Newcastle University Business School

Maria

Student Profile - Maria

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Biography

I studied Economics for my Bachelor’s degree at Catolica de Santiago de Guayaquil University in Ecuador, South America.

I was the course representative during those years, which led me to improve my communication and leadership skills, which were necessary in order to develop good relations among my workmates.

It also helped me to succeed as a leader in the government organisation where I have been working for the last seven years. 

Choosing Newcastle

After being a member of a government organisation for seven years, I developed a passion for commerce and decided to continue acquiring new knowledge. One of my professional goals is to keep being an active part of the economic development of my country and contribute to its growth. 

Believing deeply that exchange of information and experience is important, not just at a national level but also on an international basis, my aim was to improve my analytical, managerial and problem solving skills from a global perspective. Consequently, I strongly believed that participating in an academic programme abroad was a key part of developing this enhanced professional skillset.

I decided to study in England due to its economy, which has proven to be one of the most stable in the world for several years, based on its national industry and trade.

I chose Newcastle University in particular, due to its position in the Academic Ranking of World Universities, prestige and demanding level of education. Additionally, this Business School encouraged students from different cultures to share their thoughts and global perspectives, a scenario that was appropriate to my career prospects. 

My course

Sharing business ideas and experiences with international students was the most enjoyable aspect of my course. The teaching and assessment methods encouraged me to develop my business research skills and design a commercial plan in order to start up my own company in the future.

Guest speakers shared their real life working experience and provided suggestions relating to their company success or failure. The University Library website provided key support throughout my programme, offering me a wide range of academic journal articles which enabled me to successfully complete my assignments. 

Student experience

A high level of commitment and self-study is required to study for the course. The Robinson Library (the main library on campus) is a great facility, offering the relevant services to students to support their daily studies, and study environments for groups meeting to work on formal presentations.

The Newcastle Graduate Recruitment Fair was an interesting event to attend, as this enabled me to learn about the skills and characteristics that national and multinational companies seek in professionals for the UK business sector.

Career aspirations

Before starting the programme, I aspired to work in the Ecuadorian organisation that designs the strategic programme promoting Ecuador's national exports and investments (similar to UK Trade and Investment).

However, my career plans changed after I completed my master’s programme: I instead decided to establish my own company in Guayaquil, Ecuador, which will be directly related to the productive sector of my country. I firmly believe that the managerial and planning skills I developed on the programme will allow me to create the ideal strategic business plan and conduct successful commercial negotiations. 

Settling in

The arrival information on the Business School website was really clear and allowed me to easily plan my flight to the city.

As an international student, induction week was important because it helped me to be aware of domestic security rules, bank account requirements and also enabled me to attend a welcome dinner for international student at Newcastle Civic Centre, where I met other postgraduate students. 

Living in Newcastle

Newcastle is a wonderful, vibrant city and really convenient for student life due to its small size. Right across the road from the Business School is the St. James’ Park (Newcastle United Football Club), where I enjoyed watching several Premier League football matches. Exclusive discounts for football tickets were even offered to Newcastle University Business School students.

Walking by the Quayside, seeing the Millennium bridge, attending performances at the Theatre Royal and Sage, visiting the Hancock Museum, watching a Rugby game, ice-skating at the outdoor rink in December and going to Leazes and Jesmond Dene parks were the most pleasant and memorable moments that I have from Newcastle Upon Tyne. 

Advice for new students

  1. Plan your time carefully and work hard in advance.
  2. Participate in university events.
  3. Meet other postgraduate students to share cultural and academic experiences.

Highlights

Meeting amazing friends during this academic year and spending time with them in parks, theatres, stadiums, on trips and at University events. Watching Premier League football matches where Ecuadorian footballers play. Getting distinction marks in assignments and developing an interesting topic for my dissertation. 

My postgraduate experience in three words

Memorable, challenging and successful.