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Nicole Grebe-Grotefend


Studying here is very different. There is much more autonomy and freedom to pursue your own interest and to get involved in many different things.

More about Nicole

Current job role: HR Specialist
Company name: Amazon

I completed my undergraduate degree at the Justus-Liebig University in Gießen in central Germany. My degree was titled ‘Modern Languages, Cultures and Business Administration’. I studied a mix of English linguistics, French language and culture as well as some courses in business administration.

After my degree I completed an eight month long internship as a learning and development intern at GSK in my hometown. I was responsible for looking after and supporting the development of regional and global talent development programmes as well as helping with the restructuring of the organisation as it had recently been acquired by GSK.

That is how I discovered that I wanted to do an MSc Human Resource Management. In addition, I studied English linguistics and have a passion for the English language, so for me, it just had to be England.

I would say that both my undergraduate degree as well as my internship led me to apply for a postgraduate degree at Nottingham Business School (NBS). I had some basic knowledge of human resources from my undergraduate degree and expanded on that during my internship.

When looking for a Business School what did you consider it important to have?

For me it was, recognised accreditation, work-based learning and a multicultural environment. All things that NBS offered me.

Why Nottingham Business School and why MSc Human Resource Management?

I chose to study a master’s degree because I liked being at university and liked the idea of learning more about an area that I am really passionate about. Also I did not feel like I had learnt enough upon completing my undergraduate degree to pursue a career in HR. I chose NBS because the HRM programme sounded amazing and was exactly what I was looking for.

In terms of the course, I really enjoy it, especially the practical aspects. Learning theory is easy, the hard part is applying it in practice. The course and the university in general offer so many opportunities where we can apply what we learn in class which makes the learning much more effective.

Furthermore, what stood out to me was the option to do a specialised HRM work consultancy project in the final semester.

What are the key skills you have developed studying at Nottingham Business School?

I feel that I have developed my self-confidence and my self-awareness. This is important because when I go into my first job, I would be able to clearly communicate what my strengths are and how I will be able to add value to the organisation.

How has the Master’s degree differed from your undergraduate experience?

It was very different. Not only because it was in a different country, but also because I studied something very different for my undergraduate degree. Studying business and HR in particular is quite different. For instance it is much more demanding and requires much more autonomous work but it also allows you to have much more freedom in pursuing your personal interests.

How do you think the degree will help you in your future career?

Quite simply it sets the foundation for my future career path. I believe that the degree will make me more competitive in the job market. If I want to find a job in my home country, having studied a Master’s degree abroad will be very helpful. The different experiences I gained during the programme are also valuable and will help me to set myself apart from other applicants.

What do you think sets Nottingham Business School apart from other business schools or colleges?

The amount and quality of support that is offered to students. It is invaluable. I would definitely recommend that students study at NBS.

Have you benefited from the services provided by the Employability Team?

I have attended many of their offered workshops and have used their drop-in sessions. On top of that, I am also an employability officer and have completed the Acceler8 Award. So yes, I have benefited quite a lot from the Employability Team.

What clubs, societies or other activities have you been involved in at Nottingham Trent University?

I have taken part in a range of things: I participated in the Thinkubator challenge. I am an Employability Officer. I have completed the Acceler8 Award. I have helped redesign the Acceler8 Award. I have taken part in the Global Week. I have also taken part in the Industry Mentoring Scheme offered by NTU Alumni and mentoring programme offered by the CIPD.

Describe what your classes are like and how they differ from your undergraduate experience?

The main difference is the size of the class. During my undergraduate degree it was not unusual to have lectures with up to 1,000 students. Interaction and participation was not possible in such a setting.

Here at NTU, our class has about 20 students and it is very practice oriented. There is much more opportunity to speak up, participate, interact and cover more practical tasks. It is a very different experience

How did you find living and studying in Nottingham?

Living in the Nottingham is very different from living in Germany. Politeness is just one of the things that are much more prominent here. Studying here is very different. There is much more autonomy and freedom to pursue your own interest and to get involved in many different things. I think I have improved my English language skills quite a lot. Especially my academic English.

What are your short term and long term career plans?

In the short term, I would like to get into a rotational graduate scheme that allows me to gain some practical experience in as many different areas of HR as possible. In the long term, I would like to pursue a career in an international environment in which I can continue to learn new things and develop myself.

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