Louisa O'Brien

Louisa O'Brien

How did you hear about Leeds University Business School and why did you choose to study here? 
I was researching courses which involved in depth scrutiny of decision making, having observed decision making processes in dire need of improvement in my professional career. The number of universities offering this programme in Europe is quite limited, and I found the combination with analytics to be particularly thought provoking. 

Tell us about your course – why did you choose it? What elements of the course inspired you to study here? 
The MSc Business Analytics and Decision Sciences course in Leeds is one of the few in the UK to actually grasp that these two concepts should be side by side, and not separated into those most distant of fields, econometrics (loosely) and psychology. It’s an important skill to understand how to make decisions because without that understanding, you are unlikely to gather the right information to help you make them. The course at Leeds is rare, but shouldn’t be.

What has been the best part of your studies – what have you enjoyed the most?  
The part of the course I have enjoyed the most is the deeper development of psychology and programming aspects which are done in semester two. These really deploy big concepts onto workable, real life problems and allow you the capacity to expand your knowledge of the fascinating things you study. 

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?  
Fixed career plans are, by now, somewhat outdated. To make it in the modern world you need to identify what drives the things you are good at – in my case, my driver is problem solving. It is one of my strengths identified consistently in my academic and professional career, so my aspiration is to enter fields and use my broad range of knowledge and analytical mind to solve problems at their source, and not just the symptoms.

Where are you currently working, and what is your role? (If applicable)
In September I will join Transport for London (TfL) as a graduate business analyst, working with them to improve services across London. It’s a versatile role focused in customer and commercial insight and information technology.

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 voted ‘Most Influential Student’ in my programme, by my programme at the Summer Ball! 

What has been your experience of the facilities, the staff, your peers, the city of Leeds and the Yorkshire region?
Leeds University is very big so take some time early on to have a thorough wander around it so you at least know where all the libraries, 24 clusters and cafes are – this will give you a good grounding when your class gets redirected to somewhere you’ve never been before! The city itself gets a bad rap for ugly architecture but let yourself enjoy the city and its better faces – rooftop bars, large parks and woodland, quirky shops and above all, the people of Leeds – will shine through.

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 University has activities that must equal well over a hundred different kinds of sports – take advantage of these. The sports teams are well run and are complimented by a large gym (The Edge) and swimming pool. Yorkshire is a very active county and the sports teams offer you a chance to get out and see it while having fun and keeping fit at the same time! You also meet lots of people from all different faculties, which is quite hard on its own due to the size of the University. 

Would you recommend the Business School to others who are considering studying here?  
Yes, I would recommend it. Just remember that you get out what you put in – if you make a wholehearted effort with the School, you will get a great experience out of it. Leeds University Business School is not a place to be complacent as you’re with people from all over the world who are putting a lot of effort in and trying their best. The nature of smaller programmes means that you do really get to know everyone in your class and you strive to make you and your programme proud in what you do. The effort doesn’t stop when you earn your place here, it only increases further as you push yourself to see how well you can do.