18 March 2021

Lena Reuther, MSc Marketing and Business Analysis, shares her experiences using the buddy system, offered as part of the Business School's Edinburgh Award programmes.
Two women sitting at a desk looking at a laptop

Pursuing a postgraduate degree at the University of Edinburgh Business School is not only about equipping yourself with the knowledge you will need for your future job — It’s also about developing and improving your soft skills to maximise your potential in an international market.

In short, it is about learning for life!

What Is the Buddy System?

The Student Development Team offers a range of great services that will help you to become an even better version of yourself. One of my favourite services is the buddy system, where you get another postgraduate student from the Business School assigned as your buddy (or as in my case, you can choose your buddy if you already know someone).

Your buddy will have chosen at least one of the three skills you selected to develop at the beginning of the year as part of the Edinburgh Award, and must be on a different programme.

Choosing Your Buddy

I am studying Marketing and Business Analysis, and my buddy studies International Business in Emerging Markets, and we both wanted to work on our presentation skills.

We previously met at one of the social events the University offers throughout the year. Then, we met again during the Student Development’s get to know your buddy event at the beginning of the process, and we immediately knew that we wanted to work together.

So, after a short email to the Student Development Team, I officially had my buddy. Do not worry if you do not know anyone that fits the criteria, the Student Development Team will help find a perfect buddy for you. They are also happy to assist you throughout your journey.

What You Will Get Out of Having a Buddy

We started by discussing our backgrounds and skills, and set our buddy goals for the year. Over the following couple of months, we chatted about our development process and how we planned to further improve our selected skills. We also shared workshops we thought would be helpful for the other person’s development.

Another benefit is that we are both Programme Representatives, so this allows us to discuss the different challenges we face as leaders and create solutions together. I always found it very helpful to have someone in the same position, that I could talk to and to share my experiences with.

We are both from the same country, which gives us the opportunity to discuss the usage of our skills in both cultures and outline differences we need to consider to be successful.

As mentioned earlier, your buddy must be from a different programme. I found this very engaging since you can give each other insights into a broader business context and consider how to use your skills in different business areas. I also enjoyed learning about the structure of another programme at the School, which I could then propose for my programme.

To put my buddy system experience in a nutshell, it is more than just working on your skills: It is about building friendships, expanding your network outside your programme, sharing your development process, and supporting each other. You might even find a buddy you can continue working with beyond your master’s degree.

So, let me recap what I said in the beginning: It is about learning for life!

Lena Reuther

Lena Reuther is a student on the MSc Marketing and Business Analysis programme