It's normal to feel overwhelmed during your first weeks of study at the University of Edinburgh Business School, just ask Unnati Jain! Unnati joined our MSc Human Resource Management cohort in September 2022 and shares some reassuring advice she's picked up so far.
What to expect in your first two weeks of study

Is there a lot of self-study? Will I manage to keep on top of household chores? Will I be able to manage it all? The answer to all of these questions is YES.

Asking yourself things like this before starting at the University of Edinburgh Business School or during your first few weeks of study is normal. But you may be wondering, "How do I balance it all?" Settling in, cooking, washing, laundry, working part-time and most importantly, studying. It sounds like a lot...and it’s not easy! But it’s important to remember that it’s all doable. With a little courage and an understanding of the value of your time, you’ll be on track in no time. Here’s what I’ve learned so far as a new student on campus.

Your studies

Beginning your studies is a real challenge as everything will be new—the course, professors, teaching style, assessments, evaluations—but there are a tonne of resources available to help you. I received my first assignment before my first class of that subject and was immediately stressed about the five-week submission deadline! Coming from India, I was not used to a research-oriented style of education which made it really difficult for me to write essays. However, most of my worries went away after we had our programme’s welcome session.

The programme director welcomed and introduced us to the entire structure for the year ahead. Then our lecturers briefed us on their respective courses. We also got acquainted with the Student Development team and our Student Advisors, who play a very important role in your journey at the Business School and beyond (I’ll revisit this topic further below).

Now this might sound like a lot to take in, but thankfully the Business School also hosts treks, mixers, trips and more fun events to help you blow off some steam socially. This includes helping you get settled in with trips to Ikea and thrift stores for any last-minute essentials. They also arrange visits to some of Edinburgh’s famous landmarks like Arthur’s Seat (where according to local mythology, if you don’t climb it before starting your studies, you might fail!).

Household chorse

Chores might not be top of your list when it comes to studying, but it can be a new aspect of life if you are moving away from home for the first time. And of course chores are known for being a tedious and time-consuming task—and if you neglect them, they quickly pile up! Gradually, you will get the hang of it though. Coming to Edinburgh a little earlier than my programme start date helped me to adapt to this new lifestyle. I learned that you might not get time to cook three meals in a day, so now I cook in bulk with meals I can reheat when I need them. And don’t forget to plan your groceries shopping! I recommend keeping one day per week to tackle chores, groceries and cooking and you’ll be set for the week ahead.

Available resources

First and foremost, you are going to visit the Student Development team a lot! They will help you with anything and everything you need to land yourself a dream job after your studies. They do CV screenings, LinkedIn profile reviews, mock interviews, job searches, personality development exercises and much more. They will be your guiding light when you begin your job hunt.

Secondly, the school will allocate a Student Advisor who will be there to support you academically and mentally throughout your time at the Business School. They will listen to your difficulties and find the best possible solution to help you. You can talk to them about your health, wellbeing and personal life as well.

Next, there are a tonne of online and offline events to help you find opportunities and work on your weaknesses. For instance, there was an online session conducted on the subject 'Referencing and Citations for Academic Research'. This one-hour session really boosted my understanding of the process in advance of writing any essays. We also had a Careers Fair for three consecutive days that hosted more than 200 companies like Deloitte, J.P. Morgan, Lloyds Bank, Bloomberg and EY. We could talk to their representatives about vacancies, skills they’re looking for, work culture etc. (and get some chocolates and goodies for free too!) We also have access to some great software like VMock, LinkedIn Learning and CV360.

A final note

It will take time for you to get adjusted to the new system, lifestyle, and studies at the University of Edinburgh Business School when you first join, but there are a plethora of resources and help available to you. So, study hard but don’t forget to make friends, build memories and enjoy your time here—these chances don’t come around often in life so be sure to make the most of it!

Unnati is an MSc Human Resource Management student (2022-23)