Portrait photograph of: Ellen Mjakonkihh

Ellen Mjakonkihh

Country Of Origin: Estonia

Degree: BSc Business Studies, 2013

My university studies began at Estonian Business School, where the double degree programme was introduced to me. This programme included two years of studies in Estonia and then two in the UK.

At that time I knew very little about Lancaster, only that it was one of top 20 universities in the UK. As I finally arrived here, I realised  exactly why it is one of the best universities in the UK.

Academically the demands are very high. In order to be successful in your studies, you need to read a pile of literature for each lecture, to grasp the new information quickly and perform various tasks. Studies at LUMS are mentally challenging, yet enjoyable – they include lots of group work with international people, which effectively develop interpersonal and conflict management skills. Thanks to LUMS I feel confident in the international arena now I have greatly developed my cultural sensitivity.

The University campus offers the opportunity to take part in multiple engaging and developing activities. In my final year I had two part-time jobs, I was an executive member of the Culture Society and I also took part in other events. Planting trees with Green Lancaster (part of the student union) and attending weekly quality concerts by professional musicians were among other activities I enjoyed on campus.

Above all, I admire the staff in Management School, a hub of the friendliest and most inspiring people. Throughout my two years of studies at Lancaster I received lots of helpful advice and tips from different departments, and also became good friends with several members of staff.

Moreover, LUMS offers a range of sessions and events to enhance students' employability. These two factors are probably the reasons why Lancaster is one of the best universities, if you sort by graduate employment in the league tables, being ahead of other elite universities in the UK.

Finally, Lancaster University opened the Confucius Institute in 2012 and launched Chinese studies in 2013. This played a crucial part in my life after Lancaster. Besides my main studies, I immersed myself in studying Chinese culture and Mandarin, applying for a scholarship and then spending six months studying Chinese in China. I look forward to the next chapter of my life in China.

My life at Lancaster University has been fascinating and incredibly diverse.