Newcastle University Business School

Marielle

Student Profile - Mariëlle

Choosing this Dual Award programme

I really wanted to follow a Master degree with an international business focus. Newcastle University offered this double degree programme with the University of Groningen and the modules on offer provided exactly what I was looking for.

Being Dutch, I was very attracted to a programme which provided the opportunity to gain two degrees and study in two different countries. I liked the idea of actually being abroad while studying, instead of merely learning theories about what to expect when you or your business moves abroad.

The Newcastle University website enabled me to gain a lot of insight into the University and its programmes which made me feel secure in my choice of study as well as location.

My course

Having classes in one location and mostly even on the same floor was helpful as I did not need to run through town from one lecture to another. I received most deadlines at the beginning of the programme, so I was able to plan for handing in papers and preparing for exams. The tutors gave helpful advice about which books to read which helped me gain a more in-depth explanation of the topics.

My favourite modules during the course were International Marketing, International Brand Management and International Strategic Alliances. I found that these modules had an international perspective, focusing on key differences between nations and cultures. Personally I feel that understanding these differences is more valuable than knowing the similarities. In addition, the tutors on these modules had business experience as well as an academic background, which meant they were able to provide illustrative examples from their own experience, rather than just discussing the theory. 

I found it helpful to be a student representative for my programme. This gave me the opportunity to provide insights and suggest possible future changes to the programme directors regarding any issues our student group faced. It has also been a great learning opportunity to hear from student representatives on other programmes about their experiences and how they have done things differently. I know that the experience I’ve gained through learning to listen to my peers, communicating their issues to others, and feeding back discussion outcomes will benefit me.

Studying at postgraduate level

Postgraduate study requires more independent learning. At undergraduate level, my tutors explained more about certain theories and how they work in reality, whereas at postgraduate level, tutors highlight the important aspects of the theories and it is up to you to read additional articles to understand how the theory can be applied. In addition, there have been less group assignments on this programme than during my undergraduate study.

Career aspirations

I want to work my way up to managerial roles and directing projects. I would like to work with an international company, preferably a service company, in roles which enable me to meet and work with people from abroad. 

Student experience

I stayed in Leazes Terrace, a university-managed property, during my time at Newcastle University. This meant I was able to interact with fellow students, who were not necessarily from the same programme range. For example, I became friends with Finance and Law students even though I was a Business School student.

In both Groningen and Newcastle, the city centre is a fun place to go to with friends. Newcastle’s city centre is really big and great for shopping, whereas Groningen’s centre is smaller but has more places to eat or have a drink with friends. On sunny days especially, it was great to sit outside and enjoy the warm weather with a cold drink.

In Newcastle I visited the Hancock Museum and Hatton Gallery, both of which had nice exhibitions to see with free entry including an interesting exhibition about Marilyn Monroe at the Hatton. I took the bus sightseeing tour around Newcastle and Gateshead which for a cheap price showed me all the highlights and let me get off and on at any of the stops, such as the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art.

Advice for new students

  1. Ask tutors which points to focus on for exams, essays and presentations.
  2. Ask your fellow students - who perhaps have been studying there longer or are just finishing - about their experiences and what advice they have for your specific programme, subject or exam.
  3. Use the library - it has a broad range of helpful books, both regular books and e-books. Even if you can’t find the specific one you want, you can usually find an earlier edition, or another book on the topic by the same author.

Highlights

Academically, tutors offering insights into their business experience and relating real business problems to academic topics. This made the material more comprehensible and memorable. It was these moments in class that I liked most, as it felt like the theory was coming to life.

Socially, I attended some of the student trips which was a great way to spend Saturdays with friends. For instance I went to York and took part in a guided tour. I also went to the Lake District where I enjoyed stunning views of the lakes. I visited Edinburgh Zoo, which mainly consisted of rescued animals, where I attended shows and information panels. This was very insightful since the staff know a lot about the animals and shows such as the penguin walk were quite funny to watch.

My postgraduate experience in three words

Interactive, current and with a broad-scope.