School of Business and Economics

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Student profile

Ninoska Barzey, BSc International Business

What have you enjoyed most about your course?

My course, International Business has been tough. The modules make you think about businesses In a theoretical framework. One of the highlights, of my course, was the opportunity to have a placement year and be able to study abroad. I believe that this is one of the highlights of studying International Business. It really helps you to pave a career that you’re interested in whilst also allowing you to learn the theory and apply practicality to what you’re learning in lectures. 

What did you do on placement and what did you take away from that experience?

Doing a work placement was compulsory for my course, International Business. One of the reasons why I chose to study International Business was because of how doing a placement was compulsory and so I would have that industry experience after I graduate.

It was very stressful for me when it came to the time of applying for placements. I would get constantly rejected and felt as though all hope was lost. However, I have to give a massive shoutout to Miranda Elliot from the school's placements team, who helped me massively! Without her, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have been able to find a decent placement in time.

I worked for a Small Marketing Firm in Barcelona (Spain) called Degustabox. I had a 6-month internship within the Sales and Marketing Department of the firm. It was one of the best experiences that I’ve ever had. I learnt so much about the marketing industry within the US market and improved my sales skills. I was in Barcelona from March-August 2017. My placement allowed me to introduce skills that I had learnt whilst studying abroad and knowledge that I had learnt through my course.

It was a brilliant end to my placement year. I went from France to Germany and then to spend the summer in Spain. I’ve been so truly blessed and wouldn’t take anything back from my experiences. As I mentioned before, I would do it all over again.

In terms of my employability and career goals, I believe I’m equipped to finally follow my dreams!

In terms of your career, where are you hoping the degree will take you?

My degree has already opened huge doors for me. Doors that I thought could never be opened and I am so grateful for. I want to set up my own business in the near future. I want to open up my own Blazer Line for professional women in the industry because I believe that if men can suit up, so can women. There aren’t many businesses that tailor blazers to women and that’s the gap I want to fill whether it be in the UK, or back home in the Dominican Republic. That’s my lifelong dream to set up my own blazer line.I also want to gain some first-hand experience in the Property Investment industry. I want to invest and manage an investment portfolio in the Dominican Republic rather than the UK due to the massive differences in house/apartment prices. Once I have enough capital, then I will look into starting my own business. I want to help others and make a positive difference in the world. 

How do you think you’ve developed your employability at Loughborough?

Before I started studying at Loughborough University, I was working at KFC part time as you do when you’re a teenager wanting to make some money. Once I started Uni, I stopped working because I wanted to focus on my studies. From 1st year up until now, final year, I have massively developed my employability at Loughborough. Placement year was very helpful in this sense. I studied abroad and also worked abroad. Within Loughborough, one of the modules that I had during the first year was Skills for Study, Placement and Employment. This module helped bridge skills for placement year and employment overall. It was very useful when it came to learning about Excel and how to go about researching for employment. Also, Loughborough has held Careers Events that have helped me to network with industry leaders and has allowed me to communicate with top brands that I could see myself working for.

Loughborough helps massively when it comes to career prospects. I haven’t personally taken much advantage of the careers services at Loughborough, however, that’s due to change in the upcoming months as I am currently looking for a job abroad. I’ve been told by many of my friends that their Universities don’t really help much when it comes to employability and helping students find their career paths. Me personally, I’ve developed my ability to write a CV, I’ve developed my interaction skills/communication and I’ve developed my determination to go for what I want in life rather than submitting to traditional ways. 

How does it feel to receive the School of Business and Economics Dean’s International Student of the year award?

I was really shocked when I received the letter home stating that I had been selected to receive the SBE Dean’s Award for Internationalisation. I wasn’t expecting it all, so it was such a pleasant surprise. I’m so grateful and feel humbled above anything that the SBE recognized me for this award. It’s amazing to be recognized for your efforts! I want to give a massive thank you the Lboro SBE. I’m very thankful for the award. Thank You! 

What was your experience like when you took the study abroad option?

I decided to study abroad because I wanted to experience something new. I’ve always been interested in travelling and learning about different cultures and so having the opportunity to study in another country through ERASMUS was a dream come true.

France

I studied abroad in France for 6 months. I was studying in a small town called Angers which is towards the centre of France, 3 hours away from Paris. I’ve been studying French since secondary school and so going to France and getting the chance to practice was a great way of me being able to communicate and put my language skills to the test. The partner university was ESSCA and compared to most UK universities, it was quite small. The classes were held in much more smaller groups – the equivalent of Loughborough tutorials. It was very interesting to see the difference in teaching styles.

One of the highlights of my time in France was going to Paris every so often. The first time I went to Paris I completely fell in love with the city. It was a supernatural feeling because the day was glorious, the sun was shining, and everything just seemed perfect and it was. The food was also a highlight, Crepes are my all-time faves! But not the crepes that we get here in the UK – I don’t even class what is sold in the UK as real Crepes. The Crepes in France are incredibly delish. When it comes to the ‘studying part’, I really liked the fact that ESSCA didn’t separate the International students from the French students in the class, everybody was mixed up and so I got the chance to actually make French friends.

 Overall, it was an amazing experience that I will always value. I learnt so much about myself as a person. I improved so many different skills such as communication, adaptability, independent, time management skills etc and got to make some new friends and learn about a different culture. I would do it all over again If I could!

Germany

Once I studied in France, I then travelled to Germany. I had a really good time, but it was very different to the UK and France in terms of bureaucracy. It’s true when they say that Germans like to follow rules and regulations – it is very true. I got the chance to live in Germanys most multi-cultural city - Cologne. Studying in Cologne was very different to France, and much more similar to the way lecturers teach in the UK. The course content was clear and concise, however, it was a lot more difficult I found to interact with lecturers and ask for help.

The highlights of my experience in Cologne will have to be the Christmas Markets which were beautiful, Carnival, the Germans obsession with Beer (they will have a beer for breakfast just for the sake of it!), and the way I got to see first-hand how Germans value the environment. It was a pleasant surprise to see how many open spaces there were, and how Germans look after their environment.

What would you say to someone considering studying your course at Loughborough?

Do it. This course will give you a well-rounded perspective of business and it’ll also provide you with amazing opportunities to study abroad and gain first-hand experience in an industry that you’re interested in. One of my favourite quotes by Joseph Campbell says, “Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls”. This course has opened up so many different doors for me and I would recommend anybody to study this course at Loughborough because it’ll open up doors for them as well. Whether you’re interested in Finance, HR, Marketing, Management, Operations – this course provides you with all these different elements of which you can choose in what you’d like to specialize in. Studying International Business at Loughborough has allowed me to see what I don’t like about Business (Finance – Accounting) and what I do like about it (Management and Marketing). Once you know what you like, that’s where your ‘bliss’ will go. 

Over the course of these 4 years, I’ve gone through some ups and downs as we all do, however, the things that I’ve learnt about myself, the experiences that I’ve gone through, the opportunities that I’ve been given, the awards I’ve been presented with, the activities I’ve been apart off have all contributed to me having the most fulfilling Loughborough Experience. It’s been a journey, that I can only be thankful for because I’ve become in-tune with who I am. Uni shapes you and bridges the gap between your teenage years and adulthood. It may sound scary but it’s the best part of life.

All I can say to prospective students is to enjoy the journey. The Loughborough Experience will change your life for the better as it will allow you to tap into your potential. Every student has different goals in mind, different ideas, different things that they want to achieve in life. Get involved. Grasp the opportunities available. Network. Make friends. Ask QUESTIONS and above all LIVE IT! Live the Loughborough Experience.