Sarah Qureshi is from India but has spent a substantial part of her life in Saudi Arabia.
She has always had an interest in the workings of the business world and how businesses are run, so she was keen to embark on a business management degree abroad. She researched her options for study and was delighted to find that the BA (Hons) Business Management course at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh offered a more affordable option for an international student than many other universities in the UK. So, she left the baking heat of Saudi Arabia to begin her new life as a student in the beautiful city of Edinburgh. Despite the change in climate, she’s never looked back and is throwing herself into her business course, making new friends and taking every opportunity to experience student life at QMU.
Sarah tells us more about her experience of being a first-year student on the BA (Hons) Business Management at QMU, settling into a new life in Scotland, and about her desire to develop as an independent business woman.
Why did you choose to study Business Management at QMU?
I once read somewhere that money makes the world go round and since then I have been fascinated by how money works. I am eager to learn more about it, gain new experiences and hopefully be an expert in this field. The BA (Hons) Business Management at QMU also covers various topics such as marketing, business studies and entrepreneurship. This will give me a well-rounded understanding of businesses and how they operate.
How easy was it to settle into student life?
The transition to university was a bit tough for me. I had to get used to living in a new place, making new friends, and managing my time. I was also homesick at first. To help me settle into student life, I made an effort to meet new people. I also kept in touch with my family and friends back home. I was very nervous about starting my first year of studies, but I found that once you get to know the people around you and start to get used to the new environment, it becomes a lot easier. There are plenty of clubs and societies that you can join, which is a great way to meet new people and get involved in the university community. There are also a lot of events and activities on campus that you can take part in. I would recommend joining a few clubs or societies and getting involved in campus life - it makes a difference and helps you to settle in.
Have you found the QMU community welcoming?
The QMU community is warm, welcoming and inclusive. I have discovered that there is a strong sense of community, and everyone is eager to assist one another.
What are you enjoying about your course?
I’m enjoying the challenge of the course and the opportunity to learn new things. I’m looking forward to hearing from some industry professionals and to modules that I know are coming up in the next semester like Entrepreneurship, Introduction to Management, and Introduction to Finance and Accounting.
What have been the highlights of your course so far?
The weekly seminars have been very interesting and engaging. I have also enjoyed the opportunity to meet other students on the course and to learn from their experiences.
Have you used any additional support services to help you with academic learning?
I have taken advantage of additional support services that the University provides including the Peer Assisted Learning Service (PALS) and the Effective Learning Service workshops. PALS Sessions are student led learning sessions. They are a relaxed, fun and informal way to receive support for your learning at QMU. The sessions can be used to help understand something you are struggling with, or perhaps to consolidate and develop the learning you have already completed. PALS also runs revision sessions so you can brush up on your knowledge in the] run-up to your exams. The students who run the sessions have all been where we are, so they want to support you by sharing their experience. The Effective Learning Service (ELS) offers guidance and support to all students who wish to develop their academic writing and study skills. The team can help support you with any aspect of your learning, which is very reassuring if you feel you need more help in a specific area.
What other events/initiatives have you got involved in since coming to QMU?
I worked as a Student Helper at the University’s undergraduate open day where I gave campus tours to prospective QMU students. I am also a member of the Students’ Union Trustee Board as a student trustee.
Do you know what you'd like to do in the future with your degree?
I aspire to be an entrepreneur, and after completing this course I will be well equipped with the essential knowledge and experience that is required to become an entrepreneur. This course will be extremely beneficial to me as I will have access to theoretical knowledge on one hand and the other, and I will have experiences and connections, together with the help of these resources I will be able to achieve my dreams of becoming a strong, independent businesswoman.
Sum up your course in three words?
Intriguing, Challenging, and Exciting.
Are you living on campus? How are you finding that?
Yes, I am living in a shared flat in the grounds of the University’s campus, which is very convenient as the student village is right next to the academic building. There is always something to do and the people are great. I have made so many new friends. The campus grounds are also really beautiful and it's a great place to study and relax. I love the convenience of being able to go to my room during breaks and take naps. I also love taking walks around campus and going to the pond.
What have you enjoyed doing in Edinburgh?
I’ve enjoyed exploring the city and taking in the sights. I love taking bus rides to nowhere and watching the city and its people living life through the bus window. I also enjoy the cold and rainy weather because it is better than the scorching heat back home. Although I think I'll change my mind about that as winter approaches. This city is breathtaking and lively.
Do you plan to explore Scotland?
Yes, I am planning on exploring Scotland during the holidays and I am looking forward to seeing and learning more about the country.
"I aspire to be an entrepreneur, and after completing this course I will be well equipped with the essential knowledge and experience that is required to become an entrepreneur. This course will be extremely beneficial to me as I will have access to theoretical knowledge on one hand and the other, and I will have experiences and connections, together with the help of these resources I will be able to achieve my dreams of becoming a strong, independent businesswoman. "