Dave Richardson

Country of origin: United Kingdom

Commercial Cost Manager, Lloyds Banking Group

Having taken a year out to work at Cumbrian Newspapers and then spending 14 months backpacking around Australia and south-east Asia, I was eager to find a course that would allow me to gain a valued degree while at the same time allowing pursuit of further adventure.

The BBA Management degree, including a year in industry and the chance to go on a year-long exchange at some of the world’s top business schools, was too good an opportunity to pass up and looking back, I would never have thought it possible to experience so much in four years.

After a fantastic first year in Lancaster, studying at Schulich School of Business in Toronto presented a whole new style of learning where class participation is essential and testing is done on an almost weekly basis. Although challenging, come final exam time your mark is already pretty much assured, thus making for a distinctly less stressful end to the semester.

Even better, with an English accent, the real bonus of studying abroad is the instant ability you have to make friends the second you start to speak! If you want to go somewhere where everyone knows your name (or in my case, just be known as ‘the English guy’), then study abroad! I can’t recommend it highly enough.

The prospect to travel is also a unique opportunity. Every weekend there was a chance to take a trip and see something new – Niagara Falls, New York, Montreal – all but a coach ride away. I was fortunate enough to spend Christmas in Calgary, and backpack from Vancouver down to San Francisco, as well as visiting Las Vegas. When else would I have had the chance to do that?

While backpacking into California, I secured a position as a Marketing Intern at Dow Jones in London, following a series of successful telephone and webcam interviews.

The resulting year in industry further opened my eyes to the world of corporate business and allowed me to deal with levels of responsibility I did not dream would be entrusted to a placement student. It was again a completely different culture from Lancaster and Toronto, and I had to be flexible and adapt quickly to deal with a vast array of challenges.

Upon completing the fourth and final year back at Lancaster, it’s amazing to look back at the achievements, photos and memories from the last few years.

This course offers you everything you could ask for and more – a great degree, fantastic fun and a whole new set of experiences that you just can’t get elsewhere. Factor in essential work experience, a wide range of business contacts and free holidays for life (visiting friends across the world), and it’s easy to see why the BBA Management - with a year abroad - can easily make for the best four years of your life!