Why did you choose to study at QMU and what attracted you to the course?
The main attraction QMU for me was the smaller class sizes compared to other universitie and also the location of the campus. The smaller class sizes made is so much easier to build relationships with both my peers and the teaching staff alike. The location of the campus is fantastic - there is plenty of space to go for a stroll and let your hair down if its been a long day!
What did you enjoy most about your course?
I enjoyed the mixture of the modules that we were taught. I also enjoyed the various guest lecturers we were treated to throughout the course, they were great!
Were there any particular course activities you found especially interesting?
A lot of the teaching staff have strong industry backgrounds. The teaching is very engaging and often in lectures, lecturers homed in on their past experiences which made the learning so much more engaging and relatable to the real world. Pair this with a strong academic timetable and you a have a winning combo.
How did your lecturers support your learning?
By having smaller class sizes compared to some of the larger universities in Edinburgh, getting in contact with the teaching staff was made so much easier. It was as simple as emailing whoever you thought was best to help with your query and there wasn’t one time that I did not get a reply or pointed in the right direction. When I compared this experience with those of some of my friends who went to different universities, they couldn’t believe this was the case at QMU.
What challenges did you face with the course and/or university life?
The main challenge I encountered came to light in my final year. Undertaking your first independent research project (dissertation ) can be daunting to anyone! By having such a strong peer group that I built throughout my time at QMU we supported each other through this time. I honestly don’t think I would be where I am today without the support from my peers!
Do you have any advice for students who might be interested in this course?
100% go for it. I saw school friends go straight into employment and start to earn money, which was hard! But as the years went on, I was so glad I went to QMU. When applying for jobs in 2019 it was apparent to me almost all business related jobs I applied for required a degree. You will have days when you question your academic journey, but stick with it. And the jewel in the crown is standing on the stage at the Usher Hall and accepting your degree - a memory that will last a lifetime!
Did you win any awards/scholarship/internships, etc., that helped you develop skills and experience?
Through the support of a lecturer, I secured an internship at Diageo. The lecturer spent endless hours with me perfecting my application and really made a difference. I honestly do not think I would be in the position I am in today without the support he offered me.
Life as a Student at QMU
What’s your ‘top tip’ for making the most of being a student?
My top tip is to embrace both the social side of QMU and the academic. I have made friends for life and we are still in daily contact two years on. Combine this with achieving an honours degree and it is a winning combo! The memories that are made at university do not leave you.
What was the most valuable lesson that you learned at university?
In one word confidence.
QMU allows you to really enhance your interpersonal skills and over the length of the course the personal growth that can be achieved is fantastic. You meet people from various backgrounds and nations. I have made friends with peers all over Europe and enjoyed many a trip visiting them in their hometowns. By enhancing these skills when you go into the work place it makes it 10x easier to engage and present yourself accordingly.
Can you tell us about your life post-graduation (your career path, notable achievements, etc.)?
After graduation, I decided to progress in my studies. I completed a master’s degree in international business. I then secured a full time position at Diageo, beating 40 other candidates to the post. Diageo are the world’s largest alcoholic drinks producer who owns and produce brands such as Guinness, Smirnoff vodka and Gordons gin.
When participating in the interview the panel was extremely intrigued about my time at QMU. They were impressed by how relatable some of the modules were to Diageo’s operations.
I secured a job within the organisation’s international supply chain function. I am a supply planner primarily working with third party companies who produce limited edition products based on some of the most famous brands in the world. Including Johnnie Walker, Tanqueray 10 and Ciroc Vodka.
The various challenges I face are working with markets throughout the world, planning and working closely with various stakeholders. Without the skills I developed at QMU, I honestly do not think I would be able to do the role I am in today.
This role allows me to be the face of one of the largest companies in the world and going forward my options for progression include Amsterdam & London.
Anything else you’d like to share about life at QMU or as a graduate?
My closing words would be for anyone who is two minds and may feel university is not for them. I had these thoughts before applying. Looking back on my time and reflecting it is clear to me that QMU is for everyone for any background. You will come out of your time at university stronger, more confident, outgoing, and a real problem solver. If I could go back and do it all again, I would in a heartbeat and I pretty sure all of the friends I made would too!
"Through the support of a lecturer, I secured an internship at Diageo. The lecturer spent endless hours with me perfecting my application and really made a difference. I honestly do not think I would be in the position I am in today without the support he offered me."
[Story published in 2020]
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