Tom

MSc International Management (9-months)

Tom studied Japanese Studies for his undergraduate degree and then worked for four years teaching in Japan and also working in London for a Japanese Governmental organisation. This business experience sparked his interest to expand his knowledge and launch a career in management as quickly as possible, so he chose the intensive 9-month programme. He has enjoyed the practical elements of the course and the focus on solving real world problems.

Why did you pick Exeter over other Universities?

Exeter had always been on my radar as a world class University in a beautiful part of the country, and the Business School’s high ranking combined with the international nature of my course were two other big selling factors for me.

However, what really made my mind up was the offer of the intensive nine month programme. The flexibility of being able to take the same amount of credits as a full Masters programme but fit it into a time that suited my plans for the future really set Exeter apart as an innovative institution. This for me was key when looking for a management degree.

What were you doing before you started your postgraduate studies at Exeter?

After graduating from The University of Sheffield with a BA (hons) in Japanese Studies in 2014, I spent four years in work before starting my postgraduate studies at Exeter. The first two years were spent teaching English in Japan, and the following two were in London working for a Japanese governmental organisation called the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO).

Why did you pick MSc International Management?

Coming from a languages background, I had little experience with business or management, but plenty of international communication. My job with the Japanese government supporting direct foreign investment into Japan gave me a taste, but left me wanting to broaden my knowledge of business and management and pursue a career in the area. The International Management course was the perfect solution to do this.

How have you found the teaching, research, lecturers, course content?

The modules combine a fascinating mix of theory and practice in both the taught content and assessment. Through essays, reports and live projects with actual businesses, we apply theoretical frameworks to real business scenarios to analyse the successes and failures of yesterday, and explore the challenges of tomorrow.

My favourite aspect however, has been the business game in the Strategy for International Managers module. While just a simulation, the game encourages you to apply learning from across the course including accounting, operations and human resources, enabling you to experience first-hand the impacts different decisions could make across a business.

How have you found the support services and the facilities?

The online resources have been incredibly valuable. Being able to check my timetable, grades, emails and even the current capacity of the gym all from a single app has made organising my time very easy. Catching up with the very occasional missed lecture online is handy too! However, while online resources make remote learning seem ever more appealing, there is no substitute for getting to know your cohort and lecturers face to face by attending lectures and seminars. Plus you never know when the lecturer is going to drop a hint about the exam off the record, so it pays to turn up in person.

Do you feel your postgraduate course will enhance your employability?

I do feel that my course will enhance my employability. As well as the qualification I will receive and the theories and skills I have learned, I have also continued to develop skills and confidence in a range of areas that will benefit me in the future.

What has been the biggest highlight of studying at Exeter?

The biggest highlight has been the exposure to my course mates from so many different nationalities. This year we had a cohort bringing together students from 18 different countries, so having the opportunity to exchange ideas with fellow students from such a diverse mix of cultures has been very rewarding.

I used the career zone to find part-time work which was useful, and I also booked in a careers talk with Liz who is the course careers consultant. I have also recently been accepted onto the career mentor scheme so I hope that will be beneficial too

Are you a member of any societies, volunteering, or hold any part-time jobs?

With the intensive nature of my course I do not have time for any societies unfortunately but I did have a part time job last term on the University of Exeter telephone fundraising campaign. I got the job through the careers zone. The hours were flexible and it was nice to be able to work with and get to know fellow students from different courses who I might not have otherwise got to meet.

What do you think of the campus?

What I like most about the campus is the variety of working spaces. Whether you are looking for a silent booth to get on with an essay or a good spot with a bit of atmosphere for a group discussion there is somewhere for all situations. I have two favourite spots. My first is the gym as it is probably the best gym I’ve ever been to. It has a huge range of equipment and you never need to wait too long for a bench. My other favourite spot is the loft upstairs in the forum, the tall tube shaped chairs in particular which are great when you need to filter out the noise and get on with some work.

What advice would you give to a prospective student considering your course and Exeter Business School?

Plan your time wisely and keep up with the weekly reading, especially if you are doing the 9 month programme. The work load in the first term (and the second on the 9 month programme) is quite intense so it is easy to get overwhelmed if you don’t stay on top of things.

What do you want to do when you graduate?

I am still figuring out my next steps, but when I finish my course I will be moving to Canada on a two year working visa with a view to gaining permanent residence. I plan to go into work but have not got a job lined up yet. Due to the difficult nature of applying for work from abroad I will begin my job search in earnest once I arrive.

Sum up your experience at Exeter in just four words:

Work, workout, rest, repeat