The course made me think much more broadly about a whole range of issues, not just the particular issue in a particular module. It actually taught me how to work systemically and efficiently, which is the most important element of a successful career.
Home country: Greece
“I believe this is the real benefit of a Masters. The knowledge is really secondary, the methodology of working is rather more essential and my studies at Aston really helped me in the way I prepared to tackle problems. It’s really a new attitude and approach that you have to learn.”
Sofia took her first degree in Maritime Studies at the University of Piraeus in Greece and then worked in a shipping management company in Greece before deciding that a higher degree was really what she wanted to increase her career opportunities and to give her a challenge. Having decided that an MSc in International Business was the right direction to follow, Sofia took a very considered view of which university she should study at. She wanted one that had a high ranking in her chosen subject and one, which would provide an enjoyable environment in which to spend a year away from home.
“I heard about Aston University from two important sources. The first was the rankings published in The Times newspaper, but I also had friends who had already studied at Aston and they gave some very good reports about the teaching and life of Birmingham.”
Birmingham gave Sofia a bit of a surprise when she first arrived. “The first impressions were pretty scary for me, but after a short time of living in the city I was really glad about my choice of Aston and Birmingham gave me the opportunity to do plenty of things. The walks around the city were very relaxing and, of course, I really enjoyed the shopping.”
Sofia, aged 24, also found the teaching methods in the UK different to those she had been used to, but the staff were extremely supportive in helping her to adjust. “They were friendly and supportive in every way. I really enjoyed the way of working in syndicate groups. That gave me the opportunity to meet people from different countries and to work and learn with students of many other nationalities.”
Sofia has fond memories of her year in Birmingham and still keeps in contact with the many friends she made on her course. She now works in the Safety & Quality Department of the tanker division of an important shipping company in Athens. “I would recommend the Aston MSc to anyone considering taking a Masters degree. I had a lovely time and really benefited from my studies and time at Aston.”
If you would like to read more MSc Alumni profiles, click here.