My name is Rohit Goel, I am from India. I completed my Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration three months ago and now I am here, in London for my Master’s in International Business and Management (IBM).
Why did you decide to study International Business and Management MA at Westminster Business School?
First of all, I chose to study at Westminster Business School because I already heard that name from my friends who studied there and really enjoyed their experience. Because of that, I started researching. I applied to a number of UK based universities and I got accepted to every single one! I picked the University of Westminster based on its location and facilities and hands down, I think it was the best decision I have ever made! Being here now, I love my University and I think it’s amazing. I got to meet so many different people already and I have only been here for few weeks, the Marylebone campus is just brilliant with its unique vibe, facilities and modern classrooms – we have everything here I could have imagined!
And why did I choose IBM? We have a family business in grain trading which was set up by my grandfather. We trade grains like rice and pulses and I could have gone into it but I think that once you go into business it is hard to come back to study. As least it is a very common thing in India. That’s why I decided to continue into my Master’s straight after graduating. I would like to grow our business and felt that the course in International Business would help. I also always imagined that if I studied abroad it would be in London.
How have you found your experience so far?
There are some great people on the course and in my class – people from all over the world! We got to go on an international trip and I am also very happy with my seminar groups and lecturers. I think studying abroad is a bit of a challenge especially as the learning and teaching system is so different to what I am used to from back in India. One of the biggest challenges is the concept of plagiarism. Plagiarism is such a huge thing here in the UK. Before coming here, I didn’t know that you could fail your exam or assignment, or even be asked to leave your course if you are found to be plagiarising. It is very different to what I am used to as at home we are free to use any sources and copy the information we find relevant into our work. Now I have to learn to research from authentic sources, always acknowledge the source of my information and provide references. It is all very new and we need some time to adjust and get into it. I think it’s quite a lot to handle in your first weeks at but it’s all good! I feel it’s a good change for sure!
Can you tell us more about the international study trip?
Before starting the course, I didn’t actually know there was a trip involved, so when our Course Leader, Richard West told us about it I was so excited! We went to Brussels for five days and the trip was just amazing! The week we went away for went so quickly, our experience was surreal as we got to explore a foreign city, had Belgian waffles, fries, and sampled beer. We visited the Stella Artois factory which was huge but at the same time so clean, neat and organised! We also went to the chocolate workshop which was a true highlight! We had to create our chocolate products, creating a fusion of Indian sweet delicacy and Belgian chocolate – everyone loved it! That’s what we were aiming for – for everyone to be happy with our product. We put so much effort into preparation of our product, as we had to pre-order ingredients and collect them ahead of our trip to Brussels. It was a success and I’m so proud of our team.
What advice would you give to anyone about to start a Master’s degree at Westminster Business School?
First of all, do your research. You should personally research all the options and institutions, and definitely trust your intuition! What is also important however, is that before you commit to your studies you should make an effort and visit that place before. This way you will actually get the feel of your campus, accommodation, the area where you will live and have an idea of how you will commute on a daily basis. I think it’s actually essential to see if your plan is feasible. Not many people think about it, but when you are about to commit somewhere for a full year – it’s big! Don’t think about it as ‘only a year’ because once you are here, outside of your comfort zone, away from your family, friends and your home country – it seems like a lot of time. And you should be 100% sure that you are happy with the place where you will live and study. Westminster Business School is definitely one of those places and I can’t imagine being anywhere else than here. It’s perfect!
Where would you like to be in five years time?
After I finish my Master’s I would like to get a good job in international affairs with an international corporation, and I would like to work for one or two years to get experience. Afterwards I will return to my family business and expand it. Now as I study IBM my plan is to start exporting – especially as India is one of leading producers of rice. My grandfather and father worked really hard for our company to be what it is today. Also, the fact that I am here in London is thanks to them and I will do my share too! So that’s my goal for the next few years.
If you could describe your Westminster experience in one word, what would it be?