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Manchester – over and out

It feels like just yesterday when I was filling out forms, going for visa appointments, taking my IELTS exam and meticulously packing to bring the maximum amount of food supplies from home. Just as I say that, a year has flown by.

The past year at The University of Manchester has been one of the most exhilarating and enriching experiences that I have had so far. From the invigorating academic schedule to learning how to cook, clean, budget my expenses, to planning trips, going for parties and working on essays – my experience of stepping out of my comfort zone and moving half-way across the world was as rewarding as it was challenging. 

The year started with a trip to Brathay, an innovative ice-breaking and team-building session. After our overnight get-away it was time to learn about the world of HR. Engaging lectures and innovative seminars were a key element of my journey at AMBS that reassured me of my choice to come to Manchester. Being an outgoing person, I took every opportunity to talk to people and learn about their cultures and sometimes even learn how to cook a dish from their native cuisine.

Payal Mehta stood in front of the Alliance MBS entrance

As my journey at AMBS comes to an end, these are some of the things I have learnt along the way: 

  1. You are not alone. Whenever you feel that the academic/social pressure is wearing you down, reach out to someone. Moving to university is a big step and the university provides plenty of resources to help students settle-in.
  2. Strike a balance between academic study and extra-curricular. While university work does take up a substantial part of the week you must ensure that you step out and have fun too. I always planned ahead and kept at least one day of the week free to explore the city, go for day trips or just sleep in.
  3. Budget wisely. I love to travel, so every month I would keep aside some money just to travel. Trying to cut down on eating out really helped me with this, staying in on your own makes you realise that all those times mom said there was food at home, she was right! There are also student discounts at nearly all the stores, so make sure you check them out too.
  4. Don’t leave everything to the last minute. Exams and deadlines can lead to panic so planning ahead is key. I always made sure I planned out my week to avoid stressing out later.
  5. Take part in the events organised by the University. To make the most out of your time at University it is important to engage and participate in activities outside the classroom, be it seminars, career fairs, pizza nights, debates or conferences.

As I write my final blog, I have a bitter-sweet feeling. Bitter because this marks the end of my journey at AMBS and sweet because I am now on the final stage of receiving my master's degree. The experience of studying at The University of Manchester has been memorable and rewarding, I have grown in professional and personal capacities and learned so much along the way.

I hope you have all enjoyed reading my blogs as much as I have enjoyed writing them. Sending good wishes and warm regards to everyone who has been a part of this amazing journey.

Payal Mehta wearing a purple hoodie in the Hive at Alliance MBS