Eric Maina

Country of origin: Kenya

Microsoft Academy for College Hires (MACH), Microsoft (Kenya)

Prior to joining the MSc E-Business and Innovation (EBIN), I completed my Bachelor’s degree in Accounting at Finance at Lancaster and received a partial scholarship to continue my studies at the University.

The EBIN programme stood out for me because it was different from what I had previously studied and was particularly suitable for a career in IT consultancy, a profession I was interested in pursuing. Moreover, studying for a Masters degree at one of the UK’s top business schools was not a bad idea at all.

The EBIN programme was particularly different in some of the teaching methods. We had insight days where analysts from IBM conducted a two-day course on IT architecture, giving us a practical look into what working as an IT analyst entailed and the different dynamics this involves.

For my dissertation I also worked for a small sustainability company within Lancaster (all arranged by the University) and gained a huge amount of insight into policies that the government was launching that would have significant impact on business opportunities. In addition to the useful knowledge I gained from the project, I also built a network that I can rely on in the future.

Study abroad experience

LUMS also offers students the opportunity to complete a Study Abroad programme, either in Summer or after submitting their dissertation. I decided to undertake a Study Abroad programme because I knew it is an experience highly valued by employers and would look good on my CV. I was selected to go to Renmin University of China in Beijing where I enrolled on the IMBA programme (International Masters in Business Administration). Renmin University is highly regarded in China, further illustrating Lancaster’s commitment to ensuring its students receive quality education.

The IMBA classes were very informative as we regularly confronted differences between Chinese methods of business and Western business practices. Through this programme I was also able to meet and learn from successful entrepreneurs in China.

What makes this experience especially valuable is the networks one gets to build from the programme. My classmates and other students were from a variety of rich backgrounds, from real estate to professional sports, which provided me with possible future contacts. The cultural experience in China has certainly been an eye-opener.

My Mandarin also improved as I took advantage of the opportunity to interact with the Chinese students from my course and participate in the free Chinese classes twice a week. It is worth mentioning that the Study abroad scheme also provides you with language and cultural skills which are becoming increasingly valuable to have in this globalised world – not only for employment but for all forms of business as well.