What does it mean to be a student at the Birmingham Business School, University of Birmingham? Two current students provide exclusive insights into the student experience to let you know what to expect.
Shengying Wang, a 20-year old international student from China, is currently in her second year at Birmingham Business School. She feels right at home amongst her global peers.
“At Birmingham Business School, there are lecturers and classmates from different cultures. We will explore interesting cases happening around the world and broaden my horizons,” she says.
Shengying praises the school’s new teaching facilities and online learning system as well as opportunities for industry engagement. The school invites top companies and industry elites to hold special events and provide company insights. These events have helped Shengying in her career planning, teaching her how companies function and allowing her to network with industry professionals.
“Birmingham Business School invites top 500 companies and industry elites to hold special exchanges and company insights,” adds Shengying. “These activities will let me know how the current business is working and will help me with my career planning.”
Shengying has made the most of the large number of clubs at the university, finding people with similar interests and making friends. The Birmingham International Academy gives a variety of lectures to International Students to help them integrate into campus life, helping them navigate British culture and promoting academic advancement.
The Academic Skill Centre is also available to help international students’ academic issues, while the Career Network, invites global learners to connect and plan their careers. The undergraduate reception is especially friendly, recording your questions and emailing through an answer to the problem.
Shengying believes her overseas undergraduate degree has laid the foundation for her career, teaching her skills in English, independent problem solving, as well as seeking help and business expertise. At Birmingham Business School, lecturers use real life business situations to promote hands-on learning and development.
“It is the best experience,” she exclaims, “and one that turns out to be much more than you expected.”
In contrast, Isabel Lloyd is a British student in her third year at Birmingham Business School, studying Business Management with Communications. She feels the Business School’s attitude to international students is what sets it apart from other departments.
“I’ve made great friends with students from America, Australia and China,” Isabel explains. “I feel like this experience has been as eye-opening to me as my studies as I’ve learnt so much about other cultures which I think will help me throughout my career.”
Isabel has fully involved herself in the social side of the Business School, meeting people by attending socials and the end of year Business Ball: “I’ve been every year of my degree so far and it’s always been a great night and nothing like anything else I’ve been to at Uni.”
She loves to work in the department building – University House – inspired by its refurbished rooms and the huge extension currently underway.
Isabel has made the most of the industry experience events mentioned by Shengying. For example, Mars recently held a mock assessment centre for students through the Business School, which Isabel attended.
This gave students a great real-life experience and an insight into what assessment centres are like. The session also allowed students to ask graduates now working at Mars questions about their experience and the overall application process.
“The Business School is always hosting events like this,” she adds. “It has great links with industry professionals which also means we often have guest lecturers from people who work in the field, for example Tony Langham, who founded Lansons Communications, came in as a guest lecturer in my Public Relations module last year.”
Isabel has had the same personal tutor throughout her three years at the school. She has always found them to be very helpful and happy to answer questions on the course or point her in the direction of a solution.
For her final year, Isabel has also been allocated a dissertation supervisor who is knowledgeable in her specific area of research. They offer support that’s immensely helpful. Her supervisor will always reply to emails quickly or organise a Skype if he isn’t available for a meeting on campus.
Isabel has found that the Business School has prepared her well for the world of work. She completed a Communications Placement Module as part of her course; 100-hours of work experience over summer before writing up an essay about the placement in final year.
Even though she was planning on completing a placement off her own back she feels that having the credited module gave her the extra push to find a great placement that would be interesting to write about. She even ended up doing more hours than she would have done had it not been for the module.
Furthermore, the College of Social Science sends out emails for ‘Work Experience Wednesdays’ with loads of recommendations for internships, part-time jobs, graduate schemes and industry talks. Isabel has found a lot of placements through these emails and often they’re specifically for business school students.
Being a student at Birmingham Business School means a positive business education among a friendly and sociable peer group of national and international students. Learn more about the student experience with this 3D day in the life video.