I study Business, Marketing & Human Resource Management in University of Worcester and I just finished my 1st year this May. During this year I have learned a lot about myself and about the subject I am studying. I have also gained lots of work experience.
My way to University
Before coming to university I had two cap years. I actually first applied back in 2014 and I got in to study totally different major compared to what I am studying now – Drama, Performance & Film Studies. Back then being 19 fresh out of high school I was nervous about moving into a new country and being alone seemed scary. So I decided to have one cap year and work. During my first cap year I was working in Dream Foundation and helped other potential student’s to apply and reach their dream. On my second cap year I worked as a professional barista and a manager in a small coffee shop. Working as a manager helped me realise that I should study business and gain deeper knowledge about different aspects about an organisation and how to run it efficiently. That’s when I decided to reapply and here I am. It took time but now 3 years later I have finished my first year in university and I couldn’t be more satisfied.
University and my course
Worcester is situated 45 minutes from Birmingham by train and approximately three hours from London. University of Worcester is one of the fastest growing university’s in U.K. It has Three campuses – St John’s (Main campus), City campus (Business campus) and Riverside campus. My lectures are mainly in the Business campus.
First year I passed 4 modules – Business Challenge, Marketing and Management Perspectives, Business viability: Finance and Economic Perspectives and Business Law.
Lectures were really interesting and the lecturers really knew how to make their subject interesting by using examples from everyday life and different well known businesses. We got to work with local charities and organise a charity event for them. But the most interesting lecture was the marketing lecture before Christmas when our Management lecturer dressed up as an elf and gave us chocolate and Christmas cards.
As they say first year is a learning curve for everyone. During my first year I had to adjust with new techniques and ways to write reports and essays, I had to learn academic writing and Harvard referencing system which aren’t covered in Estonian high schools. But all in all as most of my assignments were written pieces I had a good practice and over the months I got the hung of it assignment by assignment. And for my final written assignment which was an action plan I got an A.
Working while studying
After having two cap years I was intimidated and excited at the same time. I didn’t know what to expect from my studies and I knew I had find a way to support myself financially. So the first thing I did when I moved to Worcester in the beginning of September I started looking for a job as I already had a National Insurance Number (a personalised number you need if you want to work in UK). I started working full time in a local cafe as an assistant manager. I only had lectures three days a week (two lectures on Tuesday, one on Wednesday evening and one Thursday morning). All together I was in university for 12 hours a week. This was the main reason I accepted this job offer. I thought I could juggle full time work and university. Reality was I spent more time at work then on individual studying. It is suggested to spend 7 hours a week per subject on material which means 28 hours a week individual studying. I worked like this for 7 months until I decided that I need to concentrate more on university if I want to succeed. So I handed in my notice and left my job to look for something part time. That gave me plenty of time to catch up on my material and to take some time for myself.
Working full time while studying did give me experience I might of not gotten while living in Estonia. Assistant managers position was relevant to my studies and I could put almost everything I learned into use. It was a great experience and helped me improve my time management and organising skills.
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What I have learned from this experience
This year I have learned a lot and developed as a person. Living abroad has widen my horizon and helped me become more open and confident. I think I have gained skills which would help me further along in my career. It was crucial for me to take this step in order to become a person I am now. This experience has definitely opened some great opportunities for me. I suggest that everyone who has a chance to study abroad should definitely do that you will learn a lot about yourself and different cultures as the universities are full of people from different nationalities and background. It is a chance to create a world wide network and open doors for more great life changing opportunities.
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Annika is happy to help those interested to learn more about University of Worcester and her life abroad. Please ask her contact from firstname.lastname@example.org