Vivian Segovia Barros

Country of origin: Chile

Lecturer, Universidad Arturo Prat

The degree which Vivian studied, MSc Operational Research and Management Science, has changed its name to MSc Business Analytics.

After almost five years of working in the public sector, I wanted to pursue my postgraduate studies in an industrial engineering related field. After searching for all possible options, I chose to study at LUMS mainly because of its reputation within the UK and Europe and also because of the excellent MSc Operational Research and Management Science programme profile. I chose Lancaster University because of its outstanding reputation, infrastructure and location.

The overall programme is really well-structured. The approach of the modules, combining theory and practical applications plus the experienced Lecturers and Professors, gave me all the analytical and practical tools and skills I needed to solve problems of any kind. I particularly enjoyed learning Spreadsheet Modelling, taking my expertise of Excel to the next level and making my work easier than ever. I also enjoyed Simulation course given its practical approach application into real process problems. Finally, the Dissertation Project work has been one of the most rewarding experiences, because of being able to apply all the knowledge gained during the modules and being inserted into real business issues and a global environment.

The University has everything you would ever need for living an unforgettable experience. From the classrooms, the library and the comforting spaces to study and work to the shops, gym and public spaces to hang out with friends and beautiful landscapes like the Duck Pond and paths around campus.

My time in Lancaster was one of the best in my life. I participated in several Graduate College activities, finding myself as part of an amazing community. I’ve made friends that are now an important part of my life.

I participated as Management Science Postgraduate Student Representative, working along with other Departments in two Accreditations processes of the Management School. I had the chance to meet other students and to have a closer look on what LUMS does in terms of managing, planning and assuring high standards in all its programmes. I was also involved with the Latin-American Society and other academic activities.

For my Dissertation Project, I developed a Simulation Modelling Project with BT Openreach, which consisted of a meticulous review of the current delivery processes based in large scale statistical analysis, modelling of the system in specialised software and using it to predict its behaviour under specific market scenarios. This Project allowed the company to have a pilot model, perfectible and user-friendly, as a milestone for future process improvements. It also allowed me to use most of the topics learnt in the programme, put them into real life business problems and gave me a tremendous opportunity of experiencing work life in a renowned telecommunications company.

LUMS Careers team gave me advice in terms of how to interact with companies and how to present myself in front of a head-hunter or in a hiring process. This is mostly valuable, since most of the students didn’t have a close experience of going through these processes and they can be a bit tough and tiring.

Going to Lancaster was the best choice I’ve made. Living on the countryside made easier to focus on studies, but also to connect to a calm and beautiful environment. Lancaster is geographically placed in a position that allows you to move fast to bigger cities in case you need to. It was the perfect combination of living and working experiences. Everything from the city to the facilities in the University exceeded my expectations.

At this moment, I am working as a Lecturer for the Industrial Engineering Programme at my previous University here in Chile (Universidad Arturo Prat), lecturing operational research techniques and simulation courses. Along with that, I am developing, jointly with the University, a Simulation Modelling Project for a Mining Company, whose objective is to minimise transportation times and maximise storage fields.

I can strongly state that everything I learnt on the programme has been of great help for me to complete all the duties I have now, working in the academic sector. All the techniques, skills and software I was trained to use are now part of my daily job.

As regards to the future, I’m planning to start my PhD studies in the upcoming years, following the same academic path I’ve been developing.