Student View - Why Business?
Hi, my name is Shamaila and I am a first-year student at the University of Manchester, currently studying International Business, Finance and Economics (IBFE). I chose this degree course after having studied A-level Economics and Business Studies in college and fell in love with the subjects, so much so that I decided to study it further at university. Luckily for me, I knew that I always wanted to go to university but the hard part was deciding which one was the right one for me.
Choosing a University
To anyone that is considering university and being bombarded by information, I highly recommend attending as many open days and fairs (even if they’re virtual) as possible. I'm pretty sure I attended at least half a dozen open days before choosing Manchester. When it comes to picking a university, whether they offer a degree programme that you are interested in, is very important, but just as important is whether you can envision yourself there. The environment, the people, the culture of that campus has got to excite you and make you feel welcomed. I remember quite vividly my open day for the University of Manchester because I was running very, very late (if you know me in person, you’d know that I hate being late) and so by the time I got onto campus, I was wandering around aimlessly, but I remember thinking how stunning the campus was and I felt genuinely comfortable. Normally, I would find it quite daunting being in a new environment especially somewhere like a busy campus but seeing the AMBS building, the Main Library and the SU building (where I spend 70% of my time now), on my campus tour I could see myself here.
Why I Chose Business
I chose my degree course as I was interested in the business sector, but I didn't have a dream job that I could aspire towards. This led me to choose IBFE, as it enabled me to cover a range of content. I was able to continue studying business and economics and gain a whole new set of skills in finance. For a lot of people, including myself at one point, if you studied a business- based degree, it was because you wanted to start your own business. But I quickly realised that there is so much more to the business sector. Often the words, finance, business and economics are used interchangeably which is understandable as there is some crossover between the three subjects, but they are also completely separate from each other. In my economic modules, we assess ever-changing economic contexts and debate different theories. In my finance modules, we produce and analyse financial reports, with the mindset of maximising shareholder profits as accountants whereas in business we aim to view the company with a more board stakeholder outlook and study various topics, such as corporate social responsibility.
Another feature of my degree programme is that it offers an industrial placement year, which basically means I am able to work in a company that I am interested in, during my 3rd year. This is something that I am very excited about, as even though the content we have learnt in class is important, I think being able to apply that knowledge and see the mechanisms of the real world and how companies operate is more important. Currently, I am aspiring to go into the accounting sector and work my way up to becoming a chartered accountant. This is something that I had never even considered before, with no previous background in accounting but I realised through some of the modules I have taken this year, such as Financial Reporting and Financial Decision Making, I really enjoy creating and analysing business reports. As a result, I am currently applying for internships at firms such as Deloitte, Grant Thornton, KPMG, and EY.
To anyone right now, that is struggling to find a career that interests them, my advice would be to not panic. A lot of people do degrees in subjects that they know they like and are good at, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they have to go into that field. Especially now more than ever with the amount of information available on the internet it is much easier to develop a wide range of skills that are suitable for a variety of jobs rather than just focusing on one career pathway.
If you are interested in anything that I have talked about, below are some links for further information:
- IBFE at Manchester: https://www.manchester.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/courses/2020/09224/bsc-international-business-finance-and-economics/course-details/
- Open Days at Manchester: https://www.manchester.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/open-days-visits/open-days/
- Placement Years: https://www.alliancembs.manchester.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/your-career/work-placements/