Finance Manager at Anthony James Insurance Brokers Ltd
"I was attracted by the well-balanced programme structure, choice of optional modules and also opportunity to complete 45-52 week professional internship – to gain new experience in a local business and to learn local culture."
Loughborough MBA Graduate Liudmila from Russia reflects on her MBA experience, her professional internship and her new career in the UK.
Hello Liudmila, please tell us a bit about yourself
Hello all, I was born and grew up in the Krasnodar region of Russia and I obtained my first degree at Kuban State Technological University in Krasnodar. After 10 years of active career growth in finance management, I decided to take a break from work to refresh my knowledge and skills in management, to bring it up to date. So, I decided to study for an MBA degree.
Why did you choose The Loughborough MBA?
First of all, I had to choose a country of study. The UK is well-known for its education system and research base and the only foreign language I knew was English, so I decided to study in England.
I applied to 3 Universities in England and was offered a place at all of them, but finally I chose Loughborough University. I was attracted by the well-balanced programme structure, choice of optional modules and also opportunity to complete 45-52 week professional internship – to gain new experience in a local business and to learn local culture.
How would you describe your experience at Loughborough University - what was it like studying on the programme? What did you enjoy the most?
It was challenging, especially since I completed my first degree 10 years ago with a completely different system of study. However, the university offers free English language and academic skills courses, in addition to other great support with accommodation.
I really enjoyed some master-classes & workshops on the MBA programme which included external guests and also group projects. The International Summer School (ESSAM) was an interesting one, where we could integrate with the students from different parts of the world and to test our knowledge and skills in real-life scenarios.
Overall, I`ve got very positive experience: great campus, good library and other study facilities, regular employment fairs and emphasis on building of students` employability.
What about life in Loughborough – did you enjoy it, what did you do in your spare time?
The University is situated in a small town and it brings some benefits: no traffic jams, everywhere is within walking distance, it’s easy to organise day-to-day life. Also, it`s a University oriented town, so lots of activities for students, discounts on public transport, shops and restaurants.
At the same time, it has a unique location – in the heart of East Midlands, just in a half an hour driving distance from Leicester, Nottingham and Derby. Also, you can get to London just in 1.15 h by train – a great opportunity to learn a local culture and to explore the UK. Also, there are lots of gyms, swimming pools, good opportunities for cycling.
How would you describe your professional life after The Loughborough MBA?
After completing 12-months study and my 52 week internship in a local insurance company, I was offered permanent employment and decided to stay in the UK. The knowledge and skills I`ve acquired during my studies are very helpful in my day-to-day work, as I found the business environment in England to be totally different from Russia. Here even small family businesses are concerned with the company`s mission and values, they implement 5-10 years strategic plans and invest in their work force achieve results. Continuous professional development is seen as the key to success for every employee, which means regular professional development, e.g. webinars and training activities. I believe these trends are being adopted by Russian businesses as well – management is required to be more professional, even in a family business.
What advice would you offer to those considering an MBA?
Well, undoubtedly business education can be obtained in lots of countries, including Russia. However, in my opinion, British education enhances your employability and provides students with a significant competitive advantage in the global labor market. Based on my own experience, it enables you to view day-to-day tasks in a different light and makes you thinking more globally.
In turn, Loughborough University offers a strong academic base; at the same time, some lecturers have significant industry experience, which brings real-life perspective to study. Also, in my opinion, Loughborough University is ideal for students coming with their families as well as for young students, as it provides security and s strong focus on study.