My MBA experience has been transformative
Jignesh Rathod is from India and is studying a Master’s in Global Business Administration (Global MBA).
As a commerce student from India, I struggled to find a suitable job after graduation and worked in a call centre. Although the position was not permanent, it gave me some work experience.
Soon after, I landed a job in sales and marketing at the Crowne Plaza Ahmedabad City Centre, a hotel under the UK-based hotel chain, IHG Intercontinental. I worked there for three years before moving to another hotel in Gujarat where I worked for two years and eventually became a manager. I then transitioned to global sales at Hilton Hotels, managing the Europe, UK, and Australia markets for Hilton-based India.
When Covid hit, the tourism industry was severely impacted which prompted me to consider alternative career paths. I was interested in business development but wanted to expand my career options beyond the hotel industry and gain international experience. After researching various courses in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK, I found that the UK offered a one-year Master’s degree programme which would be more affordable and convenient for me.
While searching for the right university, I came across University of Gloucestershire which has an excellent reputation. After attending one of their virtual open days, I was impressed with what I saw and decided to apply directly to the University. The application process was straightforward to follow. As I wanted to specialise in finance, I chose an MBA with a finance route and fortunately got accepted.
As it was my first time studying outside my country, I was initially apprehensive. However, my course leader has been incredibly supportive and I have made many new friends who have helped me settle in and grow. My class has students from India, Europe, and Pakistan – each with unique backgrounds, experiences, and work histories. I have learned as much from my classmates as my professors, as everyone brings unique perspectives and expertise based on their country or field of work.
As an enthusiastic MBA student, I participate in various extra-curricular activities. I am the Finance Manager of the MBA Society which regularly organises career-oriented events featuring guest lecturers from the business and finance sectors. In the past, I have also been a member of other societies including the Marketing Society and the Walking and Hiking Society. I enjoy participating in these activities and have found them beneficial for personal growth and networking.
I have also become a student ambassador which has given me good experience. Through this scheme, I have shared my experiences with prospective students, answered their questions, and guided them through the university application process. This opportunity has allowed me to develop my communication and leadership skills, while helping others make informed decisions about their academic and professional futures.
My MBA experience has been transformative in many ways. I have gained a deeper understanding of networking styles, different personalities and cultures worldwide.
Additionally, I was not accustomed to assessments in my home country, so completing them as part of the UK standard has been a valuable learning experience. Through my coursework I have also developed my self-expression and professional branding skills, which have helped me grow personally and professionally.
Overall, my MBA journey has been incredibly enriching and I am grateful for all the knowledge and experiences I gained throughout this process.
Upon completion of my MBA, my goal is to work with a finance company in a role such as an investment or financial analyst. I am interested in business development and actively seek opportunities in this field.
The University has been instrumental in guiding me towards my career aspirations, and the Your Future Plan programme has provided me with the necessary resources to plan my career path. At the same time, my course leader and module leaders have been valuable mentors in helping me navigate my academic and professional journey. With their guidance and support, I will be well equipped to achieve my career goals.
Life in the UK
I prefer studying in Gloucester over any other city in the UK. I have had the opportunity to explore some of the beautiful hiking places in the region, which has been a great way to balance my academic studies with some outdoor activities.
I advise others to focus on alternatives to big cities when considering studying in the UK. Places like Gloucester and Cheltenham offer a great learning environment and employment opportunities. These towns and cities are part of a developing area in the UK, with the government investing millions into a combined business, residential and leisure project for Gloucester, Cheltenham and Tewkesbury.
As such, there is a lot of growth potential in the region. While there may be some initial difficulties for students adjusting to a new environment, the benefits of studying in Gloucestershire far outweigh any challenges.
My advice to new students would be to find accommodation before the course starts. In my experience, I initially thought I could find something once I arrived in the UK but it was more challenging than expected.
It is better to plan and select an option through the University, as they can offer helpful guidance and support. I have also heard stories from other international students who have faced similar challenges, thinking they could find accommodation once they arrived.
It is important to remember that the University is there to help you with anything you need, so don’t hesitate to reach out to them for support. The University offers various resources, such as the Student Union, course leaders, module tutors, Helpzones, and Sanctuary Spaces, but it’s up to the students to reach out and utilise them.