Author: Oliver Redington -
During the final year of my undergraduate degree, I felt very lost.
All my friends were on placement years and I wasn't enjoying my engineering course as it became ever more technical. I knew that I still had an interest in the technology industry, but was unsure how I can start a career in this field without going through the technical route. Through casual conversations with people in the Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering, I heard about the MSc Engineering Business Management course, then running in its first year.
After doing some more reading about the course content and the Practice Track, I decided on somewhat of a whim to diverge from the technical engineering route. If I’m honest, a big part was also to spend another year in Bath as a student with my friends who were returning from placements. What a decision it turned out to be.
Reflecting on how much I have developed over the duration of the course, I am proud of how far I have come.
I am not the same anxious, feeling unprepared student who walked into the Chancellor’s Building for our first Team-Based Learning session. Back then, I had no real professional experience or even an understanding of what career paths were available to me, let alone the skills I needed to begin following these paths. I know I still have a lot of work to do, if I am to reach the full potential of what I now believe I can achieve.
The MSc Engineering Business Management course was the exact push in the right direction that I needed. It prepared me for starting a successful career and a job I can be proud of.
The course, the cohort and the importance of soft skills
The elements of the course that were the most helpful for me were:
- The Team-Based Learning approach combined with the relevant case study-esque assignments
- The focus on soft skills
- The Practice Track and
- The support of the teaching staff.
When applying for this course, I had no idea that the cohort would be so diverse with such a broad range of professional experience. I would never have guessed that a significant part of my learning would come from working alongside them on a variety of assignments, designed to emulate real-world projects.
I now understand the importance of soft skills, what they are, my stronger and weaker skills, and how I can go on to develop them.
The teaching experience
The Practice Track was everything I wanted it to be. I gained valuable professional experience and also got to experience my first leadership position. I put my knowledge and soft skills to the test and expanded upon my newly created network.
I think the balance of autonomy and support given by supervisors is perfect.
I can’t believe how contrasting the teaching experience was, compared to my undergraduate degree. It is clear that the course lecturers are very much engaged with this course and are genuinely invested in the development of every student. I think they all do a great job of being friendly and sociable with the cohort without overdoing it.
This is a testament to how well they have designed the MSc Engineering Business Management and its sister course, the MSc Innovation & Technology Management to produce the exact results they promise.
Starting my career
Earlier this week I was able to secure a place on Unilever’s Future Leaders Programme on the Technology Management stream, marking the end of a really tough period.
The months since graduation have been incredibly difficult (as they have for everyone). After graduating I felt excited and prepared to begin my career, but after countless rejections (from dream grad schemes to entry-level positions I had little interest in) it was really beginning to take its toll on me. I was starting to lose belief in myself and doubt whether I would be able to have the career I envisioned. It still seems a bit surreal that the only assessment centre/interview I was invited to in those 5 months was my first-choice graduate scheme.
Over the last week I realised that aside from a bit of luck, the biggest reason was that this course had prepared me so well for this exact role.
This course has completely changed the trajectory of my professional life, onto one which I couldn’t have imagined 18 months ago.
Upon completing my graduate scheme and gaining a few years of experience, I would love to become an MSc EBM/MSc ITM mentor - to give back to this course that has given me so much.