Vlad Savin

Country of origin: Romania

Ager Business Tech, Romania

The most important thing that influenced me to apply to Lancaster University Management School was its cutting-edge approach to business education. The BBA degree in Management offers you the chance to study abroad and also encourages you to transfer your academic expertise into a real business context during your 12-month placement. In addition to this, Lancaster is well known for its great people and friendly social environment.

The BBA degree is very well structured and allows you to specialise in the areas that you are interested in. In my first two years at Lancaster I tried to take advantage of the wide variety of modules. I took modules in Economics, HR, Marketing, Supply Chain Management, Consulting and many others. This broad range helped me develop an excellent understanding of how a company is run.

In addition to this, the action-oriented environment in which most teaching takes place developed my communication and teamworking skills. For each module you have a team-based assessment where you have to work and interact with students from all over the world. This can be very challenging because it becomes clear that in order to influence your team members you have to understand their cultures, and to look through their eyes at things, while at the same time maintaining  your own view of the situation.

On top of these 'soft' skills, Lancaster has taught me the importance of a critical approach. I was not used to look at things from a critical frame. In my previous experience if a professor said something I took it as it was. But now I try to develop my own understanding of the theories presented. This skill proved to be of high value in the placement in my third year.

During my second year I was involved in many University societies where my responsibilities ranged from organising weekly events, promoting seminars around the University, to making sure that students attending our events were being served food in a pleasant manner.

During the first term I was selected to be a member of the LUMS 'IBM Challenge' team. This experience helped me make friends for life and at the same developed my negotiation and persuading skills. Being the youngest in a group of five top-class students, I had to be strong and to have a clear understanding of the business we were managing in order to put my ideas across.

Lancaster is an amazing mix of people with different interests and passions. In my first year, I was a member of the Snowboarding Society. The team was so good and determined that we qualified up to the finals. The night life is absolutely fabulous in Lancaster – every single night there is a party somewhere in town.

The BBA placement year and the challenge to find a job proved to be another experience from which I could learn. The Placement Manager and Careers Advisor were always there to support me. All the activities in which I had been involved made me perform well at my assessment centres and I was offered a placement with the company that I wanted, General Electric (GE).

My first months at GE Money were hugely rewarding. I came to understand how important in real organisations are the 'soft skills' that Lancaster helped me improve and develop. Furthermore, I was able to transfer my academic knowledge into a proper working environment and see which aspects are the most important within a large organisation.

Lancaster University Management School offered me the chance to take my dreams to a higher level. I'm now thinking business locally, using a global perspective. My career prospects are global and the contacts that I have made are all around the world.