Our graduates say...
MSc Management 2009-10
While pursuing my undergraduate degree in Communications from Goucher College in the United States, I was approached by Team Durham (student sport) and told about a new sports scholarship through which I would receive my Masters in Management while representing Team Durham on the University Lacrosse Team. Durham University has a rich history as the third oldest university in the UK, and Durham University Business School's Masters programmes are continually ranked as among the best and most competitive in the world. Armed with that knowledge, making the decision to attend was an easy one.
Once at Durham, I often found myself studying outside of the cathedral in awe. The surrounding buildings are magnificent, and there is always something fun to do any day of the week. There is an eclectic mix of students studying at Durham, and everyone that I came into contact with was both intelligent and interesting. I remain friends with students I attended school with from around the world.
During our undefeated journey to winning the BUCS (British Universities & Colleges Sport) Championship, I was able to travel throughout the UK. I also had an opportunity to spend three weeks backpacking throughout central Europe with a group of fellow students over Christmas break. It was an experience that I often look back on with a smile.
In the classroom, I found my professors to be engaging and informative, as well as extremely approachable. Being part of an international university has proven to be a huge advantage in the workplace. As the global marketplace expands, having the opportunity to collaborate with professors and students from across the globe allowed me to see a perspective that I had not been exposed to during my undergraduate days. I continue to use this newfound perspective in my career with BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager. Within BlackRock’s Trading Operations team, my job includes leveraging new and existing technologies in an effort to mitigate overall risk, reduce operational cost, and increase straight through processing of trades. I often apply the knowledge I gained at DUBS into my day to day activities. My Masters has helped differentiate me from my peers, and I continually attribute my success in the office to my time at DUBS.
Human Resources Management 2011-12
I am a Brazilian-Italian who grew up in Venezuela. I completed my Communications Degree in two of the best universities in South America with 30% above the average. I also had the opportunity to work in Brazil, Venezuela and Germany before studying in the UK. I chose Durham University because it was always my dream to study for my Masters at one of the top universities in the UK.
The experience Durham gave me this year was invaluable in all aspects. Durham University, and mainly the people related to this institution -students and lecturers- definitely shaped me. It was through professors like Graham Dietz that I learned a different way to process, write and search for information. I was able to work with real case studies, search for logical answers and give my opinion without the fear of being wrong. I could exchange ideas and get in touch with the international brilliant minds studying with me.
This, together with Durham’s landscapes, buildings and social life, made my Masters study year one of the best years I have ever lived! I made great friends, found my partner, fulfilled the dream of living in a college, grew as an individual and gained much more confidence in myself and my ideas. I am thankful for this Masters, which I could not have had without my parents’ support, and I would recommend Durham to any bright minds willing to have an unforgettable experience.
Financial Management, 2010-2011
Prior to joining Durham University Business School I worked for four years as a Manager- Corporate Accounts for a bank in India . My undergraduate studies were in the field of Physics and I graduated with first class honours (Bachelor of Science) from University of Mumbai.
After working for four years, I felt the need to further my education in the field of finance. My job required me to manage portfolios and recommend investments. As a science graduate, although I could relate and understand the areas of finance, I still felt the need to gain in depth knowledge of it. Choosing Durham University Business School is the best decision I made. Durham is highly ranked is known for its reputation, the curriculum is designed to meet industry needs, and it moulds an individual accordingly. The Financial Management modules covered the areas of finance I wanted to study, so it was the best match to my requirements.
The entire programme was enriching and it has been a complete learning experience. The business project was the highlight of the programme. The business project has widened my horizon in terms of education and career. I had the privilege to work with the Foundation of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales and address their business issues. The project allowed me to work on different areas of business and also educate myself through journals related to respective business areas. The business areas I covered ranged from Finance (bonds, insurance, fund-raising), Internet (website, web-applications) and Marketing (relationship marketing, social media). More importantly, I would like to make a mention that the School's approach towards addressing business issues meant I could put the theory into practisce and ensured that the business project was a success. My project was highlighted on the Foundation's website.
Durham is a place like no other. It is a place where nature, history and education blend wonderfully. I can proudly say that each moment spent studying in Durham has been a memorable experience. From colleges to academic departments to the business school, all of them have a distinct identity. Through the year, I engaged with each of them though events, societies and student council. I was a Research Analyst (Oil & Gas) for the esteemed Durham Investment & Finance Group. As a course representative, I was able to work with students and the business school to enhance the learning experience. To be honest, it has been scintillating experience.
I am currently looking to make use of my degree and advance my career in investment banking.
- Read about Derek's Durham experience on International@Durham
Financial Management, 2010-2011
- Read about Maggie's Durham experience on International@Durham
- Read about Jalesh's Durham experience on International@Durham
Human Resource Management, 2009-2010
I was impressed with the MA in HRM programme as it covered so many subjects aside from HRM: finance, economics, accounting, strategy. The benefits of my MA are hard to measure. Primarily I was able to improve my managerial and leadership skills. It gave me a confidence to voice my opinion about strategy, business trends, and best practices. HRM has always been and still remains the most unpredictable and complex part of any organisation. The programme taught me core principles of HRM, the tactics and policies to put my knowledge into practice.
Durham sets high standards, yet provides all the support you need to achieve high results, the rest is up to you. Lecturers and staff are very approachable and supportive. My HR lecturers are still mentoring me and giving me advice regarding my new project of setting up advanced HRM policies in a healthcare organisation.
The location was so perfect! I fell in love with Durham immediately. The picturesque scenery was not the only thing I loved about Durham. The residents of Durham are the nicest and most kind people. I think parting with the School and Durham was one the hardest things to do, as I loved (and still love) that place and its people so much.
I can say with all sincerity that the time I have spent in Durham is the best time of my life. It is so much more than just studies. Nothing compares to Durham's tranquillity, and yet when it comes to festivals Durham brings together the friendliest crowd.
I currently work as an HR consultant at the National Medical Holding JSC. I am leading a project of creating a new HR consulting and outsourcing company in the healthcare business. The job allows me to put into practice all the knowledge I gained.
Anika Christine Mascarenhas
Current job: People and Change Consultant at Price Waterhouse Coopers LLC, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
As part of my MA at Durham, I completed a dissertation on Change Management at Avis Rent-a-Car, who sponsored my research project. Through internal meetings, interviews and focus groups with employees I evaluated the changes and new management structure in place at Avis. During the research project I conducted a study on the external environmental and internal organizational factors, including a SWOT analysis and a change management diagnostic framework called The Burke-Litwin Model, in order to raise the performance of the organization. I would highly recommend that Durham students undertake internships or research projects inside organizations, as the practical learning experience is critical to succeeding in future career endeavors.
Since graduating from Durham I decided to join the consulting world again. In order to secure my current consulting position at PwC, I went through a combination of interviews with the Director and a Senior Manager and a case study of a company facing losses in the sports shoes market industry. The interviews were grueling and intense but prepared me for a future consulting career at PwC. However, along with the prestige of working with a top consulting firm, I must also contend with long working hours, tight deadlines and travelling long distances to the client site that make life extremely hectic. I encourage graduates who are flexible and open to change to definitely consider a consulting career as it opens up a lot of avenues and doors, develops critical logic and strategic planning skills, writing and oral presentation skills, and provides real life exposure to the business environment across different industries that extends well beyond the realm of the classroom.
If someone had told me a year ago that I'd end up presenting my Masters dissertation - 'Consumption practices and value creation in online brand communities: a social media perspective' - at an international conference, I would not have believed them. Lo and behold, here I am, writing about the experience!
This exciting achievement began with Durham University Business School, where I was studying towards a Masters in Marketing. As a first-time dissertation writer, I was understandably apprehensive about the process in general. However, I received an excellent level of support from both the Business School faculty and my supervisor, Hazel Huang. They offered me the freedom to research something that really interested me, but equally, they provided just the right level of supervision. Having a supervisor with an in-depth knowledge of topics relevant to my research was also a great help. Having completed the dissertation, I worked closely with my supervisor to produce an extended abstract of the research in order to submit to the Second International Colloquium on Consumer-Brand Relationships. I was absolutely delighted to receive the email from the conference on Christmas Day confirming that my paper had been accepted.
Working on my presentation for the conference involved a great deal of tweaking, restructuring and teasing out of the most salient points in order to ensure that the presentation content was at the standard required for an international conference. As someone with limited public experience, the prospect of presenting in front of a room of 60+ academics at the forefront of their respective research fields was daunting to say the least. As a lowly Masters student, I was particularly conscious of the fact that everyone else at the conference was either at PhD level or above. Having said this, I was relieved to find that everyone was very supportive, encouraging and attentive. In the end, the presentation went well and was well received.
The conference itself was a fantastic experience for me. I had the opportunity to listen to fascinating, cutting edge research into consumer-brand relationships. Equally fascinating was the chance to listen to the internationally renowned key-note speakers. One of these speakers was in fact instrumental in bringing the topic of my dissertation into mainstream research with his ethnographic research into the Harley-Davidson and Jeep brand communities. Even more exciting was that this speaker was present in the room whilst I was presenting my own research into brand communities! The conference was a great opportunity to make some worthwhile connections from across the globe and to do a little bit of networking. The presence of marketing and market research practitioners at the conference as well as academics was also very valuable, as it gave me some insight into how academic research fits in with real-life marketing practice.
In terms of my personal development, the dissertation has been a steep learning curve, culminating in my presentation at this conference. Intellectually, I feel that I've furthered my knowledge in terms of conducting primary research and writing to a very high standard and that I've gleaned a lot of knowledge from the other presentations. From a personal perspective, the conference has given me a lot more confidence in my own work and I'm very grateful to the School and to Hazel for helping make it a reality.
I am now working in a Digital Marketing start-up as a Senior Account Executive.
If you would like to read testimonials from graduates on specific programmes, or from home/eu or international graduates, please use the links to the left.
Financial Management 2009-10
Initially I choose Durham for a variety of reasons: not only is the reputation fantastic but it also attracted the highest calibre of employers in the sector I was looking to go into (banking and finance). Additionally, I am from the North East, so being in Durham was like coming home. I also wanted to experience the collegiate, multicultural postgraduate lifestyle. The open day was a great insight into the university and meeting the staff, including Dr Dietz (then program director) and Tom Davie (Careers Service) was indeed more than an attractive factor for choosing Durham.
Coming from Leeds University Medical School, doing an undergraduate degree in something completely non financial, to a relatively finance-intensive MA was daunting yet the staff on board really aided and helped me through this, at times, cathartic process.
The MA in Financial Management course itself was great: the variety of modules and combination of both quantitative and qualitative modules on offer was fantastic and I believe really gives a 360 degree perspective on business. I truly believe this did aid me in my interview and application process as opposed to truly quantitative or qualitative masters degrees. Some of the teaching on hand is fantastic, with tutors who really take an interest in your learning and help facilitate the process in the most conducive way. The opportunity to mix and match modules is also great and further aids the network and bonds built with other students. The careers service is (in no exaggeration) brilliant and incredibly helpful. I urge everyone to go and see Tom Davie for career advice!
The Durham experience is something different (in a good way). Having lived in relatively large cities and now in London for my entire life, being in Durham [a small city] for the year had its initial challenges. However, once you overcome this, it really does capture you and indulge you, with a surprising variety of things to do and a multitude of societies and socials to get involved with.
Having pursued the masters, I was lucky enough to obtain employment as an IB R 3 year analyst with a major international investment bank in, initially, the UK, Irish and Swiss banking sector. I started in August and the MA has come in useful in terms of, for example, accounting modules, corporate finance, economics, quantitative research methods, mergers and acquisitions etc. However additionally the habits of reading the FT and Economist have come in very useful on the day to day aspect of the job.
Coming to a university like Durham was always a dream, especially if you have done your research properly. The third oldest university in UK, ranked amongst the best in the world offered a great opportunity for me to test myself with the brightest students from around the world. Trust me, I mean it when I say from ‘around the world’. During my time here I have met and made friends with people from China, Spain, France, Bulgaria, Thailand, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Russia, South Africa, Nigeria, Syria, Greece, Scotland, Wales, England, Switzerland, Italy, Romania, Germany, Turkey, Mauritius, Brazil, Trinidad and Tobago, USA and India. It was an amazing international exposure.
When I first landed in Durham, I was awestruck by the sheer beauty of this place. Ever imagined a place like heaven? Well, I might be exaggerating a bit, but yes it’s truly beautiful. Don’t get disappointed by the old buildings, there’s high technology hidden behind them.
I had studied a bit of ‘commerce’ as part of my Bachelors at Delhi University and wanted to learn ‘management’, not just for corporate purposes but for improvement at the personal level as well. MA Management offers some of the best subjects one needs to study to be a successful manager. It is really challenging. Unfortunately, I was ill during the first term, which affected my first term results. In term two, however, I bagged a few distinctions resulting in overall improvement of my results. I learnt a lot and it helped me become a better person, intellectually as well as on a personal level.
If you come to Durham, do remember that you will need to be ready for all sorts of challenges because they teach you how to live your ‘LIFE’. The academic side is just one of those things that comes with it.
After completing an undergraduate degree in the United States I wanted to continue studying and playing basketball. I was presented with the opportunity by Durham University to do precisely this while being able to study abroad, something not possible for me previously. The decision for me to come to the UK was made ever easier when I realised how prestigious the University is, having Triple Accreditation.
The MA in Management was an excellent complement to my undergraduate degree in business administration. I was able to further my education in the field of business while garnering different and insightful viewpoints, as there was a good mixture of students from all across the globe. I found the education system for the masters program was structured differently from my previous education, but I thought the course was presented in a fashion that was challenging yet rewarding. While studying, Durham allowed me to continue the pursuit of my dream to play professional basketball by letting me play both for Durham University and in the EBL for the Durham Wildcats. Once I finish playing basketball I feel well-prepared for what the future holds in store for me in the workplace. Though this was very time consuming, all facets of my Durham experience were very enjoyable.
Sreenivas Rao Yenupuri
After completing my Bachelors in Computers I worked in an IT firm in India for six years. Having worked in a managerial role for more than a year I decided to pursue my higher studies in management. During my search for good programmes I came across the MA in Management at Durham University Business School. I chose Durham because of its reputation internationally and as a business school in the UK. Looking at the wide range of modules and feedback from previous students it seemed to me that the MA in Management was the ideal programme.
The course is very challenging and always required us to be on our toes. Lecturers and professors are always available to discuss after the class or else we could even have a one-to-one session. They are experts in their area of specialisation and the kind of guidance and knowledge transfer that I received from them has enabled me to understand different aspects of business. We had excellent lectures and also have received good guidance when ever required. The University provides excellent resources such as Library and IT services which equip you with everything you need to excel in your course and career.
It has been an unforgettable experience staying in Durham; I had the opportunity to interact with people from different cultural backgrounds and made lots of new friends. For anyone who is planning to come to Durham I would like to say that this is a very beautiful, peaceful and secure place to stay. I would strongly recommend doing an MA in Management at Durham University.
Everyone loves a happy ending. Mine began at Durham with an unhappy beginning. I'd left Durham University with a 2.2, but instead of giving up on my dream I was driven to work harder for it. With fire in my belly and a one-chance telephone interview, I managed to convince Graham Dietz (MA programme director) that one day I'd work for the greatest advertising agency in the world, Ogilvy & Mather. I guess he saw just how much of a mad man I was.
The multinational student body at Durham University made for an opportune networking experience and the interaction between staff and students was completely unique. You are treated like a professional, respected for your ideas and valued for your opinions. Within a month of starting I was elected student representative, was achieving great formative results and was well on the way to attaining my goal. I eventually achieved a Distinction for my MA as well as a chance to show myself and the world what I could really do.
On my course I found my passion, my place and my dream girl too. I've used every single one of my modules in the real world, and I'd recommend if you want something you should go for it.
Leaving University during the recession, I envisaged the year out in unpaid internships gaining experience. Luckily, the School had taught me the importance of obtaining experience as well as an education and that there is no easy route to a job apart from good old fashioned hard work. After over 30 interviews, 6 internships, a top 10 nomination for the World's Greatest Salesperson at Cannes Lions (watch the video), and a fellowship with the world's greatest ad agency, I've finally reached my goal. I am now an English Copywriter for OgilvyOne Worldwide. I am officially a "Mad Man" and proud of it.
So don't let anything stand in your way. Durham University Business School made me the man I am today and without the experience, let alone the MA, things would have been very different.