Case study

Masters student — Yongpian Cai

Yongpian Cai completed a degree in Cambodian language and literature at Guangdong University of Foreign Studies in China before undertaking MSc Events Management at Lincoln International Business School

Why did you decide to pursue a postgraduate course in the UK?

I enjoy exploring the world and had already experienced studying and working in China and Cambodia. For the latter, I had received a national scholarship to study abroad as an exchange student at the Royal University of Phnom Penh during the third year of my undergraduate degree in China.

Upon graduation, I realised that I'd become too comfortable where I was and felt it was too early to remain stable at such a young and energetic age. I wanted more challenges in my life and have always been eager to learn more. Therefore, I decided to come to Lincoln to study for a Masters degree.

Why did you choose this Masters degree and Lincoln in particular?

As a dancer for over ten years, I've acquired plenty of performance experience, which means I really enjoy taking part in events and dancing on stage. An event is such a wonderful setting where people can escape from the real world, while it creates an emotion connection with the audience. More importantly, it's such a good opportunity to network with people from different cultures and in other industries. I like to learn from other people's experiences.

I'm also fascinated by the event industry, as I think that putting on an event is like running a business, demanding aspects of finance, operations and marketing. I knew I could improve my knowledge in this area through a postgraduate degree. After all, we should look to find a career that we are genuinely passionate about.

Before I came here, I didn't know much about the city of Lincoln. The attraction of the events management course was what drew me here. Now I can say that it's such a beautiful place with lovely people. It's quite small compared some cities, but everything is so convenient and I can concentrate on my studies without too many distractions.

Describe the course in five words…

Transferable, interesting, engaging, creative, and informative.

Did you take up further study immediately after your first degree?

No, I worked overseas for a year in Cambodia where I got a job in sales and marketing for a real estate company.

How did you fund your postgraduate study?

I received great support from my family that I'm really thankful for, as it's expensive for an international student to study in the UK. I also saved money from my year in Cambodia.

While studying for my Masters, I've had a part-time job during term time.

What did the course teach you that your first degree did not?

My undergraduate and postgraduate degrees have been completely different. Everything I'm learning now is new for me. However, as I've previously worked in sales and marketing, I do have some knowledge of these subjects, while I've developed my negotiation skills.

What did the course involve?

It combined event management with business and modules included event innovation, event design and implementation, finance and accounting, sustainability, art, performance and society, digital marketing, strategy making, plus a dissertation.

Was the course well-connected to relevant employers?

Yes, we received funding to attend the International Confex, an exhibition for event organisers where we got to meet event management specialists.

How does postgraduate life differ to that of an undergraduate?

First of all, as I studied my undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in different countries, the environment, weather and culture couldn't be so contrasting. The Masters has required more independent working and a greater amount of reading, with the one-year course being so intensive. This has allowed me to explore the subject in detail and work with a supervisor on my dissertation and other projects. The work may even contribute to the academic world.

What are your career ambitions?

I'm hoping to become a successful event planner in big city such as London or Paris. For now, I'd still like to travel around the world and experience other cultures rather than go back home. I want to organise events in areas such as business networking or music that are engaging and enjoyable for participants.

What do you wish you'd known before embarking on postgraduate study?

I'd like to have known more about what happens after graduation, such as my employability prospects and the type of support the university could give me.

What tips would you give to others choosing a Masters degree?

Find the course that you're really passionate about. Draw a short and long-term plan for your career to see what you need from your Masters study and then prepare yourself for what's to come.

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