Case study

Richard Staunton — MA International Business student

Keele University

Five years after completing a law degree, Richard took his postgraduate studies at Keele University - opening up new avenues for his career

Why did you choose this institution and course?

After completing my undergraduate law degree I knew I wanted to return to university to study something that I found more naturally intriguing. The MA International Business provides a good grounding in a range of business studies subjects - as well as giving scope to tailor your studies through optional modules, and choose between a dissertation and an applied company research project. I chose Keele due to its position in ranking tables, its location in the countryside and its impressive student experience history.

There was a space of five years between my degrees. I worked in central London for a year, taught English in South Korea for a year, lived and worked in Australia for 18 months and travelled as widely as I could for a further 18 months. I tried to ensure that I continued to educate myself by reading broadly, immersing myself in various cultures and learning as much as I could from the people I met.

To fund my postgraduate study I have taken a Student Finance loan but have also worked part time throughout the year.

What does the course involve?

The course has involved the study of sociological theories that provide a lens for a critical approach to studying management. It has also involved the study of pragmatic subjects such as accounting and operations management. Both of these practical topics were approached from a critical perspective and at all times I felt encouraged not to simply take a mainstream management approach to these subjects.

The course introduced cross-cultural issues pertaining to working in modern business, which I found particularly fascinating. Overall the course provides a broad grounding in essential management disciplines and a stimulating consideration of the propriety of the mainstream perspective given the contemporary socio-economic environment in which we are situated.

What are your plans for after graduation?

The great thing about having studied this course is that it has opened up many avenues for potential employment. I am now able to apply for a number of graduate schemes that would not have accepted my law undergraduate qualification due to its over-specificity. I hope to be able to secure a role that allows me to apply my interest in operations management and the environmental agenda, perhaps a role related to sustainability in supply chain management.

What advice would you give to those considering the course?

Send emails to the people who will be running the course and the particular modules in which you are interested. Make sure you are happy living and studying for 12 months in a campus environment. Come along to open days and chat to current students. Above all, be aware that tutors at Keele have much more time for their students than they do at other institutions.

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