April 10, 2020, by International students
International Student Ambassadors: Sehla from Pakistan
Sehla is a Pakistani student who is studying MSc Supply Chain and Operations Management
Why did you choose the University of Nottingham?
When choosing a university for my Master’s degree, I had a few particulars that I wanted my university to meet. I have always wanted to study in a university which was amongst the world’s top 100 and a part of the Russell group of universities and UoN is all that and then some. My interest to study in the university also stems from having read quite a few papers by a senior faculty member of its Operations Management faculty, Dr Bart McCarthy in my Bachelor’s which drew me to the university even ore. The final straw in the hat was the welcome and help I received from the university’s admission team who were more than happy to answer every annoying little email I sent them and supported me throughout the admissions process so well that not even for a moment did I feel daunted by the fact that I was moving to a strange land and that I knew nothing about it.
What is your favourite thing about the University of Nottingham?
There are two things that are my absolute favourite about the university; its faculty and the campus. Having studied for almost two decades of my life, I have never had the privilege to be taught by faculty that is so deeply invested in its work and profession. The amount of effort that this university’s faculty puts into their work shows exactly why its amongst the top universities of the world. The faculty wants you to learn and they stop at nothing to make sure that when students leave the classroom, they leave with at least some new knowledge. The second is the university’s architecture. I come from Pakistan and because the country was ruled by the Britain for over two centuries, we have some gems of British architecture in the country which have always drawn me to the kind of campuses that UoN has. My perfect morning is sitting with a steaming cup of coffee, a brownie or croissant and a good book along the lake at the University Park campus with the gorgeous Trent building standing behind me, almost as if standing guard, and making me feel at home so far away from home.
What is the best thing about your course?
The course is as professional as it gets. It prepares you for the real world. Having come for my Master’s after a year of working, I can safely say that this degree prepares you for the corporate world as properly as it can. It arranges career growth seminars, talks with experts, employment help and all that one seeks from a wholesome Master’s program and provides it to you before you even know that you need it. In the past four months, I have met people from Rolls-Royce, from JCB, from Romax, and from McDonald’s, people I would never have been acquainted with back at home. The course teaches you the nuances of operations management and supply chain management in a way that is both educational as well as practical so that when we graduate, it doesn’t just churn out good students or employees, but informed and prepared individuals ready to take on the world no matter what it throws at them.
What do you like about Nottingham as a city?
I was just talking with some friends the other day and I mentioned that it is funny how home is the most tangible part of your life and how in just four months, Nottingham is more home to me than Pakistan. That is Nottingham for me. What I like most about it is its inclusivity. It welcomes you. It cares for you. I was very amazed and happy when we were allowed to vote in the recent elections despite having been in the country for less than a quarter of a year. I like the city’s rich history. Its castles, its river, its caves, and then I like the city’s modernity. I like how it balances the old with the new. I like how Zara operates from the building where the very first Boots Pharmacy was founded. Something old with something new. I like that. And for the sake of honesty, I love Nottingham’s night life. I come from a Muslim country where this is not a norm so this really attracts me to the city because it is an experience I had never had before this.
What is your experience of accommodation in Nottingham?
I live at Raleigh Park which is around 10 minutes from the Jubilee Campus. I am short, so make that 15 minutes. I love the accommodation. Just recently during exams week, the reception was loaded with energy bars, smoothies, water bottles, fruit and all kind of quick snacks to help students through the exam season. Who does that? No one. It’s clean, it’s well kept, the administration is friendly and it is affiliated with the university so they take care of you. They make you feel secure and at home. I have never lived away from home before this in my life and I am generally a very paranoid person but Raleigh Park is so secure, in fact all student accommodations affiliated with UoN are, that I have never, for a day, felt scared, be it early morning, mid-day of late at night.
What would be your top tips for a new international student starting at the University of Nottingham in their first year?
I would say;
Don’t be scared. The university will help you in every way you can fathom. Let them help you.
It can get lonely real fast so don’t close yourself off to new experiences. You have travelled far away from home, might as well leave old habits back there and come here with a go-getter attitude.
Study along the way. It’s fast and competitive so don’t be overwhelmed by the newness of the city and compromise on your studies. Put in effort along the way so you can enjoy your vacations without having the entire semester’s course to learn for the exams.
Get every experience you possibly can. This time is for your growth. As a student, as an individual, as a human being. Learn new things. See new things. Join societies, go to campus events, socialize.
Meet your student tutors. They WILL help you. If you have any problems with your studies or any problem that affect your studies, meet them , discuss it with them, and seek their help when need be.
Prepare to fall in love with the University of Nottingham!