Newcastle University Business School

Sephana

Student Profile - Sephana

Biography

I did my undergraduate degree in Information Technology at Anna University, India. I then did my Post Degree Diploma in Business, with specialisation in Management and Leadership, at Vancouver Island University, Canada.

Doing a blend of computer and business programmes gave me the perfect combination of computer skills, technical and analytical skills, plus the business acumen to pursue my postgraduate degree in Operations, Logistics and Supply Chain Management at Newcastle University.

Choosing Newcastle

With my prior knowledge in computer science and business, I wanted to pursue a specialised field in management where I could apply both of these skills. My research showed me how important Operations, Logistics and Supply Chain Management (OLSCM) was for the success of any business. I began searching for universities around the world that offer this course and the OLSCM programme at Newcastle was the perfect fit.

Whilst various universities provided programmes specialising in either Operations or Logistics or Supply Chain Management, Newcastle University Business School’s programme was one of the very few programmes that integrated all three fields into a single specialised programme. These three fields are interlinked and inseparable in the international business world, hence Newcastle University’s programme was very attractive to me.

In addition to this, Newcastle University is a member of the prestigious Russell Group and is among the top 1% of universities worldwide to hold the esteemed triple accreditation.

The University also provided a range of support services for international students, including financial advice and funding opportunities, which helped me integrate well into UK life and study without any worries.

My course

The professors at the University were very helpful, especially my Programme Director Dr Ying Yang. They have an open door policy, meaning I was able to approach them for help at any time and they are eager to help students throughout the course.

Unlike other Universities, the class size is small and very interactive. There is a heavy emphasis on practical application of concepts, classroom discussions and case study analysis. All of this makes Newcastle University graduates very attractive to potential employers.

The course, although only one year in duration, is information-packed and contains all the essential knowledge required to propel one’s career forward in the business arena or pursue a PhD.

The course also lays a heavy emphasis on researching various books, journals and articles and exploring new concepts rather than having a strict textbox for the courses.

The programme carries accreditation from the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply Chain (CIPS), helping students gain the prestigious MCIPS designation in the future, which make the course highly beneficial to students.

All of these facets of the programme have helped me begin my journey in this intriguing field of Purchasing and Supply Chain Management.

Studying at postgraduate level

To me, the main differences between my undergraduate and postgraduate study is the emphasis laid on practical application of concepts rather than just the theoretical knowledge and you are not just a number to your professor, as everyone knows your name!

As far as the teaching style is concerned, the professors at Newcastle University have vast experience and are active research scholars in their respective fields of specialisation. They readily impart this knowledge to students in the class, rather than just quoting from books.

There are a lot of class discussions, presentations, case study analysis and practical demonstrations of concepts - such as the famous ‘beer game - that prove to be successful teaching methods.

Assessments are spread out evenly through a combination of written tests, assignments, case study analysis, group work and the final semester dissertation.

My typical day consisted of a series of classes spread out from morning to early evenings, after which time is spent in group meetings to complete assignments.

A quick snack at one of the University cafés was followed by a good amount of time spent in the Robinson Library researching topics for my assignments (the Robinson Library will become your second home!). A brisk walk to my University accommodation, cooking with housemates, followed by a peaceful sleep was all in a day’s work!

I spent my weekends touring the city or attending University events including live music and student performances at the King’s Hall in the University’s Armstrong Building. Nothing was more soothing to the soul than ending a week’s worth of work with the sonorous sound of live music.

Funding

I applied for the Newcastle University International Postgraduate Scholarship (NUIPS) before starting my programme and was awarded a partial scholarship payable towards my tuition fees. This financial assistance from Newcastle University helped me to concentrate more on my studies.

Career aspirations

Studying this degree at Newcastle University has created an even greater thirst to research more within the intriguing field of OLSCM and apply these concepts in the real business environment.

The programme has equipped me with all the necessary skills and knowledge required to enter into this field. Moreover, the University provided me with opportunities to interact with potential employers through a variety of networking events and inculcate employable skills through the ncl+ award.

The University also provided the necessary information required to equip me with additional skills (FutureLearn certificates) to help me stand out in my future workplaces.

After my studies at Newcastle University, I went on to study the fundamentals of business at Harvard Business School. Currently I am working towards obtaining my Certified International Trade Professional (CITP) designation from FITT. On completion, I expect to establish myself and contribute to the growth in the field of OLSCM.

Settling in

Nothing was more comforting than being welcomed at the airport by Newcastle University’s Airport Meet and Greet team, during International Welcome Week. They met me right outside the International Arrivals entrance, helped with my luggage, provided transportation to my University accommodation, as well as snacks to get me through to my next meal and, most importantly, gave me a warm welcome with a smile.

International Welcome Week was filled with various information sessions about living in Newcastle, tours of the city, and I even met students from my programme of study.

This was followed by Induction Week at the Business School which included key programme information and at the same time Freshers’ Week at the University which was full of fun activities to help new students settle into university and city life.

All of this assistance provided by Newcastle University greatly helped me, as an international student, to settle in and adapt to the city and my programme of study.

Living in Newcastle

Newcastle is a quiet yet bustling town with something for everyone. I enjoyed quiet evening walks to the Tyne Bridge at the Quayside, a trip to the Angel of the North, visiting the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and nature walks in Jesmond Dene Park.

Living in Newcastle is not as expensive as London and fits well within an international student’s budget. Grainger Market and shops such as Tesco and Poundland become your regular shopping stops.

I lived in Easton flats in Jesmond, perfect for a person like me who likes to live in the quaint, quiet side of the city, yet stay close to the University, Metro station and the shopping centres. Staying in University accommodation gave me new friends from various cultures and areas of study. The friends and memories we made will be treasured always!

Student experience

I had a fantastic and highly valuable time being a postgraduate student at one of the best business schools in the UK.

The Newcastle University Business School community is a very active community ready to attend to the daily needs of its students. Any help, any questions, they are just a call or email away. The staff respond within 24 hours and the programme secretary is more than happy to guide students in the right direction.

The Business School also gives students the opportunity to interact with professors working on live research who conduct regular seminars that expose students to the currents trends in OLSCM. Students are also given the opportunity to collaborate with professors on their research, on request.

In addition to the great staff, the Business School also has an in-house café, computer clusters and is located next to China Town and Tesco Metro, making it very attractive to students.

Advice for new students

  1. Work hard and you will definitely see the reward reflected in your grades.
  2. Take the final semester dissertation seriously, it not only helps you apply concepts in the practical world but also helps you explore new areas in the field of OLSCM.
  3. If you are in need of any help, talk to your personal tutor or drop in at the Students’ Union for some valuable advice.

Highlights

In addition to the knowledge gained, I have made new friendships from all around the world, learnt about a different culture and tried new kinds of delicious foods.

My postgraduate experience in three words

Empowerment, knowledge and exuberance.