4 things I wish I knew as a first year business student

Reflecting back at my first year as a student at the Business School I was full of excitement, but I also felt a bit insecure during the first couple of weeks. Going to university was a big deal for me and I am the first generation from my family to attend. However, I soon overcame my fears and enjoyed my experience to the fullest. I have finished my course now and there are couple of things I wish I’d known from the start. So, I’m passing some of my tips on to you and I’m hoping you’ll find them useful. 

Let’s get to it!

Engage in class discussions 

I’m not sure how lectures are structured in other courses, but business courses tend to have a lot of class discussion incorporated into each lecture. These are usually prompted by the lecturer and allow you to explore different outcomes of hypothetical or ‘model’ situations that are presented to you in class. In my first year, I remember being scared to say something during class. I was afraid that I would say something that didn’t make sense and I would look silly. I realise now that there was absolutely nothing to be worried about and that many new students feel like that.

During my time at university I learned that sharing my opinion with my classmates and being open to opinions of others actually enhanced my learning. It also allowed me to get into the discussed topic while understanding the issues on a deeper level. Moreover, I learned that during class discussions no answer is wrong as long as you can explain and argue your point of view. This still applies in online learning, you might be put into ‘breakout rooms’ in order to have a discussion or asked to virtually raise your hand, it’s totally worth doing and you’ll get more out of the class!

Follow your curiosity and ask questions

Same as with the example above, don’t be afraid to raise your voice and ask questions. You’ll find out that lecturers at our Business School are actually really friendly and are always willing to help. From the very beginning of my course, most of my lecturers made me feel very welcomed and encouraged every student to ask as many questions as possible. 

Choose optional modules that align with your career plan

As obvious as this sounds, not everyone knows what their plan is after university – and that is absolutely fine. If this is your case, I would recommend trying to find your passion thorough variety of modules. For example, even though I studied marketing and advertising, I chose a Project Management module in Year 2. I started this module with zero expectations and left pleasantly surprised and curious to find more about project management in real life. As I found myself, choosing diverse modules allows you to explore areas that you might be interested in (workwise) in the future. 

On the other hand, for those who came to university already with a career in mind – make sure to choose modules that align with your career plan. UOW Business School offers a diverse portfolio of modules which allows you to choose those that you can benefit from the most.  

Check your assignment ideas with your lecturers before submission

This is probably the most useful tip and it took me ages to find this out! Even though lecturers are not allowed to read your work before submission, they are allowed to discuss your assignment ideas / strategy / plan. Meaning you won’t present your lecturer with a full assignment and ask him or her to double check it for you. Instead you can plan your assignment ahead and before you start working on it, you can consult your lecturer with some of your ideas and get feedback. Also, even though this sounds great – don’t push it. If you try to spill your whole assignment to your lecturer, he or she will stop you. I’d use this only if you are not sure about a particular part of the assignment – not for your whole work! 

That’s it for today. I hope you will make some use of these tips and you’ll enjoy your university experience at University of Worcester! 🙂

Claudia  xx