My two main passions have always been management and international relations (IR). I vividly remember watching the humanitarian response to the 2010 Haiti earthquake, while marvelling at the sheer scale of planning and organisation that would be required to manage an international relief effort of that magnitude. This got me thinking about management and how organisations operate on a global scale. What started off as a curious interest soon developed into a fascination. This was confirmed 6 years later, after a week’s work experience at the UN, Geneva.
Lancaster was my first choice because it is the only university in the UK that offered this unique four-year interdisciplinary degree programme of Management, Politics and International Relations (MPIR). Speaking with the Course Director, Bogdan Costea at the open day in the summer 2016, increased my enthusiasm further. Within minutes, I was sold!
The blend between the Management and Politics department have enabled me to gain a rich and comprehensive understanding of political affairs and how that plays a role in today’s global business world. I have been able to learn about the strong relationship between business, politics, religion and economics, and realised that the world in which we live in is a seemingly smaller place. I particularly found the business ethics module (OWT.229) by far the most interesting, as we dived into topical areas including Sustainable Development and Corporate Social Responsibility. We step away from idealised business models, tackling questions such as what are the implications of BREXIT on businesses over the next 30 years? How do we respond to such a political and global change? How can we create stronger economies and better societies? This provided me with a critical understanding of the ethical dilemmas that are associated with business and management, complemented by modules in Politics and IR. In an era where global issues are at a peak, the ability to reshape modern society in terms of the economy and business is vital.
Lancaster has offered me the opportunity engage in many extracurricular activities that have enabled me to continue my passion as well as serving to complement my course. Notably, being part of The International Students Conference for Africa (TISCA) 2019 where we were specifically focussing on UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). I was also selected as the Volunteers Director for UNICEF Society this year. Additionally, my role as the Course Representative for the degree programme gave me the opportunity to develop the academic structure, by voicing opinions and feedback from course mates at weekly meetings with senior staff and representatives from other years.
The opportunity to undertake a placement year was particularly attractive to me. In two weeks, I will be starting on my industrial placement year at Enterprise-Car-Rental doing PR and Communications at their head office in Surrey. My course has enabled me to develop a number of transferable skills, such as intercultural team-working, analytical and presentation skills, as well as research design, all of which are highly valued by employers.
As my second year has now come to an end, I have truly come to appreciate my course and the necessity of it in our world today. Although it has been intellectually stimulating, the support from the LUMS department from both the academic and non-academic staff has been invaluable.