More about Maria
Current job role: Customer Service Representative
Company name: Domestic & General
What did you study before joining Nottingham Business School?
Before joining Nottingham Business School, I completed a bachelor’s degree in Social Policy and Social Administration at the Democritus University of Thrace in Greece.
When choosing a master’s degree, what did you consider it important to have?
For me, it was recognised accreditation and a multicultural environment, both of which were offered by Nottingham Business School.
What were your reasons for studying a master’s degree and why did you choose Nottingham Business School?
Firstly, coming from a bachelor’s degree with more general knowledge, I wanted to gain more in-depth practical and theoretical knowledge in the human resource discipline.
I also chose NBS because it is a great business school whose reputation is on an upwards trend. Finally, I discussed the decision with my friends who highly recommended NBS to me because of their own fantastic experiences studying here.
Why did you choose to study HRM and what did you enjoy about it?
I chose HRM because it was what I really wanted to specialise in, and the degree offered modules which were really appealing to me. For example, management of employees in the work place is something really important and beneficial for all organisations today and I was glad to see that it was covered in the curriculum.
In addition, the fact that the HRM degree is CIPD accredited demonstrated to me the high regard in which the course is held and I could be sure I was learning the most up to date HRM theories and practices. NBS even pay for your CIPD student membership during your studies, upon graduation you receive Associate Membership and the master’s meets the knowledge requirements for Chartered Member status.
It wasn’t just the degree though, I was attracted to the fact that I could complete the degree in one year (12 months) and not two years, which is traditional back home.
Furthermore, what I really enjoyed was my interaction with the professors. Every single one of them were great and really helpful to me and the module content they delivered was really interesting, based on real, current case-studies and relevant for my future career when I graduate.
Finally, the wide range of nationalities in the seminars was something that helped me understand different cultures and how this diversity affects the HRM profession.
Is there anything that stood out on your course that wasn’t offered anywhere else you applied?
The CIPD accreditation was really important and also the dedicated HRM consultancy programme in place of a traditional dissertation were aspects that make the HRM master’s degree at NBS more practical and relevant to the industry and my future ambitions.
What are the key skills you have developed studying at NBS?
Critical thinking was the first skill that our lecturers instilled in us and although it was not easy at first, I have really developed my ability to think strategically and independently.
On top of that, communication and boosting my self-confidence are the key skills I have developed whilst studying at NBS. I am much surer about myself and contributing my ideas in a public forum.
How has the master’s degree differed from your undergraduate experience?
I completed my undergraduate degree in Greece and the master’s degree at NBS was completely different for me, but in a positive way.
The knowledge that I gain and the learning methods that I have to develop were completely different. Again, critical thinking was the key difference and then the really open conversations and debates with lecturers in our seminars was something that is different from my bachelor’s experience. We are really encouraged to engage and contribute in class here which is great.
Describe what your seminars are like and how they differ from your undergraduate experience?
The seminars were in a friendly and open environment where you can easily ask questions and express your opinion without the fear of negative criticism. There was a lot of team work and practical exercises, something that was absent in my undergraduate degree. There was a lot more interaction and debate which I really enjoyed because I have gained a lot of knowledge this way.
Have you benefited from the services provided by the Employability Team?
Yes I have. The Employability Team in NBS is really important and a great service to have. I think it helps out a lot of students.
What clubs, societies or other activities have you been involved in at Nottingham Trent University?
In NBS there are so many activities that students can be involved in. I was part of the Thinkubator challenge which I definitely recommend to prospective students. Here, I was part of a team which was tasked with helping a real, local business with one of its live issues. My team and I had a day to work on solutions and then pitch our business ideas and proposals directly to the business’ owner! It was a really unique yet, practical experience which prepares you for the world of work.
How did you find living and studying in Nottingham?
Nottingham is a great and beautiful place to live and to be a student. I love Nottingham as it’s a fun and relaxing place that has everything a student needs.
More generally, I really like Nottingham as a place to live; I feel safe and secure. The people are really polite and helpful which is something that any prospective student can appreciate. The only thing that I’ve missed from Greece is the sun! But I could say that the weather here is not so bad.
What can a week in Nottingham look like for a master’s student?
Well, as a master’s student you will have a lot of reading to do but Nottingham does offer a lot of activities for students to enjoy themselves. It is a relatively small city where you can get about easily and without hassle, which is great because time is a precious commodity for a master’s student!
What are your short term and long term career plans?
Well, in the short term, my career plan is to find a graduate job in the HR industry suitable to my career ambitions. NBS has helped me to understand my strengths and to continuously develop my skillset. My experience here has definitely broadened my horizons by and opened up new possibilities which I previously hadn’t considered.
What advice would you give someone who is thinking about applying for the HRM degree and would you recommend it?
Yes I definitely recommend NBS to prospective students because is a business school to be proud of.
Go for it! It’s a great degree and I believe it will only improve from year to year!