- Course: MSc Global Innovation Management
- Year of graduation: 2015
- Nationality: Mongolian
How did you hear about Leeds University Business School and why did you choose to study here?
There were several criteria I had set up before I started my search. These were: i) school reputation, facilities and programmes offered, ii) cost of living, iii) guaranteed student accommodation.
Leeds University Business School and the City of Leeds satisfied all of the above. The School has a great reputation and the research-intensive focus means that students can gain a first-hand insight into new research and interact with the Faculty directly. I knew I wanted to study management; however general management degrees seemed too broad to cover in just one year. Leeds University Business School had launched several new specialised management programmes for 2014 and MSc in Global Innovation Management was particularly interesting to me.
The University guarantees international postgraduate students University accommodation, which makes it much easier to deal with a new setting and remain focused on your studies while being surrounded by friends.
Lastly, the City of Leeds is perfect for students because the cost of living is very reasonable, there are so many activities happening on campus and in the city, and it is convenient to travel and explore the rest of UK.
Tell us about your course – why did you choose it? What elements of the course inspired you to study here?
Having worked for more than four years following my Bachelors degree, I felt that in order to progress further I needed to expand my knowledge and skills. My work experience involved working in the Business Development Division in one of the largest retail banks in Mongolia so innovation management was a very logical choice. More and more we hear about “innovative organisations”, “managing innovation” and “entrepreneurship” and MSc in Global Innovation Management directly addresses these topics while providing a solid background in general management disciplines.
Did you receive a scholarship to study here?
I would simply not be here had I not received the prestigious Chevening Scholarship, the UK government’s global scholarship programme, funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and partner organisations.
I applied for a Chevening Scholarship hoping to join the global community of the best and brightest minds, expand my horizons, discover British culture, and establish lifelong friendships. I think the reason I was selected for the scholarship was my commitment to dedicate my knowledge and experience gained in the UK, to leading the way towards a more innovative, creative, and entrepreneurial Mongolia.
Receiving this scholarship was a big accomplishment for me and my family. It has provided me with the opportunity to advance my skills and networks, which is necessary for contributing to the development of my country. This will also prepare me for a top level leadership position within my areas of interest including innovation management.
If you are not from the UK, how was the transition to a foreign country?
Mongolia is culturally and climatically very different from the UK. This meant that I was immersed in an environment that was novel, exciting and challenging at times. However, the amount of support and information available to international students is immense. I was surprised at how thorough and informative the international students’ orientation session was. Beyond that, there is year round support (both academic and personal) available if you just reach out.
My advice would be to arrive early and attend the induction session at the beginning of the term. It is extremely helpful in getting your bearings. From there on just keep an open mind, step outside your comfort zone and be open to new experiences.
What was your experience of the facilities, the staff, your peers, the city of Leeds and the Yorkshire region?
The facilities of the Business School are exceptional. Our cohort is lucky because we get to pilot the iPads (which we got for free!) for academic use which is very innovative. I especially like the contrast of our historic building from the outside with the modern facilities inside.
The professors are very dedicated and encourage close interaction with their students. I was a little surprised to be allowed to communicate with the professors on a first-name basis, however soon I have come to appreciate the proximity it fosters. Moreover, having over 40 nationalities represented in a single lecture hall means that the diversity of opinions broadens your perspectives and encourages you to find your own standpoint.
The City of Leeds is small enough not to feel “lost” yet there is always something “new” to be explored. There is always something happening whether it’s concerts, gigs or other cultural/ outdoor activities. By now, many probably would have heard that the Yorkshire region was ranked 3rd in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2014, so need there be more reasons?
Are there any experiences outside of your studies that you have particularly enjoyed?
I would highly recommend arriving early to become acclimatised before starting the term. The induction week provided invaluable information about school, term time etc. but you need to explore further for the “fun stuff”. There are numerous societies (for every interest) and events organised by the International Student Office.
The nightlife in Leeds is bustling with various venues in the city catering to all kinds of different interests. Leeds is conveniently located to explore surrounding cities in a day such as Manchester and Liverpool but also smaller picturesque towns. Lastly, Leeds University has the best gym and I would highly recommend it.
Would you recommend the Business School to others who are considering studying here?
I would definitely recommend the Leeds University Business School because it has met, and in some instances exceeded, my expectations. I know for many international students a physical visit is not always possible but a lot of information can be found on the website, and more importantly, by contacting the current students if you have any specific questions or concerns.