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Amanda Ibarra


The MSc Human Resource Management course is not just pure theory, it is very practical which means we can actually apply what we have learnt to the clients we have during our consultancy projects.

More about Amanda

Tell us about why you chose to study in the UK and specifically at NBS and NTU?

In the Philippines, we are highly Americanised already so most Filipino students’ first choice would always be the US, whether to work or study. I just wanted to do something different. I’ve never been to the UK, so just the place itself, the music, the history that I grew up listening to and reading about... it was my dream as a girl to come to the UK. I saw that the UK offered specialised courses in HR and that was the start.

When choosing a university in the UK I looked at the league tables, specifically QS. I looked for universities that stood out, and then looked at the courses they offered. Once I saw that they offered HR courses, I would look more into the curriculum and the modules that they offered. The scholarships that were offered and the city itself were also important too. I went on a website called – which ranks Masters courses from all over the world. There you can filter by country and by field, so for me, HR and NTU is actually number 5 for HR courses in the UK. That made me prioritise Nottingham Business School.

Did you use an agent to help with your application?

Yes, I used UKEAS to help with my application.

Jess from UKEAS firstly asked my budget, so she knew what universities would be right for me. She was the person that really introduced me to Nottingham Business School. She helped me with the actual application and would update me with which requirements I needed. I would submit my documents to her and she would be the one to upload the documents. It made it all very easy.

What do you enjoy the most about course?

There are a lot of international students on my course which is something I really like. I don’t feel so out of place because I can hang out with international students. You get to meet a lot of people from all over the world. Two of my closest friends are Cambodian and Vietnamese. 

I also really like the module leader Derek. He is really passionate about HR and he brings that to the class so everything that we do is very interesting.

The course doesn’t require you to produce a thesis but instead offers the consultancy project over the summer term. This is good especially for someone like me with experience already. The course is not just pure theory, it is very practical which means we can actually apply what we have learnt to the clients we have during our consultancy projects.

Our course is mostly taught in workshops. We have lectures on Thursdays and Fridays. Most of the lecturers will deliver the content and then in between the lecture and the seminar we will have group activities to do. This is not assessed but it complements the theory that we learn. So it’s a lot of group activities, a mixture of presentations, a lot of case studies.

Have you explored the UK during your time at NTU?

So far I've been to London, Wales – Snowdonia, the Peak district, I’ve also been to Scotland. I haven’t yet been to the South really but I am trying to fit in some travelling so I can. I want to go to one new city a month! My classmates like to travel as well so we go together and either take the train or rent a car. I think that I may as well go to Europe as well while I am here, but we need to apply for a visa and plan for that.

What do you like about Nottingham?

For the city campus especially, everything is here, everything is really accessible. For example, the supermarket, the university, the old market square – everything is close to each other. The fact that there is a lot of international students and people in general makes me feel included. Nottingham is very cultural and very dynamic. There is a lot of energy here because it is a student city. I feels very at home here.

Also I love the transportation system here. The buses cover a lot of areas around Nottingham, and the tram does as well. I get around so easily in Nottingham. If I need to go somewhere that is a bit further away, I know that I can get there quickly using a bus. My parents don’t need to worry about me walking long distances on my own. There’s buses at night too so I don’t need to walk at night if I don’t want to. I feel very safe in Nottingham.

Did you apply for a scholarship when you received your offer to study here?

Yes. I was waiting for the scholarship feedback and when I got the email, I knew it was a sign it was meant to be. I wasn’t sure whether I was going to get any grant at all. It was the scholarship feedback that really made me decide I was coming to Nottingham Business School. It really helped in terms of the financing. I applied for the 50% but in the end I got the £2,000 but any amount is really, really helpful to me.

What advice would you give to another international student who is thinking of studying at NTU?

Coming to the UK is a really good decision if you want to expand your horizons and learn more about yourselves. You learn to be more independent and to stand on your own. It’s a very good decision if you want to learn more about a new culture and yourself as well. It’s one of the best decisions to come to Nottingham Business School and Nottingham.

In terms of Nottingham Business School and the support and facilities that they have, and also the quality of the teaching, it’s something that you won’t regret. Make the most out of your stay here. That may mean socialising or eating out and partying to some but also that might mean travelling or being involved with the student community through different roles. Make the most out of your experience here as it will go so quickly.

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