I can't believe my year at WMG is coming to an end. It's been full of new experiences, writing, challenges and most importantly loads of new friends. One of the things I value the most is that my learning from the modules have helped me consolidate my business idea. Plus, all the support from WMG and the University for starting a new business. For me, it all started with my dissertation, but now it is closer to a reality thanks to the guidance of some of the professors at WMG, my classmates, my supervisor and Warwick Enterprise.
As an international student, I discovered that there are a Start-up visa scheme and a Graduate Accelerator Programme that we can apply to create our business in the UK. I found out about it thanks to my course leader and then started preparing my business idea for it. I found help by telling my lecturers about the idea and even my personal tutor about it and she referred me to researchers and athletes at the university, as my business is offering an automated coach for endurance athletes. There are modules about entrepreneurship that if you are not doing Innovation and Entrepreneurship, you can take as electives. These are called Business Model Generation and Establishing a New Business. They were incredible to figure out what it was required to build my future business.
Thanks to that, I found a business partner and we secured funding to test the idea from Warwick Enterprise. That money is helping us test a simple version of what we want to build with real customers, and it's getting us closer to making it a reality. I must admit, this year has been a real roller coaster: writing PMAs, doing my dissertation, testing the business idea, pitching it and having a social life, but I wouldn't change it for anything.
This is my advice if you are starting your journey as a WMG student. Please do not think it twice if you have a business idea, talk about it with your classmates, with your supervisor and lecturers. They are more than willing to help you and point out the strengths and weaknesses of it, so you can learn and improve it. Take advantage of the Warwick Enterprise team and their support. It's not only funding what you will be looking for, but also guidance and mentorship.
All the best for the new students and farewell to my fellow WMG classmates!
Maria Celeste Alvarez Vasquez, MSc Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Hello! My name is Maria Alvarez, and I am an international student at WMG. Being part of Warwick Uni has been a fantastic journey that has transformed many aspects of my life. Making new friends, getting used to a new life and learning from other cultures, are some of the most exciting experiences that I have had so far.
Making new friends
Coming back to University after your undergraduate programme makes you feel the magic of meeting new people again. Going to a workshop, studying on campus or joining a social activity can be chances to make new friends. After seven months of the master, my heart is full of memories, stories and unforgettable human beings.
Getting used to the new life
I feel grateful to life for such privilege of studying abroad. Settling down is a process that takes time and is quite hard. As a new student, you have to deal with lots of personal and academic challenges. However, the good news is that you can go through this and you will be delighted after getting used to your new home!
The opportunity to have meaningful conversations with people from different origins, beliefs and views of the world is an invaluable experience. The mixture of cultures, languages, customs and traditions have taught me lots of lessons about multiculturalism. Apart from that, Warwick Uni promotes respect and tolerance among students, and this environment encourages you to be just yourself!
In the UK you will find students from all over the world. Here, I have learnt the power of exchanging ideas, the treasure behind every classmate and the power of kindness and empathy. Also, my specific experience at WMG has enhanced my team work abilities. The practical approach of my department has led me to learn from my peers, give and receive constructive feedback, work collectively to get the jobs done and have fun during the process.
Studying at Warwick and having access to vibrant life and a world-class education system, is definitely the perfect mix for an international student. I'm really looking forward to having more exciting experiences in the UK and WMG!
Fun at the Boat race between Oxford and Cambridge. This event, in London, was a great opportunity to make new friends from other Universities and have a break (and to get some fresh air!) from my assignments as a Master's student at Warwick. Follow my posts about the magic of being an MSc student in the UK on Instagram #wmgmasters #warwickuni #studyinUK #wmgftmasters #wmgsma #iamchevening #mycheveningjourney
Chrysoula Spanou, MSc e-Business Management
I still remember the date when I have to deliver my presentation in front of 300 people, when I was at high school. I always admired people talking on stage. But I felt uncomfortable being on stage. When my presentation ended, I felt relieved and went back to my comfortable seat. But seeing my professor being on stage, I was thinking what should I do to deliver effective presentations?
As time goes by, I have to deliver more and more presentations. Business environment requires speeches on a regular basis. However, being a master student at Warwick University means that presentations becomes part of your daily life. In every module you have to present. So, I decided to work on it….
One of my first workshops here was how to deliver effective presentations. I went to the workshop ready to ask many questions. Is there any secret? How people can deliver speeches on stage with ease and confidence?
Tip No 1: Prepare -prepare-prepare
There is not too much preparation. You are there, because you are the best at the topic. This requires that you should know exactly what you are going to tell. You can make as many rehearsals as you want. You can make a presentation to your friend or someone else you trust.
Tip No 2: First minute by heart
What I have noticed is that the first 1-2 minutes are the most stressful. After this time, you get used to the stage and you feel much better. So, useful tip is to write down what you are going to tell and learn it by heart.
Tip No 3: Know your audience
It is totally different to talk to your classmates from your managers. There are different expectations. Before going on stage just take your time to think. What are these people expecting from me? This changes the whole perception. You have to catch their attention and to make them feel that something new is going to be told.
Tip No 4: Move
If you see someone standing or sitting on a chair reads a paper. What’s your first thought? Boring, right? You are excited about what you are going to present. This means that your voice and your movements show this excitement. If you are holding a microphone that’s fine. If you aren’t holding it, this allows you to move on stage. And guess what? Seem more confident.
Delivering presentations is a skill that can be developed. Envision yourself on stage talking about your job is the most important part of this journey. It is essential to enjoy this journey. It’s all about being yourself and show your passion to others. The stage is yours…!!!
If you need more tips about presentation don’t forget to book the effective presentations workshop.
Safwat Kerish, MSc Sustainable Automotive Engineering
Lots are going on, supervisor meetings, tasks to do, PMAs, and keeping up with all the other activities. By this time, I have got into the pace of the degree and I've started filling in my free time through effective time management. On another part, Warwick volunteering had an advertisement for student mentoring program at the beginning of the year, which I joined to assist maths teachers in classes and help students through understanding mathematical topics and solving problems.
Warwick Skills Portfolio Award
Warwick Skills Portfolio Award (WSPA), is an award given to students who get involved in three out of more than twenty specific activities in recognition of their development and skills attained. Once an activity is done, a reflection is needed to be written by the student and reviewed by the mentor (all done online). A second reflection and final one should be submitted to proceed with the award. Once all three reflections are written for the three activities, the award is given during a celebration event. I have finished all three activities and I am writing up reflections for the last two. The award will be a great addition to my CV along with all the skills attained.
The WMG has an online system for various skills workshops, social, sports and other events. I was interested in attaining personal development skills that will aid my CV and applications for graduate jobs. I first went for a “Personal Branding” workshop that focuses on individual skills, knowing who you are and building up a personal image, both online and on-ground which will aid when applying for graduate jobs and also for a future career. In line with that, I attended “LinkedIn” workshop, where we learnt how to use the website effectively and in our favour, took some tips and hints to assist us in standing out from others when applying for jobs through the website.
I try to get out of Canley after a whole week of the module to recharge. One weekend I decided to go to Coventry, another weekend I went to Birmingham. I went to try out restaurants and look at the city views. I visited Coventry university which is 8 minutes away from the main bus station (Pool Meadow), I ended up going library there and working for a bit, which is cool because as a student you are allowed to go to any library across the UK. Overall, I try my best whether I am writing up my PMA, researching my project and training. It is hard to keep a steady mood and workload, this is why the days after finishing modules and weekends are great opportunity to relax for a bit (not long), plan, recharge and get ready for work.
Constanza Miranda, MSc e-Business Management
As soon as the academic year started, I decided to participate in one of the sports societies. I absolutely love to play sports and I wanted to represent the University at competition level. I have played volleyball for 8 years now, so I had no doubts about going to the trials in the first week of term. I got through the trials and was placed in the second team, and that is how I started to represent Warwick in the University league.
These past several months playing volleyball have been very challenging for me. One of the main reasons for this is because my first language is Spanish and the technical words, related with this sport, were new to me. So, I basically had to learn everything again. I was also part of a new, multicultural team, with different rules and other ways of playing the game. Moreover, I am the oldest one in the team, because all the other girls are undergraduates. This made me adapt the role of the “mother” of the team, and I try to teach them all I know. This experience has really helped me to realise how much I love to teach people what I know.
We train once a week and we usually have one or two matches per week. We also have a team coach and a student society which organises a lot of extra activities, like POP, dinners, treks, and other charity events. It impressed me how organised the society are. These extra-curricular activities have helped me to understand a lot more about my teammates, who are from a range of countries around the world. It has really been an incredible experience, which has opened my mind.
As for the matches themselves, the girls told me that they lost all of their games last year and they did not feel confident when the year started. I noticed their insecurity immediately and lack of experience playing formal matches. I still remember when we won the first match and some of the team cried with the emotion of it, because they simply could not believe it. Over the months, and with a lot of training, the team has improved enormously. Volleyball is a sport where you need 100% collaboration between the six players on court and the trust we have built among us is incredible. Now I am proud to say that we are first in our group!
I am so happy that I decided to join the volleyball team and to be part of this beautiful group of people - it has really enhanced my student experience, and it provides a welcome break and downtime from studying.
Edna Simbine Matsinhe, MSc Supply Chain and Logistics Management
All the modules I have had so far have always a practical component, which means that we have the opportunity to apply everything we have learned using information systems or models and frameworks that are used by professionals in the area to overcome current challenges.
Specifically speaking the 'Transport Techniques and Management' module we use from software, manual calculations as well as games to overcome challenges that transport companies face. I will now give as an example the planning system that we use during module to manage the transport fleet and also a game called business on the move transport game.
Transport planning and routing software
It is less complex to plan the resources and transportation route to be used when it comes to transporting a single product type to a single point of destination, but nowadays companies face much more complex issues. In an unpredictable world in which things are in constant change, it is more complex for transport companies to plan their resources as well as decide on the route, as they have to respond to the transport of different types of products with different destination, either within the same country or to another country. The plan has to be done in a way that responds to customers' requirements. So, we had the opportunity to use a software that firstly it optimized the planning time and secondly, we could change the data in order to find the most cost-efficient way to do the transport. By using the software, we practice how to plan the transport route, from considering resources such as number of drivers required, to even decide on the most convenient area to locate a warehouse. It was wonderful to see a job that would take hours or even days to be done, being done in minutes.
Business on the move transport game
The business on the move transport game is a board game that create awareness on players on how a business transport company is managed. By playing this game we had to make decisions on how to transport the goods from one country to another from the time an order is received. It was fun to play the game but also very challenging as we actually had to make decision as normal transport business. Among the decisions were the mode of transport to be used, the decision to collaborate or not with other transport company, pay or not insurance and other contemporary decisions among transport division. It was a really fun way to learn.
I hope you enjoy this module as much as I did :) Check out my photos below.
Nurbek Abdollayev, MSc Engineering Business Management
I would like to share my experience of studying at Warwick University. The start of the academic year was very intensive, yet very productive! New people, new culture and new beginnings!
The academic life at Warwick University impressed me, not only by its “state-of-the-art” technology labs or workshops but also with its people: I mean tutors, supervisors, staff, and students also. Everybody is involved in academic life, and there is always support provided either from the course leaders or well-being team.
The first module or subject that I had was Operations Strategy in Industry or OPSI, for short! And, believe me, within two weeks we studied lots of meaningful things: I learned and applied different models and strategy frameworks, which I hadn’t heard or used before, but I highly admit that they are very important to business and I wish I could have used them before in my work. In addition, learning through case studies gave us deeper insight into the best practices and failures, which should be considered during new strategy implementation into the organization.
There are also visiting lectures from industries(eg. Jaguar Land Rover and other leading companies), who come to share their knowledge with students - adding value to the subject content. Thus, the learning process becomes more interesting, as it provides a combination of the best theories from books and practices from industries.
I would like to express gratitude to the OPSI tutor, Adrian Watt, who delivered this module - it definitely met my expectations!
|Photos taken during the OPSI module|
Alissa Lola Bouab, MSc Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Looking back at 2018, many things happened. Of course there were ups and downs, but overall we can all be proud of personal achievements, big or small; noticeable to others or not.
Personally, 2018 was the year I finally finished my bachelors degree; did a big trip that involved camping in the wilderness in Canada; attended summer school in Denmark (because why not study a bit more?) and got accepted to study at WMG for a masters of Innovation and Entrepreneurship with a scholarship!
Looking back, it was also a tough year as I studied more than ever and had to push aside personal projects.
Here is the thing with studying, you have to enjoy it! But you also have to balance it out with personal projects so that your life is as fun and exciting as it can be. Be it a part-time job, a travelling addiction, or even a hobby; I learnt this year that it is important to work on different things at the same time. And studying a masters degree can be combined with those personal projects as most work is done remotely, in the comfort of your own home, whilst travelling or at the times that suit you best. Admittedly, this style of working requires a lot of self-discipline, but once you get the hang of it, you are able to do so much more by working on your personal development and your studies simultaneously. This is something that is often not possible whilst working full-time so I intend to make the most of it during the rest of my studies in 2019 by balancing my studies with more personal projects such as learning a new language, going travelling whilst studying and working part-time. These activities will bring a new dimension to my year of studying, giving me the ability to gain new experiences. I was actually writing this post whilst travelling through France, balancing a hobby of mine and my studies through the ability to work remotely.
What about you, what did you learn in 2018? And what do you intend to put in place in 2019 to make it an even better year?
Happy New Year, everyone. Take time to reflect and try new things in the new year!