Olga Lukashuk

Country of origin: Belarus

HR Customer Service Representative, Cargill

While studying for a Bachelor degree at Kozminski University in Warsaw, Poland, I was very fortunate to be one of the few students to get accepted to a student exchange programme (Erasmus). I decided to spend a semester in the UK, which resulted in me getting acquainted with the UK academic system, teaching standards and quality of student life. By the time my Erasmus semester in Birmingham came to an end, I knew I wanted to do my Master’s degree in the UK.

After completing the degree at Kozminski University, I wanted to specialise in the field of human resource management, as I had developed a strong interest in that field during both my studies and the internships in HR departments I had completed by that time. I was working throughout my gap year in HR to gain some more practical experience. That decision combined with the excellent scores from Kozminski University helped me get an academic scholarship from the Department of Organization, Work and Technology.

I chose to study at Lancaster because of its excellent international reputation, triple accreditation and geographic location – Lancaster is surrounded by breath-taking open spaces and multiple hiking trails. I wanted to escape from a big city and Lancaster was exactly what I was looking for! Apart from that, it allowed me to gain further international experience, as the University has a considerable number of international students and academic staff.

The year at Lancaster was challenging and required a lot of reflection on myself and my work. I especially liked that focus on analytical skills, which are essential in my current role at Cargill. My work includes taking part in various HR projects and processes as well as addressing employees’ queries. The Master's course taught me how to look outside of the box and organize my time and tasks efficiently. It also highlighted the importance of attention to details in everything we do in life. For this particular skill, I have been praised by my direct manager many times. Overall, Lancaster, and in particular the Department of Organisation, Work and Technology, offered a lot of support and flexibility and most importantly made me feel very confident in the modern work environment. It taught me to question, reflect and challenge today’s HR and knowledge management practices.