- Course: MSc International Business
- Year of graduation: 2016
- Nationality: Italian
How did you hear about Leeds University Business School and why did you choose to study here?
I first heard about Leeds University Business School from the UCAS website, which was the starting point of my search for a postgraduate course. Later on, I got in contact with some Business School alumni and of course had a look at the MSc International Business section of the website.
Tell us about your course – why did you choose it? What elements of the course inspired you to study here?
The main reason why I decided to study international business is at the end of my BSc in Maritime Economics and Business I realised I needed to engage with a less specific and more “international” topic, which would allow me to be flexible and open to multiple job posts. As I also wanted to get a fast-track degree, which would allow me to kick-start my career, the course duration (1 year instead of the 2 you have in Italy) and the strong focus on job-oriented modules like Professional Skills within the course played a huge role in my final decision.
What has been the best part of your studies – what have you enjoyed the most?
The best part of my studies has certainly been group work and presentations. What is unique about studying at a postgraduate level here at Leeds is that the learning method is never one way, but a strong emphasis is put on lecturer-student interactions and on the co-creation of knowledge. Nothing here is taken for granted, and even the most established theories are challenged on a daily basis.
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?
Before taking up my course here at the Business School, I did not have a clear mind-set about my career aspirations and plans. Thanks to the great attention academics and staff put on the development of soft skills and job-related attitudes, I have increased my self-confidence and self-awareness. My ambition is to exploit my business background as well as my language skills to develop a career in international business, putting my knowledge at the service of firms and institutions needing specific assistance and support. Ideally, this refers to roles dealing with business, management and strategic consulting, but leaves space for more industry-focused positions as well, such as Supply Chain Management or logistics-related roles.
How has your career progressed since joining the Business School? Have there been any notable highlights?
Since my enrolment, many things have changed around my career, but the most important ones revolve around my self-confidence and commercial awareness. The numerous job-hunting activities and selection processes I have been through during these months have allowed me to develop a new set of skills I did not own before. Job-hunting requires a complete redefinition of the way you present your skills, as this is something of vital importance in terms of standing out from the crowd.
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.
During my time at Leeds University Business School, I was selected by the Business Confucius Institute at the University of Leeds (BCIUL) to take part in the 14th edition of the Chinese Bridge Chinese Language Competition for Overseas Students. I had familiarised myself with the BCIUL staff during my first days at Leeds when I was looking for an opportunity to keep studying Mandarin, a language I have been learning since I was 14. Although the preparation for the competition required a big amount of effort and good priority-setting skills, when I was awarded the joint second prize at the competition finals in London, I understood my efforts had clearly been paid off. This has been a terrific experience, definitely worth the commitment the BCIUL team and I put into it.
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?
Being an international student at postgraduate level can be challenging, especially if the course you are studying is a high-profile one, like the MSc International Business. I remember I felt intimidated before coming here but once the first semester started, I managed to fit in incredibly smoothly. The lecturers and staff here at the Business School are incredibly helpful and willing to support students at every step of their career. Moreover, the Business School is an equal and safe environment, where diversity is paramount and each person is empowered to get the most out of his/her time here. Therefore, my suggestion is, if you feel inside you that you can do it and want something more than what you currently have, come and try, it is definitely worth it.
What has been your experience of the facilities, the staff, your peers, the city of Leeds and the Yorkshire region?
I would rate all of the above as extremely positive. The on and off-campus facilities are world class and accessible. Leeds is a tiny but very dynamic city, full of students and international people. Yorkshire is a beautiful region, rich in landscapes and historical venues that need to be discovered. I recently had the chance to visit the neighbouring areas of Harrogate and Knaresborough and was extremely fascinated by them.
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.
I have very much enjoyed British people’s culture and respect towards sports, especially in occasion of the Rugby World Cup in October and the European Cup in June. I have great memories of joining my classmates and friends for the main events in Millennium Square as well as in local pubs and sharing with them our mutual passion and involvement, which cemented the bonding between each of us.
Would you recommend the Business School to others who are considering studying here?
I definitely would. The Business School is an extremely competent and respectable institution, where you will be constantly facing new challenges and opportunities to develop your skills and hone your personality traits. If you strive to improve, want to get a high-profile education and wish to study abroad, Leeds University Business School should certainly be on your checklist.