MBA graduate Abha Gautam tells us about her experience studying and living in Preston

MBA (Master of Business Administration) with Professional Placement

Alongside the size of the campus and its proximity to Preston City Centre, it was the opportunity to complete a Professional Placement as a part of her course that attracted Abha to study at UCLan. After some initial homesickness, Abha has only positive things to say about her experience at the University and will leave with lifelong memories, friends and not only a Masters degree but professional experience to boost her CV and job prospects too!

"My first thoughts as I explored UCLan was how impressed I was with the huge campus and how close the city centre is. Everything is nearby and easily accessible, enabling me to settle in quickly. When I first arrived I felt very homesick, but after seeing what the University had to offer during Welcome Week, I soon began to feel more at home. I learnt something new about UCLan every day and soon began to realise that I had made the right choice by coming here and to the UK.

Abha Gautam
Abha Gautam

I feel very safe on campus and around Preston in general; much more than I did in India. It is comforting knowing that UCLan has a 24 hour Security Team who are based in the middle of campus and that the library offers the Free Late Bus service to ensure students who are studying until late in the library can get home safely.

When I first arrived in Preston, I was the first student to arrive in my accommodation. The following day I was upset and lonely, but I happened to meet a member of the Security Team out on campus. They were so lovely and stopped what they were doing to give me a tour and to show me where I could meet new friends.

I chose to stay in university accommodation during my first year due to its location. The majority of university owned halls of residence are within a 5-10 minute walk from most academic buildings. They are also not too far from the local shops, so this has made it very easy when I need or want to go shopping. 

As an international student it is important to go out and meet new people. Do not be tempted to stay home alone in your flat, especially during Welcome Week! Make sure you go out and interact with the Welcome Team and other new students - the university experience is all about interaction and once you begin to interact more and meet new people, you will begin to feel more at home.

Looking back on my time at UCLan I can say I have enjoyed the whole journey and have really benefited from the support that has been available to me. Being an international student you are away from your family for long periods, so it is very important not to become isolated. My Course Leader Dorota Marsh has been supportive and has been able to guide me to the appropriate support service when needed, such as WISER and Health and Wellbeing. I feel she has a genuine interest in my wellbeing, in addition to my studies. She is so caring and I am very inspired by her. Every statement from Dorota has changed my mind-set and encouraged me a lot.

I chose to study at UCLan because of the professional placement available within my course. To enable me to get the most out of my MBA, having the opportunity to complete a professional placement was an extremely important factor when it came to choosing the right university for me. Studying at a university that enabled me to gain international exposure by providing me with a professional placement was one of the main reasons that I chose to study at UCLan.

Whilst completing my placement I have developed many transferable skills that will benefit my future career. I have been encouraged to reflect daily on what I have learnt and how I can develop this further. Having the opportunity to gain this experience has enabled me to become more confident in myself and more familiar with the UK marketing sector. I have also been given the opportunity to manage my own projects whilst on placement, which has definitely contributed towards my own professional development and future career prospects".