Virginia Galster

Virginia Galster

How did you hear about Leeds University Business School and why did you choose to study here? 
As I took a gap year before starting at the University of Leeds, I had time to do research on different universities. I started by looking for highly accredited business schools in English speaking countries and then for detailed information about these universities. My undergraduate degree in International Business was mathematically oriented, which has given me a great foundation to build upon. However, for my Masters degree it was important to me that this was more hands-on. For example, practicing in the seminar what we have learned in the lecture by working with different software programmes to give presentations and work on group assignments. Leeds University Business School impressed me with its degrees choices, its outstanding academics and extracurricular opportunities, as well as friendly and supportive admissions staff. 

Tell us about your course – why did you choose it? What elements of the course inspired you to study here? 
I wanted to pursue a Masters degree which combined elements of Business Analytics and Strategic Management. First, I focused on the M.Sc. Business Analytics and Decision Sciences, but then I did further research and saw the value that the M.Sc. in Strategic Management in the Global Environment could offer me. To be honest, it was a difficult choice as both Masters degrees are outstanding. 

What has been the best part of your studies – what have you enjoyed the most? 
There are many great parts. One would be the international mix of great students in my course and across the Business School. Another is the friendly, open and supportive relationship between lecturers, academic staff and students. I also like the wide range of opportunities that are regularly offered outside of academic education, both from the Business School and the Students’ Union

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? 
My career aspirations are to work in an international environment as well as having exciting and challenging projects that I can use to improve my skills and knowledge. The international background of the Business School definitely helped me to adapt quickly to new teams and environments. I also really like the fact that we are encouraged to think critically and do not only have to repeat what we have learned. Thinking critically is important in the workplace, for our decision-making and for our future career. 

Do you have any noteworthy achievements from your study at the Business School that you can tell us about? e.g. prizes, highest scores etc. 
I was a runner-up for the Participation Impact Award from the Business School for my extracurricular engagement. I am delighted that I have been nominated for the award and proud to be part of the University of Leeds community. It is important to state that university is not only about studying, but also an essential part of our life regarding personal development, to make friends and have fun. Therefore, it is great to see that the Business School also honours engagement outside of the classroom.

Furthermore, in the first semester, together with three fellow students, I took part in the KPMG International Case Competition and reached the top 4 in the UK final (out of 50 groups in the semi-final). For this competition we named our team “Leeds Leads”. 

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? 
I am originally from Germany but have lived in Ireland and the US before. Therefore, I had no issues with the transition. It was easy to find accommodation and the University provided many information sessions to inform us about important issues and organisational matters. My advice would be to not hesitate when asking questions, the University staff are super friendly and supportive. 

What has been your experience of the facilities, the staff, your peers, the city of Leeds and the Yorkshire region? 
Leeds is a great city, not that large, but big enough to have everything you need. The Business School building is exceptional due to the mixture of old and modern features. The Postgraduate Study Centre always reminds me a bit of Hogwarts from the Harry Potter movies. As mentioned before, lectures and academic staff at the Business School are friendly and supportive. My peers come from many different countries, therefore, we have not only a great time together in and outside the classroom but also have learned a lot about other countries and cultures. Across the majority of our modules, we study and work on projects with students who are not only from different cultural backgrounds but also academic backgrounds, which is highly interesting and inspiring. 

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. 
The participation in the KPMG International Case Competition as mentioned above, the trip to Oxford University for a two-day entrepreneurship panel, and one of my classmate’s house parties, which have definitely achieved legendary status across our degree programme as well as others. As a Course Representative, I have also been involved in the planning process for different events across the Management Division. Organising events for students together with other Course Reps has been great fun. 

Would you recommend the Business School to others who are considering studying here? 
Definitely! Leeds University Business School does not only provide high academic teaching standards, but also supports you in your personal development and offers diverse opportunities for fun and knowledge enhancement outside the classroom.