Living and studying in a foreign country is a once in a lifetime opportunity
On my year abroad I developed my confidence as I was thrown into an environment that was unfamiliar to me. I particularly gained presentation skills, which is essential for most workplaces. Additionally, since I worked with international people, I feel I now have better interpersonal skills and am more empathic to how other people may feel in different situations. With business being so international now I feel this is vital for the workplace. Job descriptions now commonly mention interpersonal and communications as the skills they look for and I feel my year abroad means I now meet these criteria.
Gaining skills from a year abroad
Choosing a course at Sheffield
I chose my course because it was one of the only courses in the country that offered an integrated year abroad. For me this was important as I wanted to go abroad to study but I also wanted to be pushed to really engage whilst I was out there and so the fact that it counted towards my degree was an extra motivation.
Why Sheffield University Management School?
The students I spoke to seemed very informed and knowledgeable about the management school and the different courses. Hearing their confidence convinced me that studying at Sheffield would provide me with the skills I needed for my career.
What concerns did you have prior to joining and how did you overcome them?
Before coming to university, I was concerned about whether I was going to make as good friendships at university as I had done at home. In my first year, socialisation was limited due to Covid, but this meant I was able to form strong relationships with my housemates. For students starting university I would recommend joining societies as even in my final year I have re-joined the management society and formed friendships through that.
Adapting to studying in Madrid
In my first few classes I was quite shocked by the level of the other students and the work experience that they had all seemed to have had over the summer. However, since I had to participate as it was part of the assessment criteria, my confidence developed, and I quickly felt comfortable in the class. I had the benefit of being a native speaker, which made doing presentations and speaking in the class less daunting.
Speaking to other study abroad students helped when returning to study
Coming back from my year abroad initially felt very weird but I quickly got back into the swing of things by re-joining the societies I had left and getting into contact with friends I had made in first year. I found that speaking to other students who had returned from abroad helped me to settle back in as they were going through the same process as me and we could share our own memories and highlights. My first year was different due to Covid and so I attended my first in-person lecture at Sheffield in my final year! Hopefully this should not happen again to students going forward.
Highlight of your course?
The highlight of my course was definitely the time I spent on my year abroad. Living and studying in a foreign country is a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Developing leadership skills
I have developed my leadership skills throughout my time at university. Before coming to university, I would say I was a little shy but now I am comfortable leading groups and am effective at managing the group dynamics. I feel I am also able to consider business from multiple perspectives due to my time abroad. Business is not black and white and so it is important to consider all perspectives before making a decision. Furthermore, at Sheffield I have learnt to think critically as this is a necessary skill for performing well in essays.
What piece of advice would you give to students who are considering your course?
If you like the idea of studying in an international environment in a foreign country but are also capable of making some sacrifices by leaving after your first year and putting in effort through every year of your degree, then I think this is the right course for you.
Explore the University
Discover why Sheffield is the right choice for you at one of our open days or events.