Tell us a little about yourself

I really enjoy being outside in nature - just going for a walk, hiking or sitting by the sea - it calms me down. I also like to read quite a bit in my free time. Even though I know I am not that good, I enjoy singing and drawing as a way to let go of any stress.

Why did you choose to study at Queen Margaret University (QMU)?

When I was applying for universities in Scotland, I was immediately drawn to QMU – it just felt right. I liked that the focus is on the individual student and the classes are not too big.

I was also impressed with all the support services on offer to students, such as the Personal Academic Tutors (PAT) and individual learning plans.

I was delighted to see that there is a mixture of students studying at QMU; some from Scotland and the rest of the UK, some from the EU and others from places as far away as Canada.

What attracted you to the BA (Hons) Business Management course?

I chose QMU’s Bachelor of Business Management degree because the course structure seemed to be both versatile and interesting, and I was sure I would learn a lot of useful things that would help me not only in my career but also in my personal life.

What appealed to you about studying in Edinburgh?

I participated in European Voluntary Service - where I volunteered for a non-profit organisation for 12-months - in Newcastle upon Tyne from 2016-17 and did some travelling around the UK. I saw Edinburgh for the first time then and thought it was the most beautiful city I have ever seen. I also travelled through other parts of Scotland during that year - including Aberdeen, Aviemore, Inverness and the Isle of Skye - and I fell in love with the country more and more. The people here are extremely friendly and kind. When I was back in Germany after my year in Newcastle, I knew I wanted to go to university, and I knew I wanted to come back to the UK, so it was an easy decision to choose Edinburgh.

What has been the highlight of your study experience?

I enjoy having small classes and good relationships with the lecturers because of that. In Germany, there is more of a barrier between students and their professors. Here at QMU, we can call the lecturers by their first names and, most of the time, our lecturers also attend the seminars, which makes learning easier.

My lecturers are very good at supporting our learning. Most of the time, we get a weekly learning guide, reading list or a question we have to prepare for our seminars. Having this guidance makes studying easier as I know where to start and where I should be with my knowledge.

Has there been a particular course activity you found especially interesting?

In our first year, we had to do a reflective-writing exercise as part of one of our modules. Even though it was sometimes hard to find to the motivation to start writing about myself, my development, what was going right and wrong and how I thought I might improve, it was pretty interesting to see how I felt at the beginning of the semester compared to the end.

What have been some of your challenges with the course and university life? How have you overcome them?

Surprisingly, studying in a different country and in a language that isn’t my mother tongue has not been a big challenge. If words come up that I don’t understand, people are always very kind and don’t mind explaining them to me. But it is a challenge to be away from home and friends and family for long periods. It can also be quite hard to balance uni, work and my social life, as well as taking time to relax and focus on wellbeing. It is a bit easier if you plan your week.

"Business Management is an exciting and versatile course – I feel like it will prepare me for a wide range of jobs that I could do in the future."
Sophie Hermeling, BA (Hons) Business Management

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

In my opinion, it is important to do the work every week and be as prepared as possible for the lectures and seminars, otherwise when the exams come around it can be hard to read, summarise, understand and revise for everything at the same time.

Are you a member of a QMU club or society?

I am a member of the International Society because I think it is important to celebrate the diversity our University has. It’s also a nice place to meet new people, make new friends and talk about new places, as well as home.

What has been the most valuable lesson that you’ve learned at university?

Focus on yourself. Don’t worry about what others might think of you or if they think you asked a weird question; nobody cares, and if you have that question, it's likely that others will too. The seminars are there to help you further understand the lecture content and even if you do not have the correct answer for a question at the time, if you query this, you won't make that mistake in any future assignments.

What are you plans after graduation? Tell us about your ambitions and where you see yourself in the future?

That is a hard question. I hope I will be working for a company that is quite international. I am not entirely sure what my role would be, but I know what I do not want to do. A lot of it also depends on what happens in the future, with Brexit, for example.

BA (Hons) Business Management is an exciting and versatile course – I feel like it will prepare me for a wide range of jobs that I could do in the future. 

[Published February 2020]