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Managing your PG studies in a new environment

Here it goes, from being an undergrad pass out to being enrolled as a post-grad student at the Alliance Manchester Business School.

The transition from bachelors to MSc degree was a whole 1800 revolution. Firstly, as I had decided to pursue a business course and secondly to attain the degree abroad, away from home. Coming from an engineering background, I was enthusiastic and curious to not only learn business management but to develop skills that I believed I lack.

So far I can say that I have thoroughly enjoyed each and every session of my AMBS student life, interacting with the classmates in a group project and in seminars (workshops), participating in class in the Q&A sessions.

When I came here, I knew that trailing along with the coursework will not be easy as this program requires intense reading and self-study hours. Hence I started learning and focusing on the topics from day one, made schedules and goals to achieve at the end of each day. I downloaded this app “Microsoft to do” and signed in with my official student ID and email address. This app links with my timetable, lets me schedule and plan tasks and sets a reminder. All in all, this app has been of great help so far.

Since I like to plan and strategise every task no matter how big or small it is, and that has been a part of my small success as of now, I keep a diary with me where I write and develop plans of my schedules, self-study, work-out plans and much more for example.

As far as the UoM facilities are concerned, I have sought advantages of them as well. The university provides numerous library resources, both online and in hard copy.

The database of the UoM library is quite vast and comprehensive for accessing the reading materials and taking notes. There is this Alan Gilbert Learning Commons (AGLC) building, that is open 24 hours a day, and provides group study rooms (pre-booking required), quiet and comfy study spaces, and desktops as well, I like going here to study since I do most of the study late nights, so this is space for people like me. Most of the time I used these study spaces to finish my self-study before going home and relaxing with a hot cup of coffee.

The University has a Blackboard (BB) system where all the lectures, practice quizzes, materials, and course outlines are uploaded before lectures, with feedback and other guidelines from the professors are provided to the students to take advantage of. Also, the recorded lectures are available every next day after the lectures so the students can re-watch them at their leisure.

UoM has a range of facilities available for students to seek help during their academics, while on campus and off-campus. My Learning Essentials (MLE) on UoM library websites such as academic writing, referencing and citation and other academic-related workshops are available throughout the semester. I have attended the Academic Success Program (ASP), an academic writing workshop, and Referencing and Citation workshop. These were quite informative and helpful workshop sessions, with practice materials provided for self-practice. The workshops have been conducted as a hybrid model. Also, such materials and workshops have been easily accessible online for watching in our own leisure time.

Living abroad and independently might seem a big task but can be managed by making small objectives and plans and establishing them. All it takes is being organised and planning out the day’s task. Balancing studies with other activities. Reading, reading, and reading as my course demands so, a bit of regular reading is mandatory for I know it is much difficult to pass let alone study for the course if left to the end.

Muhammad Altaf's study space