Tommaso is from Perugia in Italy and has studied the BA (Hons) Business Management. Whilst studying with QMU he has benefitted from The Vice Chancellor’s International Travel Fund. This provided £500 which helped pay for travel to the USA, allowing him to take advantage of a semester at Central Connecticut State University.
Tommaso shares his story of studying at QMU and enjoying student life in Edinburgh.
What attracted you to the course and why did you choose QMU?
I chose the Business Management degree at QMU because I wanted to study business abroad and QMU offered me a conditional offer in 2014. After researching the interesting subjects covered in the BA (Hons) Business Management, I spoke to QMU professors and students about the method of teaching and found out that QMU tried, where possible, to tailor learning to students specific needs and interests. As English in not my native language, I thought that it would be good to have a solid academic support backing me up, especially in my first year. After having spent four years studying at QMU, I realised I could not made a better choice.
Anyone who comes to university from a previous non-U.K. education might find it challenging to adapt to the new way of teaching and learning, so it is important that they take full advantage of additional support offered by QMU departments. The University’s Effective Learning Service really helped me, particularly with improving my written English skills. The tutors also provided with advice and guidance on how to write a paper using references.
QMU’s Business Management students can take advantage of student exchanges to various destinations around the globe in the second or third year of the course. I took up this opportunity and spent the Spring semester of 2017 in the USA at Central Connecticut State University. It was an incredible experience as this was my first time in America and it was interesting to benefit from a different style of learning and teaching. I met great people during the exchange and some of my new American friends even came to visit me in Scotland.
My exchange allowed me to travel across the east coast of America and I was able to experience different ways of learning as well as different cultures. The American system was quite different from both the UK and Italian teaching systems. Another great aspect of QMU is its employability service. The staff in the employability team were enthusiastic about helping students look for summer internships or prepare for graduate job interviews, and I would recommend students take advantage of these great servicers to improve their CVs and make them more attractive to employers.
Why did you choose to study in Edinburgh/Scotland?
I chose to study in Edinburgh because the city is active, vibrant and the Scottish people are delightful and very friendly. I was also aware that Edinburgh is a real multicultural and international city, which embraces diversity and strongly fosters the integration of internationals in the Scottish society, so that was very appealing.
I have made many good friends throughout my four-years at QMU and in Edinburgh, and the network I have created is fantastic. Being a Business Management student, I also looked at the job market in Scotland. The University offers great internships and Scotland does have lots of excellent work opportunities. Last but not least, Edinburgh is home of some of the most incredible and fascinating art and musical festivals, and the city is flooded with tourists from all over the world in the summer when it hosts the Edinburgh International Festival and the Fringe.
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 enjoy the Scottish outdoor environment. The places I like to visit the most are the Water of Leith and Dean Village and I enjoy cycling along the beautiful east coast from the town of Portobello towards North Berwick. Some people might say that the weather in Scotland is not the best, but I agree with the Scottish saying “In Scotland, there is no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothes”. Oh, let’s not forget that up in the Highlands is possible to see the majestic Aurora Borealis; believe me, that is an unforgettable experience.
- Did you attend an Open Day? If so was there any aspect of the University which made up your mind for you?
I applied through the Clearing system, therefore I had limited chances to come to an open-day. However, I managed to fly to Edinburgh for two days in August and I attended an open day. First, I was impressed by the facility itself. So many computers, quiet places allocated for study, and the sport centre is run by competent and professional gym attendees.
- What’s been the highlight of the course so far? What have you learnt, or which particular activity has been the most interesting?
I came to QMU with a clear idea of why I wanted to pursue this degree. I wanted to learn managerial skills and be able to find a graduate job after graduation. The opportunities given to me throughout the degree, such as the exchange semester, and the support received throughout the whole degree, motivated me and enhanced my discipline and drive to be among the top-notch students in the Business Management course.
- Any advice for students who might be interested in this course?
The best advice I can give is to work hard from the beginning. I really believe that this university makes available all the tools and help students need to be successful at university. However, nobody will bring this to you, you must be the one actively looking for opportunities and advice; you will be amazed by the support and opportunities QMU has to offer you.
Any future plans after graduation?
In my second semester of fourth-year I have pushed myself and I decided to start looking for a job while still being a student. It was tough to balance university, preparation for job applications and personal life. However, the hard work has paid off and I am now settled with a sales position which I start in September in London.
"QMU’s Business Management students can take advantage of student exchanges to various destinations around the globe in the second or third year of the course. I took up this opportunity and spent the Spring semester of 2017 in the USA, at Central Connecticut State University. It was an incredible experience as this was my first time in America and it was interesting to benefit from a different style of learning and teaching."