Javier Vazquez

BA International Business

From: Spain

Year in Industry Placement: Alder Hey Children's Hospital

Why did you choose to study at the University of Liverpool Management School?

I decided to study in the UK as International Business is not taught in Spain. Through UCAS I researched which Universities offered this degree, their entry requirements and the course details.  I couldn’t attend an Open Day due to living in Spain but the University of Liverpool was particularly helpful and answered my all questions by phone or email.  

As well as being ranked amongst the top business schools, what also attracted me was ULMS’ focus on developing students’ real business skills.   In addition to being able to spend a Year in Industry, courses here cover practical applications of the theories taught, using real world examples. 

Why did you choose your course?

I chose International business because I felt it was the best way of understanding how the world works.  International Business allows me to apply business theories from a broad range of academic fields such as management, finance or marketing to current issues. We live in an increasingly global and connected world, so for me it’s important to understand business in an international context.

What skills have you developed?

I have not stopped learning and gaining valuable skills such as team working, information analysis and time management. However, the most significant development is how moving to Liverpool and studying at the Management School has made me a much more independent and self-reliant person.  We are provided with all the necessary help and resources to do our own research and work, and are expected to learn outside of lectures and draw our own conclusions.

How have you handled any of the challenges of University?

My first few months of study here were difficult as it was my first time studying in a different learning environment and in a different language.  I found support, with free English sessions provided by the University, and also for the modules I was struggling with. After working hard, and with this help, I passed my first year. Now, I have returned to my final year of studies after completing a year industry and I am on track to obtain a first class degree!

How have you found the learning experience to be?

When I first arrived everything was new for me so I learnt a lot very quickly, including what University life is like and also about British, and Liverpudlian, culture. After that initial period the learning process became more specific and academic. I started to understand those factors that affect international business and now, in my final year, I’m truly developing the knowledge and skills that will make a difference in the future.  

How did you source your placement?

I found my own placement with support from the Careers team at University, where placements are advertised and you can get help writing your CV or preparing for an interview. It’s important to learn how to research and apply for placement schemes, how to deal with rejection, and how to learn from setbacks.  

What do you feel has been the most rewarding element of your placement?

I undertook my placement at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital. During my 12 months there it was really rewarding to know that my efforts were contributing to providing the best possible health care and patient experience to children, young adults and their families. I found my placement year to be more challenging than my previous two years at University but it was also more rewarding and I was proud of being part of such an amazing and important organisation.

How has your placement prepared you for work after university?

Spending a year in industry has made me much more confident. I was based in the marketing and internal communication department of a hospital, which was a sector I had no experience in, but it made me realise that now I have the self-confidence to apply for a job in any sector in any environment.

What advice would you give to someone thinking of taking a year in industry?

Do it!  The entire Year in Industry process teaches you invaluable skills, such as learning to be organised and manage your time combining university studies with job applications, learning to deal with rejection, using feedback to apply again, or dealing with the nerves of a job interview. When you start your placement you will be doing real work, with real responsibilities, from day one. What better way of testing the knowledge and skills developed in your first and second year?

What have you enjoyed most about your student experience?

I’ve met a great variety of people, all with different things to tell.  All the lecturers have professional experience in their field, and there are students from all over the world with different opinions, experiences and goals. Studying International Business has not only provided me with relevant knowledge and skills, but it has also been a great opportunity to develop lasting relationships.   

What clubs and societies are you involved in?

I joined the athletics and cross country team as well as the entrepreneurs network society. I would recommend being proactive and getting involved in something you genuinely enjoy:  through societies I have met some of my best friends, travelled all over the UK competing, and found a way of de-stressing after long days of revision.  

What do you get up to when you are not studying?

I’m currently taking part in a research project which uses marketing and communications skills to improve mental health care services in the UK. This project is a great opportunity to apply the knowledge that I have developed during my degree and placement year.  I also spend a lot of time training and competing with the Athletics Team, socialising with my friends and exploring Liverpool.

What have you enjoyed about living in Liverpool?

Liverpool is one of the friendliest cities I have ever been. There is a real cosmopolitan atmosphere, with a diverse population, yet it maintains its own culture. Whether your passion is sport, music or going out this is an ideal place.  Having now spent three years here it really is my second home.