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Student Diary

Student Diary

  • Likith Balakrishna

    University of Chester, United Kingdom

    Likith shares his experience of studying at the University of Chester

    There are many universities in the UK, which are filled with overseas students; however, I wanted to join a university where I could experience the conventional British culture.

    I was looking for a university which provided high quality education at a reasonable price. Considering all these factors, I found the University of Chester to be the perfect study destination for me.”

    “In my experience, the approach towards education in India is based upon group studies or a prescribed system where all the teaching and course materials are provided by lecturers and professors, whereas the UK education system is focussed more on individual research to bring out more creative ideas and encourage self-improvement. The UK offers a perfect life, work and study balance.

    “Thanks to the University’s UniJob scheme, which places students in temporary posts on the institution’s campuses, I undertook several posts during my studies and each role taught me a different skill which helped to improve my employability.

    “I also took part in a lot of extracurricular activities such as volunteering at the University Open Day, helping to promote Chester Students’ Union’s summer balls, and taking part in charity events, such as a sponsored sleep-out to raise money for homeless people.

    “On one occasion, I worked as a steward at Tatton Park, in Knutsford, where the BBC was fi lming an episode of a television show called ‘Flog It’. It was a great day for me; it was interesting to see TV presenters in person and I was happy to learn something new.

    “During my time at the University, I was also lucky enough to win the Student Temp prize at the Student Employee of the Year (SEOTY) Awards. The SEOTY Awards are run by the National Association of Student Employment Services and recognise the outstanding contributions and achievements of students who
    combine part-time work with their study commitments.

    “I could not have achieved this without inspiration from my line managers, professors and especially the University’s Careers and Employability Department, for whom I have deep respect and from whom I have learned to challenge myself and perform better in various aspects of life.

    “When I was studying for my MBA, I was asked to go through many case studies related to leadership, management and business. These factors not only helped
    me at job interviews, but have also provided me with managerial techniques and principles which I can apply in the workplace. The research methods which
    I used in my dissertation have also been very helpful. My overall experiences at the University taught me how to be professional and organised – I have learned to use systematic and planned approach to solve any issues and resultantly I feel more selfconfident.

    “After completing my Master’s in Business Administration, I found an employment at Capillary Technologies as an Operations Manager. My job requires both technical and managerial skills. My past work experience in IT fi rms has helped with technical knowledge and my degree from University of Chester, which involved a lot of research on business and management, provided me with effective managerial skills.

    The 18 months that I spent in the UK taught me a lot and my time at the University of Chester was an amazing journey of discovery.

  • Poulomi Bhadra

    King's College London, United Kingdom

    Poulomi Bhadra shares her experience of studying in London

    Moving out of home doesn't happen for some Indian kids until they finish their undergraduate, or at least, for some lucky ones, high school. For many, moving out is not an option unless you move out of country. And then, the world, very literally, is your oyster - to cut open and explore. If you are one of the lucky ones who get the chance, grab it. Of course, our country (India) has everything to offer from world class education to a fat pay packet job to the most amazing soul mate you'll ever meet. Still, if you have the chance, see the world as much of it as you can. It will be humbling to find how the 'world' actually goes on around you. Since I was spoiled for choice, I picked London.

    Here are the reasons why:

    1. If you are a traveller, or should you find yourself bitten by the wanderlust bug, London should be one place on your to-see list, as essentially as Paris and Rio. The best thing to be in London - one of the expensive cities in the world, is a student. Student discounts on travelling, tickets, clothes, books, electronic wares, even food and drinks. Not a better time to be in London!
    2. London has an amazing conglomerate of people from around the world, especially amongst students. A home away from home is a good way to feel, especially if this is the first time you are getting out of familiar surroundings.
    3. Your mother can stop worrying about you not getting your daily ‘ghar ka khana’. You'll be surprised by the reverence with which the English treat curry.
    4. If you have grown up in the metropolitan cities in India, London Transport service brings you traffic that will bring the right amount of 'homeliness' (read: double decker buses for Mumbaikaars and cycle rickshaws for the Kolkattans) with ease of travel. Boat rides on the River Thames and top decks in buses are my favourite ways to travel.
    5. Indulge your creative side at the Tate Modern and National Gallery for free. If you've got time on your hand, and feel adequately inspired, you can use some of the paint bars they have for the public and create your own masterpiece.
    6. The West End has an enviable scene for theatre enthusiasts, from plays to musicals you should never miss.
    7. London has new things to offer everyday. Ask TimeOut if you don't believe me. You'll never have a dull moment if you have a moment to spare.
    8. You can't come all the way to London and not see the rest, or most, of Europe. London affords easy connectivity to almost every part of Europe, mostly by train or bus. An English breakfast is just a train or ferry ride away from lunch in Paris.
    9. London is a safe city for a night out in the town. There are always cabs you can book with trustworthy services. The trains run till midnight or one, and resume again at five in the morning.

    10. Christmas: the postcard way. May not always be a white one, my first English Christmas was grey but snow followed soon. Plus mince pies and gingerbread men, and Christmas markets and ice skating rinks. What's not to love about December in London?
    11. Embrace that wonderful accent along with other things that entail being British. Be fascinated with the royalty and their new born, practice propriety and small talk about weather and health - the English have a delightful speak, pronounce your t's and s's and forget the 'h' in Thames or Thomas, say 'Cheers' instead of 'Thanks', use 'Sir' and 'mate' to address everyone, smile at strangers while passing them on the street or on the bus, share their enthusiasm for football and cricket alike, respect Sir Alex Fergusson, be keen towards Victoria Beckham's next line, learn to get in queues even if you don't know where they are going.
    12. World class education made easy and accessible. Plus it takes less time than almost anywhere else in the world.
    13. Living in London is, in small ways, a fantasy come true.

  • Swapneel Pathare

    University of York, United Kingdom

    Swapneel shares his experience of studying at the University of York

     I spent a major duration of my program in York, England – a few minutes drive from the city centre.

    As a prospective student, the factors that I was in search of were mainly security issues, a peaceful, friendly and co-operative environment, a comfortable accommodation, proper bank facilities (overseas bank transaction and money withdrawals) and food stores in the vicinity. Today, as I glance through the time I spent at York, I can say that I comfortably enjoyed all these factors.

    Not only the University of York but also the city centre are extremely safe provided that the basic safety rules are followed, York being a small city is very peaceful, friendly and holds a very co-operative crowd that would not mind extending a helping hand to the extent possible. I chose to stay on campus at the University and I was very pleased with the accommodation facilities which were very well maintained and were at a walking distance from the ATM, super market, and other food stores in the city. I had my bank account with Barclays and the service they provided was great.

    At the University of York, I was a master's student at the department of environment admitted to the M.Sc. Marine Environmental Management Program. This program was a unique experience for me. Branching out from the traditional Indian education system, this system of education was a 1800 switch for me and hence a huge risk in itself. However, the help and guidance from the department, course mates and friends helped me to not just survive in this new dimension but also live and enjoy this change which stimulated further growth of skills that are one of the highlights of my CV today.  This degree not only equipped me with foundational elements but also with the latest findings in the field sculpting me with the skill to research and the process of updating and upgrading myself.

    One aspect of this program which today is a strong element of my CV is the external research component - summer placement. For the summer placement we had to spend a specific period of time working on a research project outside the University of York. I chose to work at the Misaki Marine Biological Station (MMBS), Mirua, Japan which is a marine research organization under the graduate school of science at the University of Tokyo, from three choices mainly; Macduff Aquarium - Scotland, Ocean Aware – South Africa and Misaki Marine Biological Station – Japan.  My stay at MMBS was a great learning experience not only from the marine research perspective but also from the education point of view which I am passionate about, due to the visits at the Ministry of Education – Curriculum Research Centre at the National Education Policy Research of Japan and school. These experiences have crafted my approach into a new mould thereby improving my eligibility and capacity of working with leaders in the field of marine and education in India.

    From my experience with the University of York, I do not hold even a speck of doubt in mind in encouraging anyone interested in acquiring education to strongly consider this university. The best part of this university is it being deeply submerged into high quality research for a number of years and I am positive that this depth will only increase with time. This quality highlights the connections that this university has with the global markets. 

    For success in any field in the present age, being updated with the latest trends is an absolute necessity and the University of York holds the skill to help its learners cultivate, develop and enhance this necessity.

  • Rohan Sen

    Oxford Brookes University, United Kingdom

    About The Chopras

    It's two years since I came to the United Kingdom, thanks to The Chopras for helping me choose the right University and guiding me with all procedures till the very end. Masters being such a big investment and something that decides your life, my counselor (Mrs Swati Khare Srivastava) took me through the right path. I have successfully completed an MSc in Computing from Oxford Brookes University and am employed as a Software Developer in a company in UK.

    Why Oxford Brookes University?

    Oxford Brookes University is a great place to study and it has a very high academic standard. The syllabus gets updated every year to keep up with the rapidly changing world. Each campus of the university has one fully-equipped library and each offers the best opportunity we could expect, with silent reading rooms and cabin rooms to concentrate and work.

    There are student services, societies, a gym, swimming pool and the medical centre apart from IT support and SU support. The university also provides high end computer labs for 24 hours a day and students are allowed to work at any time without any trouble.

    The professors here are the best we could get, with bags of experience in their fields, that help students like me in gaining enormous confidence. They are always available to support students. If you have any questions on a topic that you perhaps found hard to grasp, you may ask them, and because the tuition groups are not large, you can be sure to get prompt and good answers.

    Apart from study, one can find sufficient time to undertake various other activities. It is not unusual to be able to fit in games & sports and then head out at night. One needs to be active and smart enough to disallow the academic stress to take over. For example, I could balance my degree, student representative(ship) in the University, photography and playing cricket for the Oxford team even during the semester.

    Big challenges

    Initially the main challenge was to get accustomed with the British culture and to live a day-to-day life. Adapting to the education system, which is more focused on independent study, was also a challenge. At the beginning, it was very hard to manage everything by myself, as I had never done so many things. For instance, It was really difficult to cook food and that too every day. But I got sorted as and when time passed.

    Be aware of the fact that it is a completely different teaching and learning process. Try to find out about the curriculum and courses as much as you can and as early as you can. Only take up a course if you are absolutely sure about it and be dedicated towards the subject.


  • Billy Matjiunis

    George Brown College, Canada

    ?Billy Matjiunis loved video games as a child. After graduating high school and starting an apprenticeship as an electrician, he began doing some research and came across a description for a 'Game Development' program being offered at George Brown College. He decided it was then or never, so he jumped in with both feet, and hasn't looked back since.

    Excerpts from his speech at the 2011 Faculty of Business Arts & Design Executive Breakfast Event highlight his experience at George Brown College:

    I noticed immediately that my professors (at George Brown College) took much more time than required to really show me the tools and techniques of the trade. I would often communicate with them regularly over the week­ end, and non-business hours, and they were always there to answer any questions I had.

    ?I was lucky enough to be part of two unique and special projects in Applied Research and Innovation, both of which were aimed at the medical field- or 'Serious Games' as it is called in industry jargon. Both projects involved applying game design and theory to building interactive applications, one of which was created for East York General Hospital to help streamline the way staff members are trained in proper sanitization techniques. The other was for SCIU (Spinal Cord Injury University) and was aimed at helping people who have experienced Spinal Cord Injuries cope with their condition, and provide a visual and interactive way to train them on how to properly care for themselves.

    George Brown College is really at the cutting edge of trying to find unique and creative ways to use these innovative technologies not only for enter­ tainment, but also for things like: rehabilitation, work-place training, education and advertising.

    ?Earlier, I mentioned my professors and how dedicated they were. Today, they are much more than professors; they have become mentors, who have offered nothing but sincere and honest advice to help me break into a highly competitive industry. In the relatively short time I have known them, I have developed a bond that I will definitely keep long after I have graduated and embarked on my career. I say this with complete sincerity; the College's faculty has been nothing short of remark­ able, and I feel really lucky to be under the tutelage of such supportive and knowledgeable teachers.

    George Brown College has really helped me strive towards my full potential, and I feel a sense of confidence in myself, and my abilities that I ?didn't know were there before. I'm so happy to be where I am right now, and choosing to study at George Brown was truly one of the best decisions I've ever made in my life. They just seem to 'Get It', and know that the time is now to step up, provide their support and help shape Ontario's position as leaders and innovators for years to come.''

  • Manish Agarwal

    Illinois Institute of Technology, United States

    I came to the United States in the fall of 2009 to pursue my postgraduation in Computer Science from Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT). Towards the completion of my studies, I got an internship in a software company, JumpForward, as a Developer which I later converted as a full time job and am still working at the same place.

    As a student, I had a great experience at IIT. The Institute is located near Down Town, Chicago. It has an amazing campus with great facilities that fulfill all requirements of a student. The Institute provides several on-campus jobs which help students lower their finance costs. The Institute also has a Career Management Center which assists students connect with different employers. The Computer Science department here is pretty good with a faculty that is pretty well-informed and friendly. The course structure is really impressive and you can balance your courses well through your semesters.

    I joined IIT with the aim of completing my postgraduation with a specialization in Networking, but during my internship, I developed a keen interest in programming and with the help of my counselors and flexible system it was really easy to change my specialization.

    I had the opportunity to work in IT departments at JumpForward, and the cumulative experiences and learning points are as follows:

    I met and interacted with people from different countries with diverse cultures. This social interaction has broadened my worldview. While I had had prior yet limited work experience in India, I got the feel of a real world of work at this company. What I admired most was the professional attitude we were made to work with and the concept of working according to time. I was recognized and rewarded for my performance and hard work. This served to boost my morale and motivated to perform better.

    Studying abroad in the United States represents as one of the biggest turning points of my life. It helped me grow as an individual, become more independent and confident. This experience has even distinguished me from my fellow friends and classmates back in India. Because of the fact that this experience is a challenge and I have overcome it; it also represents my growing progress. The experience is still continuing and my last two years would surely help me overcome all similar situations that I will face in the future.

    I like travelling and America, the most mobile country in the world, has helped make my hobby become a reality. The freedom to drive my car has enabled me to visit cities of New York, Atlanta, and Washington DC. Traveling to these places has exposed me to a variety of people and cultures, and that allows me to find that America is really a welcoming place for any nationality. Thank you The Chopras

  • Aditya Goel

    Nottingham Trent University, United Kingdom


    Thus, I always wished to study in India. However, due to a large number of students in comparison to a fewer availability of colleges in Indian universities, students face a very stiff competition for admissions and so, to keep my options open, I applied to some of the universities in United Kingdom via The Chopras


    After doing in-depth research of a number of universities, it was indeed exciting to hear that the Nottingham Trent University, one of the universities I had been offered admission from, offered a high level of education, highly qualified faculty, extra co-curricular activities and other career oriented opportunities to the students. It was then I decided to take the step forward and make my way to this prestigious University, though still scared and nervous about my future.


    My experience during the course had been marvellous, not only in terms of studies but also in the field of personal development after interacting and working with the students from different nationalities and thereby holding different cultural values. Besides just imparting world class education, the University also focuses on individual student needs as well. The University could be an ideal choice for all, especially international students as the student body is diverse and the university too encourages multi-culturalism. The city of Nottingham has a unique charm and it can entertain people of all kinds and interests. Another intriguing factor about Nottingham is that it is not a campus university; one can find fellow students all over the city.


    It was also quite fascinating to study in full lecture theatres (increases the probability of not getting disturbed by the lecturer while enjoying a nice nap!). The lectures were accompanied by weekly/bi-weekly tutorials that cater to individual student needs by offering detailed discussion in small groups about the matter taught during lectures.


    This university not only shaped my career but also made me a well rounded person. All students, with the constant support and guidance of the faculty, strive to achieve perfection, be it academics or personality development. I am confident that after being graduated from this university I am now a mature adult, ready to face life with strength and dignity and make my place in the global business world.

  • Robin Paul

    George Brown College, Canada

    When explaining wireless technology, Robin Paul makes sure to use layman's terms so as to not confuse. This sensitivity to his audience is a skill he picked up in his native - India, working as a telephone tech support agent for American users of Hewlett Packard products. Three years later he finds himself solving much more complex IT problems. And instead of resolving issues over the phone, he does so in person in the heart of Toronto's financial district.

    As a client services representative for Toronto's Data Impeccable Inc., Robin is responsible for keeping a handful of small to medium firms connected and communicative at all times. This could include setting up their wireless networks or resolving issues related to their computers, servers, handheld devices, software applications or databases—anything IT-related.

    So how does someone go from working in a call centre in New Delhi to Toronto's Bay St.? There are many contributing factors. First, Robin benefited from a strong English-based education in his birthplace of Punjab, India. Next, he beat out fierce competition to get an electronics engineering degree. Then he gathered some valuable IT-related work experience with a multi-national corporation. But those elements alone would not have gotten him his current job. "George Brown College was the crucial link," he says.

    In 2006, he started searching online for programs to expand his IT knowledge. He decided on George Brown's one-year, post-graduate Wireless Technology program. "The program offered practical courses at an affordable cost within a manageable amount of time. I also wanted to study in a place I could see myself living in afterwards. George Brown is located in the heart of a multi-cultural city, which was important to me."

    After adjusting to the obligatory weather shock (he arrived in Canada without a warm jacket in January 2007), he jumped right into his studies, which he found stimulating and relevant. "All of the learning was project-based. Instead of traditional classrooms, we were taught in industry standard laboratories and we worked in teams as you would in the real world," he says.

    One memorable project involved troubleshooting a complex wireless network issue using the latest Cisco router. That experience enforced in him an important skill that he uses everyday in the field—the ability to access the right information to solve any IT-related problem.

    His program also included a month-long co-op at Motorola Canada where he and three classmates wrote an Asterisk based Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) system for one of the company's newest wireless devices.

    Knowing it would be difficult to find a job in Toronto after graduation, he began sending out his resumes halfway through his program. "My employer was impressed with the courses I had taken. It also helped that I could quote I had worked for Motorola," he says.

    Now settled in Toronto's Beach area, Robin finds time to enjoy the city's offerings, including the occasional home cooked meal—or a close facsimile thereof—which he finds miles away from the downtown core in the suburb of Brampton. "Like my George Brown education, it's definitely worth the trip," he says.

    Grateful for his experience in Toronto, he adds, "I hope to one day, be able to give back to George Brown College as an employer."

  • Dinesh Dahiya

    Royal Holloway, University of London

    With the emergence and growth of International Higher Education, more students are now aiming to go abroad for their studies. I, like every other student, also wanted to study further after my graduation. So this time, I planned my Higher Education from a University abroad. I wasn't aware of the stages involved in the procedure to admissions, so I decided to seek help from The Chopras to take me through those stages. The team was very supportive, informative and disciplined, explaining the opportunities for every willing individual, and they just get better with each passing year. I am still in touch with them, and would only want to nurture my ties, each day. I studied at Royal Holloway, University of London , UK. It is a massive university with an extremely beautiful infrastructure, sports, leisure and other facilities. The atmosphere at the institution, allows one to interact with students from different cultural backgrounds. It was a great learning experience to work and enjoy some free time with those students. Individuals in the institution are very helpful and supportive. For students who are forever concerned about hospitality in a foreign land, a piece of advice - trust me, you are safe as long as you want to be, by not harming the other's system, culture and their sense of being. Just avail the services of The Chopras (at least that's what i did, and am glad about!) and step into a new world where you can shape yourself, your personality, education and discipline - the way you want to. The UK always gives you equal opportunities to work and grow, if you have got the talent to do it. The employers expect candidates to be able to not just 'Talk the Talk' but 'Walk the Walk'. I have been working with BP as a Sales Executive and have been awarded my first promotion already. My initial package was 13k pounds which now has gone up to 17.5k. People are very nice and supportive at the work front, too. So, you got to show them what you have, to be employed in the UK. I would personally suggest students to go study in the UK, as it would definitely be a combination of learning and enjoyment, as there are many attractive places to go about, in the country. I would say 'Go ! Live your life and come back shining.'

    After a year of studying and working in London, I find myself a changed man with more patience, discipline, and great professional skills like working in teams, presenting yourself without being shy etc. I hope that students from my country would also take such initiative in their lives, and get the best out of their environments.

  • Siddharth Baluja



    Having an aim in life is important; dedication/ motivation to achieve it, is even more important.

    I still remember the day when I first walked into The Chopras office in Nehru Place, so many faces with the same confused expression on their faces and looking for someone to guide them in the right direction. My first experience was with Soni Khanna, a very good friend now, who was extremely professional and at the same time, very friendly . The Chopras helped me in every step to put together my application in an extremely professional manner and approached the right Universities based on my Undergraduate degree scores. How can I forget the day when I secured my first offer letter from The University of Strathclyde (Glasgow)? A wave of contentment had swepped through me then; The Chopras also guided me in obtaining the student visa and cleared my doubts related to the financial element involved, which was quite crucial for me at that time.

    I was a part of MSc in Business & Management in The University of Strathclyde for the academic year 2006-07. Since then, I've been a part of Glasgow and have recently moved to England due to a change in career. My experience in Strathclyde has been overwhelming and full of new learning and experiences.

    I'm sure most of us being students, remain apprehensive about studying abroad .But let me tell you something, it will turn out to be one of the best experiences of your life. It's a great opportunity to meet people from different parts of the world, work together with them, party hard with them and eventually build your network. The University provided me with a lot of opportunities to be part of various events such as career fair, entrepreneurial forums, etc which is a great exposure to multi-culturality.

    Now comes the most exciting and challenging part - job seeking!

    Everyone has a different opinion about how they want to approach their prospective employers, some focus more on career fairs, some on job sites but at the end it all drills down to individual dedication and personality. It's about how one approaches a job and presents themselves to others.

    Along with my course, I decided to kick start my career and got lucky as a Part-time Outbound Sales Advisor with Centrica Plc (British Gas PLC) in March 2007. After I graduated, I was offered the role of an Analyst within the same organisation on a temporary basis which was made permanent 6 months after, based on my performance. After 2 years of hard work, I was promoted to the position of a Senior Analyst within the same channel and recently I decided to move up in the company and am now working as a Campaign Manager in London. I have also been made part of a team where we organise events with the University of Strathclyde to assist Centrica Graduate Recruitment Process.

    We all are aware of the economic crisis which shook most of the economies in the world. However, as of now, most of the markets have survived and are eventually rising again. There are lot of jobs available only if one's approach is right and there is patience. I got my CV checked from the University Careers team and other external parties to make sure it points out all my skill sets and reflects my behaviour and background appropriately for the job.

    I would like to end this piece by asking all you out there, wanting to make it big abroad, to grab every opportunity you get in life and to make the most of it!!

  • Chandrika Jain

    Student, Cardiff Metropolitan University

    Chandrika Jain shares her experience of studying at Cardiff Metropolitan University

    Coming to Cardiff Metropolitan University has been a great learning experience as it has exposed me to so many new cultures and activities. There are people from all over the world studying here and each one brings with them their own culture and experiences. The university offers a lot of extracurricular activities to engage students. You just have to find what you like and give it a go. There are also a lot of on-campus societies that bring together students of similar interests like sports societies, dance societies, international societies and fundraising society.

    I was always inclined towards fundraising for charities back in India and Cardiff Met gave me a great chance to continue this work in the UK when I was elected the President of UNICEF on campus. Throughout the year, I organized events with the help of my society members and we collaborated with a range of societies to raise funds that were sent to UNICEF, London. The events that we organized were unique from each other as we tried to run fundraisers that would attract many different students on campus, everything from a Christmas movie night to simple bake sale from time to time and an extensive Bollywood night with the collaboration of the Indian society (a huge success!). All societies on the campus keep coming up with new and exciting events for students to join. On the whole, there is always something interesting to get involved with.

    Getting involved with societies on the compus has really boosted my confidence and opened up many more opportunities. My involvement with UNICEF helped me to be recognized by more people in the university and, as a result, I was even chosen to represent India in the Cardiff Metropolitan University promotional video that will be shown all across the globe. Another interesting thing was being invited by my head of the department to be one of the few students to review my course in front of external reviewers.

    I have been exposed to so many new spheres that I wouldn't have experienced back in India and I will always have a special place for Cardiff Metropolitan University in my heart. For students who are coming to Study abroad for the first time, shouldn't worry about anything as the university takes good care of them - from picking you up at the airport to ensuring good accommodation. The international office has students from different nationalities that help you during your initial days from getting a sim card to recommending places to hang out. All the incoming students next year should just pack their stuff and come to Cardiff to have the most exciting and memorable times of their lives. It's a place that gives them the opportunity to pursue their old interests and to develop new ones at the same time. I hope that there are even more students from India next year and I would love to see everyone in the coming months.

  • Jalesh Mahbubani

    MA Management, Durham University, UK

    Profile of a Masters of Management Student at Durham University

    Having the prestigious Durham University on my C.V. opened many doors for me, including the one to my current job as an Analyst at Accenture. After starting at Accenture (London, UK), I can see how strong the Durham brand name is and how much effort the company has put into the recruitment of their graduates.

    Since I was already armed with a business degree at the undergraduate level, the postgraduate curriculum wasn't entirely new for me. But I applied for the Masters at Durham in order to continue my studies in a different environment. And what a different environment it was; we had such a mix of students from all over the world, with a variety of backgrounds and interests. Not only were the students diverse, the 'way' to do things was different from what I had previously experienced.

    Having been tested mostly through exams, I found that writing out argumentative papers proved interesting, and allowed me to really dig deep into a subject and come out with an individual point of view. The course schedule allowed for more than enough personal time. I took advantage of this by involving myself in a number of sports and extracurricular activities. I was part of the Amateur Boxing Club at Durham and played a lot of casual badminton and football with Team Ustinov and friends. This is something I recommend everyone should do!

    I had an amazing year at Durham; the people, the scenic area, the sports and the host of enlightening lectures. The small town was perfect for the year-long degree, with the collegiate system providing an ideal opportunity to meet people and make friends.

    Not only was the year enjoyable, but my time at Durham helped set me up for a career in management consultancy that I had wanted to pursue.

  • Smart Movers

    Smart Movers

    Australian National University (ANU) graduates Yashas Alur and Sanchit Baweja have plunged into the world of e-commerce within a year of graduating. Here Yashas reflects on life as an international student and how the ANU experience helped him in this start-up venture.

    When I completed my International Baccalaureate in India, I wanted to study at a reputed overseas university. I had always been interested in economics and Finance and wanted to, eventually, start my own company. I was attracted to ANU because of its high reputation and its well-balanced student population.

    It was my first time away from home and i would be in a new environment for a long time. The feeling is very hard to explain. I was definitely nervous but also excited to experience a whole new country. In the end i realized, it was definitely the best choice I ever made. The people I met, the knowledge that I attained, the moments I shared and the friends I made; I would have never been able to experience the same if I hadn't studied abroad.

    I value each and every experience I had during my time in Australia. I lived on campus and stayed at Fenner Hall for all four years of my degree. Living in that kind of community was another new experience for me but I loved it. I met students from really diverse backgrounds and learned a whole lot from them all. For the last two years at Fenner, I was a Senior Resident, which gave me a chance to give something back too.

    I think what I liked most was the academic technique where emphasis was on selflearning as opposed to rote-learning. Having been trained in the latter, it was challenging to get accustomed to a new system, but I feel that I was able to retain a lot more through this new way of learning and it has helped me tremendously in running a start-up.

    After graduating in December 2012, I was submitting applications to graduate positions and waiting for responses. During that time my close friend and fellow- ANU alumnus, Sanchit Baweja told me about an idea to sell men's suits online. We had noticed that access to good quality suits that fit perfectly was lacking in Australia due to cost constraints. This idea that genuinely solved a problem was our focus from then on. We spent the next six months working hard to get the business up and running: organising the supply chain and setting up our website and getting it working perfectly. We now have a user-friendly, e-commerce website called Buttons 'n' Threads dedicated to providing custom-tailored suits for men looking to dress sharp and feel exceptional.

    Starting my own business was always part of the plan, but perhaps a few more years down the road! However, when Sanchit and I came across the idea as a solution to a problem that we had faced ourselves, it was easy to get stuck into its development. Knowing that we could provide something enough for us to quit looking for jobs and enough for us to quit looking for jobs and devote ourselves to creating an online shopping experience for men looking to buy suits. It took six months and a lot of legwork before Buttons 'n' Threads was operational online.

    E-commerce has been a huge disruption to the traditional marketplace. Big retailers such as Myer and David Jones are finding it extremely challenging to cope with the rowing e-commerce retail space. The e-commerce model works primarily due to two factors: convenience and most importantly price. The retail channel is disrupted as the middlemen are cut out and these cost savings are passed on to the consumer. We explored a number of markets for our e-commerce start-up and chose Australia as our main target. The e-commerce model was adopted much later by Australia compared to North America and Europe. The projected growth rates and adoption rates are much higher for Australian e-commerce. It is expected to grow at 14 per cent per year and generate revenues of over $37.1 billion in 2013 alone.

    Up until now it has been a big learning experience. The amazing part about embarking on a new business venture is that you are exposed to all the different aspects of a business and not just Focused on one. Having studied finance I had no idea about e-commerce, search engine optimisation, user experience etc. Discovering all these new concepts and applying them really broadened my understanding. There were some tough times when deals didn't follow through or suppliers refused to partner with us. But, we took the experiences on board and tried to think about ways we would have done things differently. So although it has been challenging at times, I have learned a whole lot and enjoyed the journey.

    Most importantly, studying at ANU has definitely helped me in various aspects of the business. Having studied economics And finance, the understanding of business operations and financial requirements were much simpler. However, there are two other important aspects of the university experience that have helped in my opinion. Firstly, the grooming in self-study gave me the flexibility to explore a field of business that wasn't directly related to my studies. Secondly, the diversity that I was exposed to during university helped prepare me To communicate more efficiently with the various people that I come across at work.

  • Aditya Pancharya

    Master of IT in Business (Financial Services)

    Profile of a Masters of IT (Business) Student at the Singapore Management University (SMU)

    I came to Singapore on a summer vacation and visited SMU. Located in the heart of the city, SMU has great facilities and world-class faculty members, renowned for research in their respective areas of expertise. As an engineer, I was well grounded in technical skills. What I needed was to acquire a deeper understanding of business concepts and issues. My interest was specifically in the use of technologies within the Financial Services sector. I chose SMU's Master of IT in Business (Financial Services), a unique program with a focus in Finance, Business Management and Technology & Operations.

    Attending lessons at SMU felt very different from the classes I attended in thePast. One of the areas that i really benefited from is the experiences shared by my professors. Many of them were veterans in the industry. Also, I was privileged enough to secure an internship with the Decision Management team at Citibank, Singapore. My six-month internship was a great opportunity to learn more about banking. Even as an intern, I was given responsibilities that were important to the organization.

    Coping with full-time studies and an internship was a positive challenge for me. I would work at Citibank, Singapore during the day, and attend classes in the evening. This arrangement allowed me to relate what I learned in school with what I Did at work. However, a fine balance was needed between work and studies. At times, there was pressure from both sides, but my determination to excel spurred me on. Was it tiring? Yes, but it was worth it as I was greatly enriched by the knowledge gained from this challenging period.

    After graduation, I hope to secure a permanent employment opportunity with a bank. Apart from looking out for career openings shared by SMU's career services Office, I have also been networking with the people I know at Citibank, in class and within my circle of friends.

    Finally, having been in Singapore for more than 9 months now, the country is multiracial, multi-cultural and cosmopolitan; people come from all over the world to live, work and play in Singapore. I took time to travel around the region, such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.

    My experience in this part of the world has been amazing and enriching. The credit goes to The Chopras team as well, for they have been the catalyst in my journey. Best Wishes!!

  • Ryan Barth-Dwyer

    Studerrt, FDU-Vancouver 2014

    Experiencing Fairleigh Dickinson J Vancouver

    I have completed more than half of my semester here at FDU-Vancouver, and I can truly say that this is the most unique schooling experience that I have ever had. With students from just about every country of the world studying here, my perspective on both life and away of living has changed. Here at FDU-Vancouver you learn more than what is taught just inside the classroom. As a student, you are able to expand your knowledge on the world around you without leaving the city of Vancouver.

    The Experience

    With students from just about every other country in the world and students from the United States being in the minority, there is a cultural diversity that cannot be matched by our sister campuses in New Jersey. This variance in cultures brings a unique concept to the classroom that helps broaden one's knowledge and perspective through the experiences and viewpoints each student comes to Vancouver with. Sharing our point-of­ views and concepts with one another is not part of the school curriculum, but has become as much part of the learning process as each of the classes that we attend. With recent news about Gadhafi, it was a great pleasure to hear firsthand from students of Libya their experiences under the rule of such a ruthless dictator. Getting to learn about other cultures and societies in the world has become one of my favorite parts about the campus in Vancouver. I am now able to say Mhello" in seven different languages, and have even refined my Spanish due to the high population of students from El Salvador.

    With all of the students in similar situations there is a unique sense of family and unity created here at FDU-Vancouver. I have never met such a lively and joyful group of individuals while attending school. At first, this was quite a shock to me, but it has now become the norm and I couldn't be happier. With a small campus, relations with professors and administration become benevolent. I talk with the Director of Student Services and Provost of the University on a daily basis, discussing general ideas on how to improve the campus and never without asking each other how things are going and if we are enjoying our days. Studying here at FDU-Vancouver Ifeel as if anything is achievable and there is always someone there to hear you out.

    The opportunities are endless here, such as meeting CEO George Moen of Blendz Coffee, Dr. Aleida Guevara daughter of revolutionary leader Che Guevara, and University Provost Christopher Capuano. Each of these acquaintances has helped me in expanding my learning as well as making connections for the future. At this point in the semester it is time to sign up for classes in the spring, and with my time running short in Vancouver, I have decided to prolong my stay for I would only becheating myself of opportunity and knowledge by leaving such a unique and culturally rich environment that has been created at Fairleigh Dickinson Vancouver.