Hi Anuj, can you tell us something about yourself?
My name is Anuj and I am from India. I like travelling and I have visited several countries before but this is the first time I have gone away from my country for study and it is my first time in Europe. It is a big challenge for me.
Why did you decide to study International Business and Management MA at Westminster Business School?
A few of my friends have already studied here and one of them even took the same course. My friend gave me very positive feedback on the University of Westminster and she was very happy with her experience. When I was applying I also heard about other universities in London but the location of this campus was what decided it for me. It is so centrally located and close to many interesting places. Also, Marylebone is a new campus, and the size of it is amazing! I thought that this campus would consist of 2 or 3 small buildings but it is actually one and it is so huge! When you enter the campus the first thing you see is this huge open space – it is amazing! I also like the Hogg Lecture Theatre.
I chose the International Business Management MA course because I can relate it to my family business. We have a business in the textile industry and it has been around for seven generations! Our business started in my native place with a small cloth shop and expanded so that now we even have factories. We produce clothing like casual and formal shirts, trousers, blazers, suits and tuxedos. The company is medium sized and is growing, with each family member in charge of a different segment. When I come back to India I would like to help in growing the business and find my niche.
What have been your highlights?
I really like the course in general! When I first joined Westminster Business School I did not expect to enjoy my course this much, to be honest. I think it was because at first, I was not sure how the modules on the course could be useful to me, for example, economics. I did not like this subject too much but our lecturer is very good at explaining how it relates to businesses and I even bought the course book and decided to study as I wanted to do well in it. I think my Master’s will help me understand and promote our business. I’m very interested in the marketing module and I want to learn from it how to put the right message across to help promote our company. Comparing this course to my undergraduate degree which I completed back in India I think that we learn everything in so much detail. The Indian system also doesn’t have a practical dimension – and here we do practical things on a daily basis. This way I learn much quicker and understand all concepts and their application better.
I am very pleased with our international trip to Brussels, especially as it helped me make friends on the course. Normally, outside of my classes, I hang around with my Indian friends who are not from the same University. The trip helped me to interact with others on the course, get to know them and gel with them.
What have been the biggest challenges over this year?
I think the hardest part is being away from my family. For example, last Diwali was the first time I was by myself, away from my family and friends who were celebrating together at home. On that day we were actually on the way to Brussels with the rest of the people from my course and it was very emotional. I missed my family a lot. My friends posted photos and videos of fireworks, celebrating together and eating Indian food. Even my Indian friends in London got together and spent this evening celebrating. But in Belgium, it wasn’t the same as there was nothing about Diwali.
Where would you like to be in five years’ time?
As I said I am planning to grow our clothing business and I think about it very seriously. At the moment we are a small brand, selling in small towns. This way we feel we can reach more people because in India many people cannot afford big, expensive brands. We do not sell in metropolitan cities but I would like people to hear about our company. Here in London, I have been to the London Textile Fair – I was looking at the type of fabric they sell in Europe and in the UK and made some contacts. I hope they will be useful as I’m thinking about building some business relationships. Also in February, there is another Textile Fair that takes place in Paris and I am planning to go there also. I have many ideas for my business but it is a tough thing – there are thousands of brands who have the same concept – high quality and low cost. So, what I already learned on the course is that we have to find a gap in the market, and I think that we might have to extend into making ladies’ clothes – they buy three times the amount of fabric gentlemen buy.
What advice would you give anyone who is about to start a Master’s degree at Westminster Business School?
If you have a business or are considering setting up your business this course is definitely very useful. I can recommend to choose it over any other courses or universities because I can tell you first-hand that the skills you will learn will help you grow your business, expand it or make it international. This is what I want to say. And that’s the reason I took this course.
If there was one word to describe your time at the University of Westminster, what would it be?