Alejandra Maria Pabon Paramo
Country of origin: Costa Rica
Lecturer, University of Costa Rica
From an academic point of view, Lancaster is one of the top universities in the UK, and the MSc Logistics and Supply Chain Management programme had a very good mix of academic and professional approaches.
It was very important for me to the experience the culture in Lancaster. Before attending Lancaster University, I had never been in an international academic environment, so I wanted to choose a place of study that offered the opportunity to interact with many nationalities, and where I could be exposed to different customs and traditions.
When I reviewed Lancaster University, I noticed that it welcomed international students and provided many activities so I could get involved according to my interests. It was also important for me that the University was located in the country side. I think that it is a good environment, very quiet, relaxed and suitable to study full time programmes.
The fun aspect of Lancaster, for me, was the activities I experienced for first time. I joined different societies and mixed with different cultures whilst studying at Lancaster. I really enjoyed the daytrips that the University offered; I was able to explore several places with my friends around the UK.
I did a company-based consulting project during the programme, which I felt was the best part of the course. The project took 3 months and during this time I visited a company every week to understand its operations and to collect data. The project involved working out the solution of a problem. It was challenging because I had never experienced before a British working environment. I learned a lot and was able to meet lots of amazing people. The companies that the department contact for the projects are very big businesses. I was able to see the best practices in the field and the challenges that big companies face every day. I also found it very convenient working with my supervisor. He was always available and willing to provide feedback on the project.
I would summarise my experience at Lancaster as one amazing year of personal and professional growth, and an exploration of new experiences. It is something that, without any doubt, I would do again.
I received financial support from two universities, Lancaster University gave me a 50% scholarship on the tuition, and the University of Costa Rica gave me the other 50%, and also covered my living expenses. Without this support it would not have be possible for me to study at Lancaster. Because of this, I am very grateful to both institutions.
Currently I am working at the University of Costa Rica and I am interested in developing an academic career and also creating my own business. Lancaster University has provided me with the skills to achieve these two goals. Regarding the first one, something that I learned at Lancaster that has impacted my work, besides the acquired knowledge, are the research skills; and regarding the idea of having my own business in the future, I feel that the University gave me a wider view and perspective not only in logistics field but also in cultural aspects.