Marcel is an active, sporty young man from Munich in Germany. He always wanted to study in an English speaking country but after being put off by the high prices of university level education in the USA, New Zealand and England, he opted for the fast track business degree at Queen Margaret University. Marcel already had a personal connection with the University - his sister had studied here - and having made several trips to Scotland in the past where he’d enjoyed the warmth of the Scottish people, he thought that QMU would be a good fit.

Aside from his passion for sports including basketball, golf, tennis, volleyball, and badminton, Marcel really enjoys reading, cooking and particularly eating good food.

From a very young age, Marcel has always been extremely focused and ambitious.

Even in kindergarten, he knew he wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps and develop as a leader. Whilst others had dreams such as becoming football players or actors, Marcel started to put everything in place to gain experience in management, taking on roles at school where he took responsibility for others. He developed a keen interest in leadership and personal development and leapt at every opportunity to broaden his skills and experience through work and extra curricular activities. He also become interested in the stock market and investments, which eventually led him to pursue a degree in business management.

Marcel tells us more about his experience of studying at QMU, student life in Edinburgh and his ambitions for the future.


Living Away from Home

Why did you choose to live in student halls of residence?

I wanted to be close to University and its sports facilities. However, the best part was being able to mix with so many students from all around the world. In my first year, it was important to me to meet as many new people as possible and living in halls on campus made that really easy! There is always something to do.

Living in QMU’s student accommodation was very convenient, so in my second year, I chose to come back into the student residences to live with some of the friends that I had already made. I also spent my last year in halls, as I knew I would be either in the gym or in the library working on my dissertation or other course work. The campus location made it easy for me to attend all classes, and I was able to work in the library 24/7, which helped me to get a very good grade on my dissertation.

What are the top three items that you packed that you wouldn’t be without?

My coffee machine, coffee beans and coffee mugs.

Life in Edinburgh – what’s the best experience you’ve had so far in Edinburgh? Are there any hidden ‘gems’ you’d like to share?

I loved climbing up Arthur´s Seat in the morning and watching the sunrise over the city.

Edinburgh has lots cool hidden places. My advice would be to go to Edinburgh’s historical Royal Mile (the road between Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace) for half a day and walk around there. You can find some really interesting places if you walk through the narrow walkways (closes) and into the old courtyards off the Royal Mile. I’d also recommend taking a ghost tour, as these can be great fun and can lead you to hidden pathways and historical sites that you may not otherwise find.


The Course

Why did you choose QMU and the Business Management degree?

At school and in my personal time, I had always put myself forward for activities that would develop my skills such as tutoring younger pupils, acting as class rep or working at summer camps. I realised that I wanted to be in a position where I could positively influence the lives of others. As a manager, I will be able to achieve that. However, to be effective in a leadership position, I knew I needed to gain experience, and I particularly wanted to study in a different country so I could understand and experience other cultures and benefit from different experiences.

I knew about QMU through my sister, and had attended the open day with her several years before, so I already knew about the University and its features. I read up on the Business Management degree and was pleased to start my student life at QMU.

What’s been the highlight of the course so far? What have you learnt, or which particular activity has been the most interesting?

My favourite thing about this course was the close relationships I had with my tutors and teachers and the experience of doing my dissertation. My supervisor always knew what he needed to say to motivate me and get me going! Without him I would not have done as well as I did. He really pushed me to get a first class honours. While he helped me with my dissertation, every other teacher I had at QMU was extremely helpful in their own way. They made me feel like I belonged in the University and that I could succeed in my course. They even helped me to get into University of Edinburgh, which is the next step on my career ladder. I know that if I ever need anything, I can always rely on my QMU tutors for good advice. That means a lot to me.

The most interesting experience so far was writing the dissertation, as it taught me a lot about myself. The improvement in time-management, work attitude and reliability I have had between December 2017 and April 2018 was incredible.

Any advice for students who might be interested in this course?

Do not just focus on the work! Join a society or two and get the most out of that! You will meet incredible people from various courses that you will stick with for the rest of your life!


What are your future plans following graduation?

I was delighted to graduate with a first class honours degree in Business Management. I believe that my Bachelor’s degree from QMU has helped me gain great experience and has equipped me well with the skills, knowledge and attitude to further my career. 

I am now excited to be moving to the University of Edinburgh to study the MSc International Business and Emerging Markets. I am hoping that this will give me a competitive advantage when entering the jobs market, as my focus will be on areas of the world that are growing in importance and influence. After going through my life with a pretty detailed plan, finishing off my education in one of the top 20 universities in the world is amazing!

In the future, I aim to work as a consultant or an investment banker in a big city – this will help me gain more knowledge of both work and life in general. Looking further ahead, I have aspirations to open my own business and to help others people along the way.


Life as a Student at QMU

Are you a member of a QMU club or society? If so, what was the reason behind your choice and what did you enjoy most about it?

I was a member of the basketball society for two years and badminton for one year. I joined because I wanted to try different sports to the ones had had been doing previously, such as tennis and golf, and I wanted to meet new people.

The best thing about being in a society is how close everyone gets. Everybody is accepted into the society straight away, and competing together brings you closer together. I found some of my best friends for life in the basketball society.

What’s your ‘top tip’ for making the most of being a student?

JOIN A SOCIETY! It does not necessarily need to be the biggest or fanciest. There are amazing people in every society and club! Join one and you will have a great time!

"My favourite thing about this course was the close relationships I had with my tutors and teachers and the experience of doing my dissertation. My supervisor always knew what he needed to say to motivate me and get me going! Without him I would not have done as well as I did. He really pushed me to get a first class honours."
Marcel Strangmueller


Published July 2018