Rachael Barrow

Country of origin: United Kingdom

MSc Human Resources and Knowledge Management, LUMS

The BA Management and Organisation programme is now called BA Management and Organisational Behaviour.

I chose to study at LUMS because of its fantastic reputation, but also because I wanted to return home to Lancaster after being away from the area for a substantial period of time.

LUMS for me represented a world-class education in a specialised area of my choosing. It also offered me flexibility in terms of module choices, and allowed me to fully explore my specialist area in great detail. I also loved the international culture that LUMS fosters throughout all its degree programmes. That really appealed to me on the basis that I could learn not only from academics but also from a varied array of peers.

What I liked most about my BA Management & Organisation degree programme was the department in which it was taught. The Organisation, Work and Technology Department really made my experience at university amazing. I found the academics to be fully knowledgeable in their areas, and further found them to be approachable, friendly, and committed to helping me improve throughout the duration of my programme. I was able to speak with academics in their office hours about topics of particular interest, and debate them. For me, this was one of the best experiences I had during my degree.

Furthermore, I particularly enjoyed certain modules within my department, such as Human Resource Management with Bogdan Costea. This is a truly exceptional course that critiques generalised HRM as we are generally taught it today. It draws attention to the culture that surrounds contemporary HRM, which is in itself an intriguing topic. I also really enjoyed my Organisational Psychology module, in which I learned about social identity and how we, as humans, conform to group norms, taking on the ‘group identity’ or rather the ‘socially acceptable’ identity. This by far was the most fascinating part of my degree – to understand how and why people are socially impressionable from a psychological standpoint.

Overall, I would say the learning experience at Lancaster is unlike any other, and—above all—it is tailored for the individual each step of the way. Obtaining a degree at LUMS is certainly a good investment!

While a lot of students probably find specific clubs and societies to be the greatest source of fun at university, for me it has been the simple little insignificant moments that arise through general socialisation. This is because the campus is like a bubble: we have everything available ‘on-site’ in one place, which I think only adds to the exceptional experience that Lancaster offers. Whether you are sitting in your department, at your college JCR or simply in Alexandra Square, on one of the rare sunny days, socialising leads to little insignificant moments with your friends. Those moments for me have been the most memorable part of the last three years: laughing with friends at each other’s funny mishaps; talking about our essay stresses and what we planned to do afterwards; contemplating life together; talking about stupid random things and—above all—forming and fostering our friendships. There is no end or boundary to this ‘fun’—it simply exists everywhere and at all times throughout the entire university experience. This, for me, has been the most fun aspect of university life at Lancaster.

My time at Lancaster has truly been a life-changing experience. As a home-educated student, attending university came as a shock to me. I quickly had to grapple with a whole new way of working, and adapt to a social world that I had never been exposed to. The experiences that Lancaster offers allowed me to adjust at my own pace, and to find my feet. I can wholeheartedly say that eventually, over the course of my three years at Lancaster, I truly found myself, and changed in every conceivable way – for the better. My time at Lancaster has improved my confidence, taught me vital life lessons, given me an array of experiences and taught me the academic knowledge required to enjoy a successful, long-term career. I can honestly say that these have been the best three years of my life. I would not change the experience for the world, and I would not want to have had it anywhere but at Lancaster.

I used the LUMS Careers Service in order to improve my employability skills, and also to learn how to highlight those skills in the best way on my CV. From this, I also learned how to construct powerful yet appropriate covering letters. Moreover, I also found the employer sessions that the careers team host on various topics to be really helpful, as they gave me an insight into how the recruitment process works. I found that really useful when attending interviews and having to go through for example psychometric testing.

After graduation I am going to pursue an MSc in Human Resources and Knowledge Management within the Organisation, Work and Technology Department at LUMS. The skills I have learned will be valuable for this new experience, as they have given me a foundation upon which I can build, to gain further merit and insights into my area of expertise.