Having studied natural sciences and psychology as an undergraduate at a large university in the United States I, unfortunately, completed my first round of studies without much experience pertaining to time management, teamwork or cultural awareness. Of course, the MSc International Business and Management course will provide me with the necessary curriculum to understand the complexities of international business, but it will also enhance beneficial life skills which cannot be acquired from a textbook.
My undergraduate courses generally consisted of exams and individual assignments so it was fairly easy for me to schedule my school work, jobs, extracurricular and social life. However, this course requires greater time commitment as we were assigned a group project in every course during the first semester.
The days initially seemed long but passed quickly at the same time, somehow, as they were often filled with some combination of lectures, seminars, group projects, coffee breaks, socialising and other activities. As the semester progressed, especially during November, we were faced with multiple project deadlines even though it seemed as if the semester had just started. With all of the course requirements merging at once, we were forced to evaluate how we spent our time and we learned to prioritize and manage our schedules effectively.
Additionally, for me, the first semester was also a process of learning how to find my voice and my place within a group setting. During the projects, we learned about the importance of acceptance, patience and communication in a multicultural setting. Our understanding and communication styles were tested often due to the rigorous coursework in conjunction with the highly diverse student population. On a regular basis during the first semester we faced new challenges but also gained new insight about our classmates and ourselves.
It was not always easy but I believe all students finished the projects with a better understanding of their leadership style, communication preferences and patience. These skills will be beneficial for every graduate in any job.
While some benefits of this programme are highly visible, in the form of interesting courses from great professors at a notable UK based research institution, I believe the unseen benefits are some of most valuable as the programme structure allows students to challenge themselves and learn through experience on a regular basis.