Sophie Alkhaled

Country of origin: United Kingdom

Lecturer, Lancaster University Management School

The MSc in Management offered Sophie the ideal transition from her undergraduate degree in a non-business subject. It provided the inspiration for her later decision to undertake a PhD and begin her career in academia.

My first degree was in Psychology, which I also studied at Lancaster University. During those three years studying Psychology at Lancaster, I spent a lot of time researching what I would like to do as a career. During that time my interest in business increased. So I looked into continuing my education at postgraduate level in business and management. Deep down I knew that I preferred to stay at Lancaster University because I had enjoyed the life here so much, so when I heard that the Management School at Lancaster was rated 6* and was one of the best business schools in the UK, I was delighted, and the decision to continue at Lancaster was easy!

The MSc in Management is a great course for people who, like me, have an interest, or have developed an interest over their time at university, in business and management and want to take it further. It's really a conversion course for people from non-business backgrounds. The programme offers 12 modules: each module covers a different aspect of management. The programme also involves a lot of group work, which is really useful in preparing for the future when working in business. My Psychology degree was very interesting and enjoyable, but it differed from the MSc in Management in not having any group work.

A typical week during my MSc in Management differed a lot from my undergraduate degree, as it involved waking up very early every day during the week to attend the many lectures and seminars (there were far fewer hours on my undergraduate degree). Also, many days during the week would require me to stay late in the Management School after lectures finished at 5pm to have group meetings for our group projects. Some meetings used to go on into the small hours of the night. If the group was hard-working, as they usually were, then I did not mind the late nights – in fact I found them enjoyable.

There were a number of social activities organised for us (and by us) during the year, especially at the start of the course. This was really good and very helpful in getting us all to know each other. For instance we had a Chinese New Year party and learnt a little about Chinese culture and traditions. At the weekends, I would either stay in Lancaster and go out with friends – the social life in town is pretty good – or travel in the UK.

I applied for a number of jobs while on the MSc. And I was fortunate to be offered a place by Corus – one of the world's largest steel companies – on the Corus graduate management training scheme several months before I had even finished the MSc in Management.

In 2008 I returned to academia to start a PhD at the University of Aberdeen Business School. After gaining my PhD, I stayed on at Aberdeen to do postdoctoral work before taking up the offer of a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at Stockholm Business School, part of Stockholm University. I returned to Aberdeen as a Teaching Fellow in 2015. In 2016, I returned to LUMS as a lecturer in Entrepreneurship.