7 June 2022
In September 2021, I started as a postgraduate student at the University of Edinburgh Business School. Since then, I've been interacting with the Student Development Team regularly. When I reflect on the past, I realise that the Student Development Team's programmes were just as significant as my academic studies. While educational modules aid in developing domain-specific knowledge, student development programmes concentrate on improving transferable soft skills and career skills, giving students a competitive advantage in the job market.
It is great to see how seriously the Student Development Team at the Business School takes the professional and career development of a student. The Business School organises numerous events to build professional skills such as group work, time management, project management, cross-culture teamwork, and so on. They also help students get their dream job by organising career-building sessions on CV and cover letter writing, 1-on-1 career advice, interview preparation, and more. In my experience, the Business School started organising these activities even before I arrived in Edinburgh, which shows how proactive it is in helping students develop these skills.
The Student Development Team is divided into two focus groups: professional and career development. For professional development, the team runs the Edinburgh Award to improve students' skills. This programme requires students to decide on three soft skills that they would like to improve; attend personal coaching sessions for guidance; join group sessions and workshops; and articulate and demonstrate progress in the selected areas throughout the academic year. Towards the end, students who complete the programme obtain official recognition from the University of Edinburgh. I found the framework of this programme well thought-out. I received professional consultation and got numerous opportunities to develop my selected skills. Now, I am set to present my progress to my fellow coursemates.
For career development, I participated in the Career Development Programme. The Career Development framework provided me with a range of events, workshops, and online resources dedicated to helping me succeed in my career. As required within the programme, I completed a set of career-building activities and in-person meetings, and now I will receive the virtual Global Employability badge. This badge is transferable onto my LinkedIn page and will also make me eligible to apply to attend a Business School-sponsored career trek to London.
Recently, the Student Development Team organised a workshop led by a former British Army Major. It was a six-hour-long intense practical workshop including group activities focused on improving communication, team working, and leadership skills. I also got the opportunity to devise a consulting plan to solve real challenges faced by the NHS in the UK, followed by an on-the-spot presentation of the proposed solution.
The workshop ended after a critical feedback session with the team members, showing how other members perceived my actions throughout the workshop. Even though it was six hours long, I am glad that I did attend it. Because at the end of the day, I learned many lifelong lessons from it.
Overall, I had a positive experience with the Student Development Team at the University of Edinburgh Business School. I engaged in numerous activities planned by them that significantly contributed to my learning curve. I would highly recommend future students make the most out of such activities and workshops organised at the Business School. In my opinion, the learning environment provided at the Business School is unique, and it is an excellent platform for students to perform and shine.
Ritwik Arya is studying for the MSc Marketing.