Newcastle University Business School

David

Student Profile - David

  • David
  • Class of 2015
  • Nationality: German

Biography

Before coming to Newcastle, I studied International Agronomy at the University of Applied Sciences in Bingen am Rhein, Germany. This also included an academic research year at the Harper Adams University in Shropshire, UK.

Throughout my studies I focused on the fields of Agri-Business and Management and ultimately graduated as an Agricultural Engineer in 2014.

Choosing Newcastle

Getting a good job in Europe is increasingly challenging nowadays. More and more students from all over the world compete for the same jobs. The Bologna process increased this competition by making national degrees internationally comparable.

For me, having a postgraduate degree is one of the main ways to differentiate myself and to stand out from the competition. In Germany, having a postgraduate degree is even considered as essential.

I have been interested in my area of study since my undergraduate degree in Agronomy and have been interested in focusing my studies on the business area ever since.

I first heard about Newcastle University during my research exchange at the Harper Adams University, since both universities have research facilities for agricultural sciences. I started to read about postgraduate studies at Newcastle University and was particularly impressed by the International Business Management programme’s strong focus on case studies and guest lectures as well as the lecturer’s publications in highly ranked journals. 

Newcastle University Business School appeared to be an excellent choice from a professional perspective, since it is amongst the top twenty research-focused universities in the UK and is triple-accredited.

The wide variety of university sports programmes and the student support services as well as the city’s legendary welcoming culture and party nights helped form my decision to apply to Newcastle. 

My course

The best thing about my course was making friends from all over the globe and building a unique international network.

In the lectures, the real life case studies were one of the key benefits as they helped us to apply our theoretical knowledge to the real world, which really put our studies into a broader perspective.

The chance to talk to the lecturers and to meet them on a regular basis helped me to identify personal goals and research preferences.

Overall, the support of the Business School and the supervisors has been great and really helped me to achieve outstanding grades and prepare me for my career. 

Studying at postgraduate level

The main differences at postgraduate level are: the increased amount of independent reading; the higher complexity and requirements of the assignments; and the freedom to carry out the assignment tasks.

I would say you need to devote at least 30 hours a week to independent study if you are taking your degree seriously but to achieve higher grades you need at least 50 hours a week, especially if you are looking to continue your academic career with a PhD. 

Funding

Before coming to Newcastle I saved up some money through work and also had the privilege of being supported by a scholarship from the German National Academic Foundation.

Even if you do not have a scholarship, studying in Newcastle pays off well and the tuition fee is extremely well invested. 

Career aspirations

Before I started studying at Newcastle University Business School, I wanted to work in the business consulting industry at an international level.

Today, I’m much more interested in becoming a researcher and lecturer in international marketing.

Overall, my plans have changed radically. Newcastle provided me with an excellent network as well as business and academic contacts to help me achieve my goals. The people I met became my advisors and mentors.

Whatever your career plans, the University Career Service advisers are always willing to help you; they have provided great tips for me and my friends. 

Settling in

Newcastle is a very friendly and helpful city and everyone was very welcoming. A university organised shuttle service even collected us from the airport and took us to our accommodation.

The first two weeks at the Business School were full of welcoming events that helped us to get to know each other and the city and even included a treasure hunt.

There were great team building workshops, sports activities, student fairs, parties and speeches from university staff that helped us to get to know the facilities at the university.

The Students’ Union and the excellent postgraduate service at Newcastle University really helped me to feel at home in Newcastle from the very first day. 

Living in Newcastle

Everything in Newcastle is very close by, from food and beverage stores, to pubs or even IKEA. It is great for students who don’t drive.

My favourite places in Newcastle were the Quayside and the Sunday market with its multinational food stands.

I lived near the city centre, which was perfect for reaching Grainger Market and Eldon Square.

What really helped me to have a great student life was the cost of living: you can afford much more than in other cities in the UK. In comparison, Newcastle is relatively cheap for student living. 

Student experience

Being a postgraduate student at the Business School is great. Although it means hard work, you will make amazing new friends and learn a lot for your future career if you are open-minded and eager to perform.

I had a brilliant time in Newcastle with my friends. Apart from nights out and sightseeing trips, there are excellent opportunities for networking through speeches, additional lectures, workshops and discussions with peers, lecturers and industry professionals. All these discussions really sparked the researcher spirit in me.

The Business School provides great computer clusters that provide you with all the hardware and software you need. The library complements this offer with amazing access to online journals, which made studying a lot easier and less time consuming.

If you want to forget your studies at times though, I recommend you check out the Sports Centre with its wide variety of courses and great gym facilities. 

Spare time

In my spare time I really enjoy meeting new people and visiting new places and experiencing their cuisine and language. I also love vegan cooking and hanging out with friends. 

Advice for new students

  1. Don’t always stay with your friends and speak your mother tongue - try to integrate yourself.
  2. Attend all lectures and ask as many questions as possible. Keep in touch with your lecturers and ask them for advice if you have any questions or concerns about the assignments.
  3. Start reading from the very beginning of the course and try to read at least three journal articles a day to be prepared for lectures and assignments. 

Highlights

Academically, the guest lectures, the real life case studies and the business game at the end of the programme were the highlights of my degree programme. Although it was just a simulation game, it was very interesting to experience the impact of our decisions in a wider business context.

Non-academic highlights were the culinary nights in our postgraduate community, as well as exciting conversations and unforgettable moments with friends from all over the globe.

My postgraduate experience in three words

Describing my experience in only three words is absolutely impossible but being put to the point I would say: intensive, too short and life-changing!