MSc Business Management student describes life at UEA

Hi! My name is Charles Segens and I am a full-time MSc student at the Norwich Business School (NBS), University of East Anglia (UEA).  Having completed my undergraduate degree in Environmental Sciences at the UEA, I decided to push myself further and undertake an MSc in Business Management. Its an area I am interested in, and I felt that studying business management would enable me to develop key skills employers look for in graduates and enhance my career prospects.

I was excited about starting my postgraduate degree. Although I enjoyed my undergraduate degree, I came to realise that my passion lay elsewhere. This realisation was mostly due to my part-time work experience in retail, which introduced me to a fast paced business environment and people management, both of which I really enjoy. After a lot of research, I made a shortlist of business management courses. Having studied at UEA for three years, I was well aware of the fantastic reputation of NBS. Further research, an open day, and an inspiring Q&A with Dr Dimitrios Dousios left me thoroughly impressed — I was sold. It’s fair to say I had high expectations. 

NBS didn’t disappoint. Studying for my MSc has been one of the best, most fulfilling decisions of my life.  The Business Management course at UEA is refreshingly practical, providing insight into core concepts of business management while allowing plenty of scope to specialise. I’ve been particularly impressed with the assessments, which are often based on real-world scenarios. Another feature of the course that has really surprised me is the level of group work. If I’m honest, as someone who comes from a predominantly individually assessed undergraduate degree, I was sceptical about the amount of group work, fearing others may not pull their weight or may produce poor quality work. What I found was quite the opposite. Group projects have become my favourite part of my UEA experience. Your cohort becomes your sounding ground, constructively challenging your ideas to work towards a common goal. You quickly learn to build strong working relationships and it is an incredibly rewarding experience.

There is so much to the MSc Business Management course at UEA. The course is designed to provide you with an overview of the key areas of business management, therefore the course is quite demanding. You’ll always be juggling multiple deadlines and you’ll need to be disciplined and proactive in terms of time management. Despite this, I never felt overloaded due to how much I enjoy the modules the course offers. I highly recommend Digital Business Management and Retail Marketing Management. In line with current events, both modules are taught by extremely passionate lecturers who really challenge your views and understanding of the subject area. More generally, I’ve found that all the lecturers and support staff are not only friendly and supportive, but also want to see you reaching your full potential.

COVID-19 has led to changes in the way course material is taught, however, I have found the move to online learning incredibly smooth. Lecturers and support staff have quickly and effectively communicated changes that affect students. Lecturers have made more time available to help students and seem to be even faster when replying to queries, which is great when you have a niggling question. I have found that studying during the pandemic has accelerated my development of new skill sets. For example, group project work has moved online, and we’ve had to learn how to collaborate through video calls and shared documents. In my opinion this has only increased the skill sets that I have been building during my time with NBS.

So what about Norwich and the UEA campus? Norwich is considered to be a small city but don’t let that fool you, it’s full of life with a thriving arts and music scene. The city offers plenty of green spaces and cafes, perfect for studying in when off campus. Better still, the city centre is a 15-minute bus ride from UEA. As for the UEA campus, I think it’s a great place to study. On the edge of Norwich, UEA is surrounded by green space, playing home to meadows, woodland and the UEA Broad. In my opinion, there is nothing better than a quick walk around the Broad to clear your head and refocus on your studies. There are many spaces to study throughout campus, and you can always find a quiet corner to knuckle down in. I’ve lived here almost all my life and chosen to stay for two degrees, that should tell you all you need to know.

One of the most notable parts of my time at NBS has been my fellow students. As many people will tell you, your university cohort plays a huge role in your experience of any degree program. At NBS, I’ve felt privileged to be part of such a diverse and highly motivated group of individuals. After spending 3 years on my undergraduate I was not expecting to form many close friendships on my Master’s. However, as the year has progressed I’ve met many like-minded individuals who I know are now lifelong friends. I said I had high expectations when I started this course, but it really has exceeded them.

It’s safe to say I’m a huge advocate of UEA and I would recommend the Business Management program to anyone. If you are thinking of doing a postgraduate degree in business management, I’d advise you to seriously consider what NBS has to offer. The course at NBS is very practical, and has provided me with a strong foundation of core business concepts. My time here has also helped me to understand what I want from my career while helping me develop many of the skills I’ll need to get there. I’m extremely grateful for the time I have spent here and I look forward to what the future holds.

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