My studies at Leeds have not only equipped me with intercultural competence, but they have also helped me to understand the value of every interaction with people from diverse backgrounds. These interactions have been highly valuable since they have provided me with a unique opportunity to gain enriching insights into different perspectives.

What are your career aspirations? Do you think the experience and skills you’ve gained here so far have helped you in your career plans? In what way? 
Currently I am very interested in the position of a management consultant. During my engagement in the Consulting You project, offered by the student organisation Enactus, I was able to gain insights into the exciting field of consulting. This project equipped me with relevant hands-on experience of working for clients in a professional environment, thereby providing me with a more realistic understanding of management consultancy. 

Another career path that currently interests me, is the career of an entrepreneur who offers an innovative product/service. The organisation Spark and the University’s Career Centre are probably the best organisations to consult in order to transform your raw business ideas into professional and sustainable business models. On top of that, the University offers lots of different activities to trigger innovative and divergent thinking. I would highly recommend everybody to join these sessions since they give you opportunities to see things differently and challenge your own ideas, which can be a crucial skill for an entrepreneurial career. So, get ready to brainstorm and be amazed by your creativity!

Apart from the skills I have gained through extra-curricular and co-curricular engagement at the University, the modules were particularly helpful. By building bridges between academic theory and managerial implications, the modules’ content equipped me with valuable knowledge on employee management, entrepreneurial business management, intercultural communication, human decision making and much more.

Do you have any noteworthy achievements from your study at the Business School that you can tell us about?
I hold the position of an MSc Management Course Representative. The responsibilities for this particular role include organising events/socials for fellow students, gathering feedback from students, and ensuring that their voices are heard. Together with two other Course Reps we constantly work on enhancing the student experience of our fellows at the Business School.

In February 2016 I was awarded the Motivational Impact Award by the Business School for my extra/co-curricular activities as a Course Representative and my positive impact on the student experience. In addition to the Motivational Impact Award, the University of Leeds and Leeds University Union awarded me with the Academic Rep of the Year Award in April 2016, for my engagement as a Course Representative of the MSc Management programme. Since the latter one was a university-wide award, I feel especially privileged about having been nominated and selected for this particular award.

Another noteworthy achievement was the result of the KPMG International Case Competition UK Finals 2015-16 in London. Together, with my team "Leeds Leads”, we managed to position ourselves among the best four teams of the UK! It was very exciting to compete with students from Cambridge, Oxford and the LSE. A great experience that provided me with further consulting and team working skills!

To this day, I consider receiving these awards as the most memorable and honourable moments of my academic career. I would like to thank the University of Leeds, Leeds University Union, the Business School and the nominees for their trust and support! Thank you for making this possible!

What has been your experience of the facilities, the staff, your peers, the city of Leeds and the Yorkshire region? 
From the first day onward I have really enjoyed being part of the Business School. The staff members are doing an excellent job in supporting students and enhancing the student experience. Especially for international students, the University’s support is of crucial importance since we dive into a totally new experience in a new environment. 

In my opinion the city of Leeds is big enough for having a good time outside of your studies, and at the same time small enough for not feeling overwhelmed by masses of people. Furthermore, the location of the city is very central in the UK. As a result, exciting places like Edinburgh, London, Dublin etc. are easy to reach! The Yorkshire region is simply beautiful, especially if you enjoy nature. The Lake District close by is a must see if you enjoy peaceful places to relax! If you are interested in hiking, I would recommend you to visit Ilkley Moore! Ilkley is a beautiful place close to Leeds and it is definitely worth visiting. 

Are there any experiences outside of your studies that you have particularly enjoyed? e.g. participation in extra-curricular activities or groups, nightlife, the region’s historic places of interest.
Outside of my studies I have been involved in a few extra-curricular activities like networking sessions, entrepreneurship events and business case competitions. All these activities helped me to understand my future career goals and gave me interesting insights. I would recommend everybody to check out the nightlife of Leeds and the British pub culture. I particularly enjoy broadening my social network through spending a nice evening together with people I have just literally met. Therefore, I would advise you all to use every opportunity to meet interesting people and socialise! You will be surprised at how enjoyable your time at Leeds will be with the right people around you!

Would you recommend the Business School to others who are considering studying here?
Definitely! Without any hesitation. I am very happy with the support I have received from the Business School. In my opinion, Leeds University Business School is a place where academic proficiency meets social excellence, individualised support and unlimited opportunities!