Newcastle University Business School

Douglas

Student Profile - Douglas

Image of Douglas.

Choosing Newcastle

Having visited Newcastle previously when I was a research assistant in London, I was aware of the numerous offerings the city provided to international students. Newcastle is a student-friendly city and the locals are among the nicest in the UK. I decided to study entrepreneurship following a short career in International Relations which led me to select Newcastle University as the Business School offered the exact programme that I wanted to study. I was also aware that Newcastle University is one of the Russell Group’s research institutions which was another deciding factor for me.

My course

The programme provided me with real world and up-to-date insights into entrepreneurship. I had access to a wide range of guest lecturers who offered their insights into potential career pathways to consider after graduation. The programme content enabled me to further develop my perspective and consider careers in areas such as consulting, finance, general management and construction. It also offered me connections to local and regional companies including our end-of-year field trip to the Business Innovation Centre in Sunderland.

I’ve benefited immensely by being able to set up a year-long business connected to one of our enterprise modules: I co-founded ARTISPIRE with two fellow students. The experience of running our company and having complete control of the decision-making process was extremely rewarding. I managed the marketing and finance aspects and established the pricing for our eBook 'DIY: Getting creative with business'. ARTISPIRE advised students on ways to develop their entrepreneurial skills within the creative industry. Understanding the process of starting a business and learning how to trade is one of the unique advantages of the ICE programme, and the skills I’ve acquired are easily transferrable into any industry.

I was a student representative for the ICE programme, which enabled me to connect closely with my colleagues and represent their interests in the quarterly student-staff committee meetings. It was also a great way to understand the administrative process of the Business School from a staff perspective. 

I was also delighted to be the student orator at my graduation ceremony - the experience was truly inspirational and I was very happy to have had the opportunity to deliver such a great message to my graduates.

Studying at postgraduate level

Undertaking my six-year Bachelors degree in the U.S. gave me a vastly different student experience compared to my Masters degree in the UK.

Two years of my Government & International Politics Bachelor’s degree were spent undertaking general courses such as psychology and communication which were unrelated to my main subject. In comparison, my Masters programme focused specifically on Entrepreneurship, and at twelve months duration, was more intense than a Masters in the U.S. which takes two years to complete. 

At Masters Level, I also had a great deal of autonomy in how I approached my studies, and my class which consisted of twenty-three students was more diverse than classes on my Bachelors programme. This was advantageous because it enabled me to develop a cross-cultural perspective through association with my colleagues. This experience led me to spend thirty days in Mumbai in India thanks to an invitation from two of my course mates. My experience on the ICE programme also improved my writing skills and furthered my ability to analyse opposing viewpoints.

Student experience

The ICE programme’s unique relationship with Rise Up, a service offered by the University’s Careers Service aimed at students who are looking to develop their ideas and ultimately set up their businesses in the Newcastle area. My career goal is to set up my own business with the help of Newcastle University’s resources including Rise Up.

The easy accessibility of my lecturers who were available to further clarify points following lectures and advise and assist me in any way I needed to help me succeed.

Advice for new students

  1. Visit the Grainger Market – it’s a great place to buy high quality yet reasonably priced food.
  2. Join a society or two as soon as possible. Newcastle University thrives on its sports culture and social life. By joining a society or sports club, you’ll meet more people than you would on your own or through your regular group.
  3. Keep an open mind, no matter what your background, cultural beliefs or orientation are. Newcastle has a cosmopolitan mix and vibrant feel. Have fun and immerse yourself in new things you’re not accustomed to. This is one of the best ways to grow as an individual.

Highlights

As a mature student, I was concerned that I would not be able to keep up with those younger than me, however, for the most part, I was able to maintain a healthy yet active balance between my social life and academic study.

I enjoyed many events held at the Students’ Union, which offered a cheaper alternative to nights out on the town. I particularly enjoyed CCTV on Saturday nights at MensBar in the Union. It was always packed with students and played good music. Throughout the school year, the Union invited companies to promote their brands. One standout for me was the Accenture Oxygen Bar experience where I got to experience flavoured oxygen!

I’ve also enjoyed the numerous discounts offered by businesses to students. For example, in Grainger’s Market, I took advantage of my student discount when shopping at a family butchers, and Chinatown (close to the School) is a great place for lunchtime deals.

There were plenty of outdoor activities to engage in when I wasn’t studying. I enjoyed walking though Jesmond Dene in central Newcastle, and just a short distance away, visiting the beach or the iconic Angel of the North sculpture.

Living in Newcastle

I have so many memories! From an athletic perspective, I started as Quarterback for the Newcastle University American Football Club. We had a fabulous year during the regular season and returned to the playoffs after a two-year hiatus. Many of my teammates, having never played American Football before, were breakout players by season end. Playing a sport at university is a major way to build a great set of friends and enjoy a good social life. Being able to meet and socialise with not just my teammates but members from other athletic clubs every Wednesday night at Tiger Tiger was a definite plus.

Every week, our sports teams headed into town dressed as a particular theme (who says Halloween is the only time for dressing up!) On one occasion we dressed up as superheroes. I dressed up as Hancock (from the 2008 film). When I arrived at our usual pre-drinks pub as Hancock, everyone immediately knew who I was, we all had a good laugh, and it turned out to be an eventful evening.

I developed both professional and lifelong relationships with people because of my involvement in many activities, from my American Football coach offering CV advice to one of my lecturers having a drink with me to discuss life after university. I wouldn’t have benefited from these moments if I hadn’t taken advantage of the many activities the University has to offer.

Leaving behind a full-time job to study at Newcastle University was the best decision I’ve made thus far.

My postgraduate experience in three words

Fun, challenging and engaging.

Final thoughts

I was also a member of the following:

  • Newcastle University American Football Club (Quarterback)
  • Newcastle University Entrepreneurs Society
  • Newcastle University Business School Board of Students
  • National Association of College and University Entrepreneurs (NACUE)