Aston Business School graduate, Jack Whittaker studied BSc (Hons) International Business and Management at Aston University progressing on to the MSc International Business course following completing his undergraduate degree. Jack details his experience of studying at Aston University below.
Why did you choose Aston University?
I chose to study at Aston University for a number of different reasons. Primarily, I was looking for the opportunity to broaden my experiences by living and working in another country as part of my university education. Aston University’s proven track record of helping students to obtain high-quality work placements across the world was certainly a factor in choosing to study at Aston University. Secondly, it was evident that Aston Business School places a particular emphasis on employability and that my course was constructed around ensuring that I would be well prepared for a career after my graduation.
What did you enjoy about your undergraduate course?
I particularly enjoyed the sheer number of modules available to me and the different ways in which they are assessed so that I could adapt the course to suit my own interests and develop specialisms. I also liked how supportive the lecturers were so that if I was ever struggling with some of the content, I could go to their office and I’d usually walk out 30 minutes later with some great advice!
Why did you choose to stay and do your masters with Aston University?
I chose to stay and do my masters degree at Aston University because I felt like whilst I had developed a solid foundational understanding of my subject, I really wanted to develop that knowledge further. At this point, I also started to take an interest in exploring a career in academia meaning that this was the next logical step for me. There was also a specific module that I had particularly enjoyed during my undergraduate study and I was keen to write my dissertation on a related area so having staff members at the University with that particular research interest was important to me.
What is special about Aston University?
Aston University is special because it is a smaller university and as such, there is always support available to you. One particular memory springs to mind which is that before starting to apply for industry placements, a staff member in the Careers and Placements team provided me with fantastic support by helping me to rewrite my CV which resulted in me obtaining a high-quality placement. The small size of the University also means that its really easy to meet people and make friends with students both on your course and also in different departments which certainly helped me to become a more rounded individual.
Were you a member of any clubs/societies?
I was chair of the Investment and Trading Society. I had a great time in this role because I was able to attract high-quality corporate sponsors to the society, run exciting events for the members, and organise a really interesting day out to an investment conference in London.
What did you like about living in Birmingham?
I really liked living in Birmingham because it is such a cultural and vibrant city. One memory that springs to mind was going to experience the Chinese New Year celebrations in Chinatown with a friend which was unlike anything I’d seen before and probably one of my best memories of living there. There are also lots of interesting bars and restaurants tucked away such as in the Mailbox which was quite impressive to see when I first moved to the city.
What are your career ambitions for the future?
After leaving Aston University, I was given the opportunity to pursue a funded PhD at the University of Surrey. My current ambition is, therefore, to pursue a career in academic research although one thing that I’ve learnt from my time at Aston University is that lots of unexpected opportunities will appear so I like to keep an open mind.
What advice would you give to a current Aston undergraduate student thinking about studying for a masters with Aston University?
My advice to any Aston University undergraduate considering a masters at the university is that if you wish to build on the knowledge and experiences that you’ve gained so far, definitely do it. The masters students during my time there looked after each other to the point where it feels like a family and I’m very glad that I made the decision to stay at Aston University. My colleagues from the course have also gone on to become successful young professionals which in itself speaks volumes of the quality that an Aston masters degree adds to your career and personal development.