Why I decided to study International Business Management with Study Abroad

Owen shares why he chose to study his course at Sheffield University Management School.

A view over Mexico City.

As a kid finishing my studies in Mexico City, I was always intrigued by the stories of people traveling and working across the world. Their work genuinely interested me, which for a 16 year old me was hard to do. Listening to them talk about travelling around the world and living in places with cultures that were so different from my own sounded exciting. When I asked them what they studied, the answer was almost always, "Business Management." Hearing those words over and over again must have resonated with me, subtly steering me towards a future I had started to envision for myself. One filled with travel and exploration - International Business.

So why did I choose International Business Management and not just a regular business degree? Well, while a general business degree is incredibly versatile, equipping you with skills that you can apply to many industries, such as finance, marketing, and strategy, International Business Management offers more.

To me, International Business Management was a bigger experience. It still has the solid foundation of a standard business degree while adding a global perspective. Enabling me to see the corporate landscape from a global perspective, understand international markets, and negotiate cross-cultural interactions. As a result, my decision to pursue International Business was about widening my horizons, improving my business understanding, and preparing myself through practical experience to thrive in professional settings around the world.

In addition to this, the International Business Management programme at Sheffield University Management School came with an interesting offer - a full year of the degree abroad. This was more than just a change of scenery; it was a chance to be a part of a completely different cultural setting. It was the chance I was looking for to travel the world and learn who I want to be professionally. The anticipation of walking down the cobbled streets of Prague one day, and then feeling the warmth of a cup of Viennese coffee in my hands the next was an opportunity I couldn't pass up. Any Succession fans out there will understand the allure – as Willa and Connor would say: "Vienna for lunch, Venice for dinner, and Dubrovnik for breakfast." Although that’s hopefully where the similarities with the show end.

A street in Vienna at sunset.

Lastly, let's be honest - did I have a detailed blueprint for my future? No. And that's where the magic of a business degree shines. It's adaptable, flexible, and caters to a multitude of career paths. Whatever I decided to do after my degree was not set in stone, I had another 3 years to figure out what I am good at, and what I enjoy doing.

My journey has been incredible thus far. The friendships I've formed with people from all over the world, the fascinating trips around the world, and not to mention the skills and wisdom I've gained from my professors, such as being mentored in Global Leadership by the ex-CCO of Redbull in Vienna or learning how to build a business from the ground up. These experiences not only provided me with essential skills that I am already using professionally, but they also helped to improve my perspective, ambition, and values.

In a nutshell, my experience studying International Business Management has been much more than an academic pursuit. It has been a journey of exploration, an ongoing adventure filled with opportunities, growth, and life-changing experiences. Looking back at my younger self, dreaming about travelling around the world, I realize how far I've come. Today, I'm living that dream, already travelling around Europe for business, growing with every new challenge, and always looking forward to what the future holds in store for me.

Written by Owen Havercroft in June 2023.