Our Student Ambassador shares her thoughts on the programme and experience in Edinburgh so far.
Headshot of Yen

What was your study and/or professional background prior to this programme?

After four-year undergraduate study in Japan, I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in International Relations. I then worked in a Silicon Valley-based tech start-up as a People Operations Specialist.

Why did you choose to study at the University of Edinburgh Business School?

Mostly because of the syllabus, exposure to the industry people, and available employability support system. I was particularly excited about the Company Trek and Company-sponsored dissertation as they would help us understand the HR system in the UK better and network with professionals in the field.

About the course

What was it about the degree programme that particularly attracted you?

I didn’t study Human Resource Management in my undergraduate, so I was a bit nervous about the knowledge I had compared to other cohorts in the programme. Yet, the courses provided here in the HRM programme were well designed that I believed nobody in the room felt left out. We were able to absorb some of the fundamental theories and studies taught in Semester 1, strengthening our foundation before studying the topics of our interests in-depth in our Semester 2.

How many people are on your programme (approx.), and what is the diversity mix like?

We have around 40 people on our programme. 40% of the cohorts are from China, and the other 60% are from several parts of the world.

What does a typical day look like for you on this programme?

I would say a good proportion of studying and socialising. I normally have a two-hour class in the morning, where I can learn about theories and discuss the contemporary issues with other colleagues, then a few hours in the afternoon participating in several skills/workshops provided by the Student Development team. I am super excited about those workshops as I find them prepare me well for future employment.

How much time do you spend in lectures and how much time do you spend studying each week (approx.)?

Normally 8 hours in lectures and maybe 15~20 hours to review past lectures, prepare for the next lectures and cover all the assigned readings.

How feasible do you think it is to work part-time while pursing your Masters?

It is definitely feasible. I am currently working with the Marketing team in the University of Edinburgh Business School as a Social Media Student Ambassador for around 7-10 hours per week. As long as your working hours are flexible and you have employers who can understand your situation, you can have several hours to work part-time, while managing to take part in several events in the university, in addition to all the lectures.

What have been the differences between the teaching & learning methods in Scotland compared with your home country?

I did not take my undergraduate degree in Vietnam, so it may not be fair to compare between Scotland and my home country. Yet, if I am allowed to compare the education here with the one I had in Japan, I think there are two main differences.

  1. Student support system: Here at the Business School, I have a Student Advisor, who can discuss anything related to my study and my life in Edinburgh with. Thus, it becomes much easier to adapt to the life here and I find myself less worried and homesick than I was before.
  2. Townhall and feedback system: We have a monthly/bi-monthly Townhall meeting with our Programme Director to discuss any feedback we have about the teaching activities. Our Programme Representatives also collect our feedback and pass them onto the teaching faculty. Thus, our voice is easily heard, and the teaching methods can be adjusted quickly to improve our learning experience.

What course have you enjoyed the most so far and why?

I really enjoy Organisational Behaviour, as we have a lot of case study and activities to have a taste of the real-life cases and how we may handle those situations.

Student experience

Have you been involved with any industry activities so far (e.g. company visits, guest speakers, student development, professional development sessions)?

Of course. These are one of the most amazing aspects of studying here in The University of Edinburgh. I am participating in the Edinburgh Awards for Employability, in which I have a personal coach to help me develop several essential skills. I also really enjoy guest speakers and workshops hosted by the Student Development team.

Is there a specific experience you’ve had so far on the programme that stands out?

I would say the Edinburgh Awards for Employability. Taking part in the award programme, I have acquired not only the motivation to improve myself but also the full support system to help me reach the goals. In addition to several workshops, such as MBTI or Cross-cultural teamwork Workshops that allow me to understand myself better and develop the chosen transferrable skills, I also have got a professional coach, who listens to my anxieties and walks me through any concerns. After those coaching sessions, I become clear on my action plan and feel much more confident to sharpen those skills.

Have you joined any clubs or societies? What do you like to do outside of your studies? How do you spend your weekends?

I haven't joined any clubs or societies. Yet, working as a Student Ambassador, I am able to make a lot of friends and learn from their experiences. Outside my studies, I usually spend the weekends reading books at the library or exploring the beautiful Edinburgh city.

Have you done any travel to other parts of Scotland or the UK since arriving in Edinburgh?

I have gone to London, Nottingham, Glasgow, and Stirling. I plan to travel to some other places of Scotland and the UK during the spring break.

What kind of accommodation are you living in and why did you choose that option?

I am currently living in a student accommodation provided by the University. This is a special safe option as my flatmates are all from the university and we share things in common, either learning or life as a master’s student.

How did you go about making friends and building a community in Edinburgh?

It is super easy as everyone here is so friendly and open-minded. Also, owing to several networking training and sessions provided by the Student Development team, I no longer feel scared of making new friends or building a community here.

Looking ahead

What are you hoping to do after you graduate from this programme?

I hope to find a good job after graduation. I cannot wait to put all the theories and knowledge I learn into practice.

Do you have any tips for people considering applying to the Business School?

It’s worth spending time understanding yourself and what you want from this journey of higher education before you make the final decision. If you know for sure your desires, strengths, and weaknesses, it becomes much easier to write your personal statement and pursue your higher education, no matter where you go for. Besides, don’t hesitate to reach out to all the people here in the Business School. Everyone is so friendly and helpful, so any concern you have would surely be sorted out.