A chat with my groupmates

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For my latest post I decided to get the views of some of my fellow students – Zhe Tan, Peirong Sun, Dan Ma and Jindan Li.

Tell me about your stories…where are your from and why did you choose this course?

We all come from the South of China, our towns are Suzhou, Taizhon, Changsha and Nanjing. Our background is in accounting and finance studies. We were very interested in strengthening our analytical skills and we made several searches online, consulting both university websites and student discussion forums, where we could learn about their direct past experience. One of us knew a senior student from MSc Business Analytics, who suggested this course to undertake a successful career in consultancy.

What did you do when you arrived in UK? What were your hopes and worries?

It was a long journey from China. We were here at the end of June to follow a pre-sessional English course. During that time the International Society organised at least 1 trip per week. For instance, some of us visited York and Wales. We also joined city parades and Malaysian and Korean parties.

Speaking a foreign language was probability our first concern. We were also worried to adapt to different food habits and not being able to find some good Chinese food. But, actually, our fluency in English improved dramatically after the first few weeks and also we could find several Chinese restaurants serving delicious food, just like at home.

We were not really concerned about making new friends, because some of our previous friends were going to follow a course from The University of Manchester and we also knew we could find a flourishing Chinese community, where we could make new friends quickly. Moreover, we found a lot of great new friends coming from all over the world, just like you, Manuela!

What do you like about the city of Manchester?

The city is not very big, meaning that it is possible to conveniently reach different places with just one bus ride or by walking. Also, accommodation is quite affordable and, generally, living expenses are much lower compared to London. Two of us live in George Kenyon University’s Hall, for example, and what we like most about that accommodation is watching the sunset. In China we were used to living in skyscrapers in metropolises and we couldn’t see the twilight.

We also like that there are dozens of supermarkets wherever we go and the city centre hosts a shopping mall, the Arndale, where we can find almost everything. Public transportation is also very functional.

We spent many hours working in groups this year…what did you learn from this experience?

We very much enjoyed our group working, although the work was very tough sometimes! We learned how to split tasks among people efficiently by recognising people’s strengths and defining tasks according to what could have maximised our efforts. We also learned to express our different points of view clearly and confidently, without fearing other groupmates’ reactions. This means that we really improved our negotiation skills.

We were also able to develop common thinking as a result of applying our joint critical thoughts on a given problem. Given several close deadlines, we boosted our time management skills by combining our group meetings with our individual study. We also learned a lot from our colleagues with previous working experience. And…we had a really funny time when teaching Chinese and learning Italian!

Is there anything you would have done differently during this year?

Well we took our studying commitment very seriously, sacrificing some free time. Probably, we should have tried to improve the effectiveness of our study-time and dedicate some more time to sports and personal amusements during the weekend. For instance, some of us used to go to the swimming pool, but when there was several assignments with close deadlines we just decided to skip it, but certainly, our body didn’t benefit from irregular physical activity.

Which is your best memory during this year?

Actually, we all agree that some of our best memories consist in the time spent together. We were very harmonious groupmates, we could enjoy our time even working hard for the coursework and we literally loved all our lunches and dinners to celebrate our successful group works. We are going to miss our time together so much!

What are your plans for the future?

Well we guess…finding a job, marrying and having children?? (hahahah they all laugh). Well looking more at the short-term, we are very focused on finding a job in China. Some of us were really fascinated by business analytics’ field and we might want to work as data analysts, especially for consulting or internet-based companies. Some of us are still relying on their accounting and finance background, so we would try to pursue a career in auditing or in the banking sector, as well.

Girls, I loved to work with you this year and I wish you all the best for the future!

Groupmates’ picture in occasion of Risk, Performance and Decision Analysis’ presentation held on the 06/05/2016.

Groupmates’ picture in occasion of Risk, Performance and Decision Analysis’ presentation held on the 06/05/2016.

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