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The Strathclyde MBA: more than an education

By Camila Zrein - Posted on 18 April 2019

Going overseas to study can be a big decision. Here American student Camila Zrein explains why she loves Scotland and the Strathclyde MBA.

Before joining Strathclyde Business School I worked at a healthcare/social justice non-profit based in Boston. I spent four years learning, growing and exploring there, growing from admin to associate to operations manager. In my final year there, I realised that I had gained enormous amounts of soft skills but lacked the hard skills that would allow me to grow into the managerial professional that I desired to be. That’s when I decided I wanted to go ‘back to school’ and gain an MBA.

I knew I wanted to study outside the USA and I’d narrowed my search to the UK. It was important to me that I study in a country with my native language but could still gain an international perspective on the business world. I’ve visited Scotland a few times over the past couple of years and always loved it.

It was during a trip to the Highlands when I decided I wanted to go to school in Scotland. I chose Strathclyde for a number of reasons:

  • Throughout the entire application process, I felt that I was more than just a number. The response rate was quick, people answered my questions and wanted to know me as a candidate. This stood out to me – in choosing a school for my MBA, I was making a massive investment and I wanted to study somewhere that also viewed me as an investment as well.
  • I was very attracted to how international the programme is. For me, this was a chance to learn and study with people from all over the world and the Strathclyde MBA promoted more than others how many countries it drew its students from.
  • I was excited about how well-rounded and practical the course structure is. I felt that I was getting a broad scope of all aspects of business versus going deep into one area which is what I was looking for. I also wanted to take a course that gave me the practical and applicable skills that I could use, which Strathclyde’s programme highlighted as well.

The programme so far has been satisfyingly challenging. I believe I have learned something new every single day. Whether through classes or just working with my peers I am constantly being pushed to grow and become the professional that I want to be. What I have enjoyed most is getting to know people from all over the world with completely different backgrounds, skills, trades and so on and being thrown together in an environment that is new for all of us.

Group work has been almost more important and beneficial than coursework. Within our groups, we subconsciously practice the management, coaching and leading theories that we’re being taught in class. We’re being pushed to learn how to best communicate with others in stressful environments. In a way, it’s as if we’re allowed this year in a bubble to test out the different things we have learned with each other which is an invaluable experience. It’s truly special to get to spend a year focusing on your own growth and learning with like-minded, intelligent, and hard-working individuals who want to see you succeed. While group work can have its hard moments – just as it can in the workplace – we’ve become a community, linked together by an experience of being on the Strathclyde MBA.

From day one, I could feel myself changing. The courses have provided me with a broad and wide sense of what it takes to be a successful manager. Working in groups for assessment has pushed me out of my comfort zone in the best way. I’m personally interested in a career in people management. I was elected class representative early in the year and this opportunity has probably been my greatest learning tool. In that space, I can mentor, coach, problem-solve and learn with my colleagues. It has been a way for me to apply my learning from the classroom in the day-to-day and practice what I hope will be part of my future.

I love living in Glasgow. I think it’s a city with a lot of soul, heart and happiness. It’s a city that doesn’t have one face but brings many faces from many places. It’s a city that is alive with energy. I’ve loved exploring the city and going to university right in the city centre. More generally, I love living in Scotland, it’s a very special country with a lot of history and culture. One of the cool things about living in Glasgow is that you’re very much in the centre of a city with nightlife, museums and restaurants but only 30-40 minutes outside the city you’re already entering the Highlands which is the most beautiful part of the country. Another hour north and you’re in a whole new world. It’s the best of both – being close to nature but in the centre of experiencing city life.

My advice to anyone coming here is to come with an open mind, open heart and tolerant attitude. To be successful on the programme it’s essential to be willing to adapt your style and way of working to fit the needs of your team, to be okay with feeling uncomfortable and to embrace the changes and challenges in front of you. This programme is not just about coming to school, going to classes and gaining a degree. This course is an experience. It is a journey and a lesson that goes far beyond the walls of the lecture hall.

Click here to find out more about the Strathclyde MBA.



Contact details

 Undergraduate admissions
 +44 (0)141 548 4114
 sbs-adviser@strath.ac.uk 

 Postgraduate admissions
 +44(0)141 553 6118 / 6119
 sbs.admissions@strath.ac.uk

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Strathclyde Business School
University of Strathclyde
199 Cathedral Street
Glasgow
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