Ayla Johanne Lillevik

Country of origin: Norway

Norway Country Manager, The Hut Group

When I was applying for a Masters degree, Lancaster University was always my first choice. I was attracted by the great reputation of not only the Management School, but also the careers team at LUMS. In addition, the structure of the MSc Management gave a choice of several pathways and the opportunity to tailor my own degree to a greater extent, as well as there being a possibility of exchange courses in the summer term. The international environment and secure campus accommodation were both important factors.

During my year at Lancaster I truly enjoyed the interdisciplinary courses and the interactive classes. The class social committee arranged several social events, and I particularly enjoyed the Chinese New Year celebration.

Alongside my studies I acted as a student representative and postgraduate ambassador, and I am now a LUMS alumni adviser. I also took part in more social activities, like football and touch rugby. Most of my spare time I would spend with my friends, going to the gym or joining in on events on campus and I was lucky enough to witness Lancaster beating York University during the 50th annual Roses Tournament!

As a part of my dissertation, I was accepted on to a three-week summer course in Vienna, at the Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien. The exchange was incredibly valuable and fun. During this intense period, we undertook weekly courses in subjects related to international management. The mix of backgrounds and nationalities created a unique academic culture.

After graduating, I was offered an internship at the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The internship has given me a fantastic opportunity to gain insight into international diplomacy, grant management and aid administration. Many of our MSc Management classes were directly linked to what I am now working with – for example, International Management and Business Analysis and Process Consulting.

The international environment at Lancaster and in Vienna helped prepared me for working in a multicultural and international workplace.