Meet Michael! Currently in his Senior year, in this blog post, Michael reflects on his studies and experience abroad.
Hi my name is Michael Mitchell and I’m from DeKalb, Illinois in the United States.
I am currently a Senior studying at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and I am pursuing a double major in Supply Chain Management and Marketing. I chose these fields of study because in supply chain, learning about the breadth of an entire business is incredibly important. As globalization continues to impact business, supply chain becomes that much more critical. The world is becoming more interconnected and with the ability to communicate across cultures, regions, time zones, and people, I believed that traveling and gaining an international experience would compliment my studies. I chose Marketing because I enjoy the creative side of business and half of business is successfully connecting to a consumer. I chose to take a course at the University of Westminster called “The Power of Brands” which highlighted the evolution of brands in our society, the psychology behind consumers’ decisions, and using your personal identity to connect with people. This class re-emphasized my decision to earn a degree in Marketing as well.
I chose to study in London because of the academic rigor of my program and the opportunity to expand my horizons in the United Kingdom. I knew that London was always on my radar in terms of places I wanted to travel to when I got older so when the opportunity came to my attention, I thought: “why not travel there now?”. The University of Westminster is an exceptional polytechnic university right in the heart of central London which was the perfect environment to explore the beautiful city. I had never been outside of the U.S. prior to applying to study in London so I knew that I would be challenging myself in a global environment. My ability to communicate, navigate a new city, adapt very quickly to new academic teaching styles, and be away from family and friends were all challenges that I was ready to take head on.
Applying to study in London was a very long process, but incredibly rewarding once I was accepted into my program. I felt supported by program managers from start to finish which heightened my excitement of traveling to a new continent. I was able to virtually meet some students in my program prior to arriving which grew my anticipation, excitement of my trip, and also eased some tension about going to London not knowing any other students. The process I had to follow when applying to London was filled with a couple essays and an interview. It was a bit intimidating applying to a prestigious program, and it may seem like a lot of work, but that’s the point of life: putting in the hard work now so that you can reap the benefits of your labor later.
“My advice when applying is to stay true to who you are, what your passions and goals are, and how London can help you get to where you would like to go”.
When I arrived in London, England was making a run in the World Cup. The day we landed, England was in the Quarterfinals and you could hear the screaming of fans across all of London reverberating throughout the entire city. As a sports fan, this was truly an awesome experience. Pubs were filled, flags were being flown everywhere, and people were filled with so much pride.
I really enjoyed my time at the University of Westminster.
In my module there were 20-25 students and 8 different countries were represented in my module. It was awesome to be in such a culturally diverse environment. Our professor confirmed the value of this cultural richness and had us working in groups the majority of time. It was her philosophy that we travelled from all over the world to learn from each other, not just learn from a textbook. I greatly appreciated this approach. My module was “The Power of Brands” and our Professor took us to the Brands Museum so we were able to see the evolution of hundreds of brands, many of which are household brands that I’m sure many of us have in our home right now. Getting out the classroom and seeing the application of our studies was amazing! P.S., I still keep in contact with some of my university friends to this day!
Want to hear more about how Michael’s study abroad experience in London impacted his next steps? Look out for Part II of his reflections soon!
Latest posts by Hannah Clark (see all)
- How studying abroad in London impacted my next steps: Part II - April 22, 2021
- Reflections on my time studying abroad in London: Part I - April 15, 2021
- Looking back at my study abroad experience and its impact on my future - March 2, 2021