Country of origin: United Kingdom
School Manager, School of Oral & Dental Sciences, University of Bristol
I completed my first degree in Politics and International Relations at Lancaster University in 2007. In my final year I researched my career options. Although there were many options available to me, I felt as though I needed more experience to boost my confidence to allow me to succeed in a business environment. I was also concerned with the number of graduates who were entering an already competitive job market with a first degree.
I initially considered a postgraduate degree in Politics – staying within the department at Lancaster. However, after researching other options I decided to apply for the MSc in Management to broaden my skill-set and gain a competitive edge in the job market. The course was made more attractive with the knowledge that Lancaster University Management School is a top-rated business school, with the MSc programme being ranked in the top three MSc in Management programmes in the UK by the FT.
The programme began with a team-building day which was great fun and it wasn’t long before we all got to know each other on the course – although it wasn’t long before the hard work started!
The course is quite intensive. It was a step up from doing my undergraduate degree and I found myself doing lots of work outside lectures. There is a strong focus on group work and presentations for assessments, which at times could be challenging, but has ultimately provided me with a greater experience in dealing with teams and has helped me in future team work.
I particularly enjoyed the in-company project that I completed as part of my dissertation. My project was based in a leading hotel in Manchester. It enabled me to gain experience of the corporate environment and consultancy. I enjoyed the responsibility of the project and presenting my findings and recommendations to the owner and managers of the hotel. I was able to apply my experiences, and the staff interviews I conducted at the hotel, to my dissertation.
The MSc Management attracts international students with a great mix of cultural backgrounds and work practices. I really enjoyed and benefitted from the opportunity to mix, work and build lasting friendships with the students on the course. My course was very sociable and we used to go out in Lancaster often. The social committee also organised many events – such as the Christmas Ball – which everybody on the course attended.
During the MSc I applied for graduate jobs, and felt that the qualifications and resources available to me in the Management School provided me with a real competitive edge over other applicants in the job market. Although the graduate job market had slowed during this time, I did not find difficulty in getting to interview and assessment stages.
After a lengthy application process I succeeded in gaining a job with the NHS on the graduate General Management Scheme starting in September 2009. Since finishing the MSc I have worked in a variety of jobs to gain further experience, including freelance consultancy, project management, and volunteering for Oxfam.