Student experiences - Nigeria

Bashirat Oluwafunmi Alabi - MSc Management

Funmi AlbaiMy decision to enrol into the University of Bristol is to date the most crucial decision I have made regarding my future. Following my decision to embark on a post-graduate degree after close to two years in the corporate world; my main focal points in determining my choice of university was the reputation of the school and comprehensiveness of my intended course ‘Management’. Based in part on my research, soaring recommendations from my friends and alumni of Bristol I swiftly decided the University of Bristol encompassed all I needed in a university.

Without a doubt my decision has proven to be the right one as the school provides an academic environment that challenges its students in a rewarding way. The schools dedication to academic excellence and diversity are important ingredients for a comprehensive learning experience. The rich student and faculty body have broadened my spectrum on managing different types of issues. As a result, I am able to share views and ideas in the interactive classroom environment. I am continuously fascinated and challenged by the opportunity I have been given to learn from the best teams at Bristol.

An added advantage is the university’s proximity to the city center, shopping malls, cinema and museums which is where I spend most of my leisure time. In addition both the university and the city have rich cultural and historical heritage allowing me to immerse myself in various cultural legacies and engage in the annals of history.

Upon completion of my MSC program in Management at Bristol, I hope to have acquired as much management, organisational and financial skills as possible. Thereafter, I intend to establish a Management Training Institute in Nigeria. This Institute will serve as a means of disseminating knowledge and expertise in a manner that will positively impact the development of Nigerian professionals as they aspire to become leaders of tomorrow. The University of Bristol’s academic curriculum focuses on courses that provide a comprehensive grasp on management issues which will be critical and relevant to my objective. In addition, it provides a suitable environment for me to enhance my social and interpersonal skills in both my professional and personal life.

Babatomiwa Adesida - PG Dip Public Policy

Babatomiwa AdesidaPublic policy is in much evidence in Nigeria from where Babatomiwa hails and there is much that is well meant but, he felt, the implementation of much of it was poor or indeed, non-existent. With this in mind Babatomiwa applied to study the postgraduate diploma in Public Policy hoping to gain an internationally acclaimed qualification to enable him to return home to “do his bit” to help his country by improving the implementation of public policy and thus improve the domestic situation experienced by his countrymen.

Babatomiwa chose the UK for his studies as, to his mind, it has the reputation of being the best education in the world. A childhood friend who had already completed his own studies there recommended the University of Bristol and Babatomiwa’s own research showed a world-class reputation for Public Policy, confirmed by the University and also by independent means.  “It was one of the top programmes in one of the top education systems in the world”

Winning a Postgraduate Scholarship has meant that he has been able to focus much more on his studies without needing to work part-time too much, and at a university where hard study is a must this has meant a great deal to him. The chance of winning the scholarship did not sway his decision to study at Bristol rather than another UK university, as he was determined to study at what he considered the number one university for his subject, but it was an added bonus for him.

Now that Babatomiwa has commenced his studies he has been struck by just how hard he has had to work to meet the required standards of the department but was pleased, and remains so, by the overwhelming friendliness of the both the university staff and the local residents of Bristol. Due to certain circumstances Babatomiwa was unable to start his studies until two weeks after the commencement of the programme and he was required to catch up. A tall order, but a challenge he rose to, with the help and support of many of the staff, including the head of the department.  “One thing that really strikes you is the helpful and approachable nature of the teaching staff”

Asked to give his advice to fellow Nigerians considering the University of Bristol Babatomiwa was quick to stress:  “Hard, hard work. You need to be focused and very diligent. Just get your head down and focus on your goal. Good grades are important, but not as important as a clear and obvious passion for your subject”

His delayed arrival has meant that Babatomiwa has not really had time to get involved with the many societies and clubs that are available at Bristol, but now that he has caught up with his programme he is keen to follow his skill and passion for swimming and also he wishes to study French in the new semester.

Babatomiwa has made many friends in Bristol and visits them regularly but his favourite part of Bristol is the city centre where he enjoys the lively nature of the recently developed waterfront area. “It is never dull and there is always something interesting to see”

His accommodation reflects the international nature of the university: he shares a flat with students from Japan, China and Italy. This means interesting accents, viewpoints and not least cooking, which he really enjoys.

Babatowima is very proud to have made it to the University of Bristol, a sense of pride shared by his lecturers back at his old university who have encouraged him to make the most of his time here…something Babatowima is determined to do.

Ntese Olivia Anwana - MSc Economics, Finance and Management Ntese Olivia Anwana

I came across the University of Bristol when browsing online for a good school to do my postgraduate studies in. It was among the top ten universities in the UK, had strong ratings in Economics, the department I was interested in, and the city itself sounded like a lovely place. When I arrived in Bristol, I wasn’t disappointed. It’s a beautiful city, big enough to have all the attractions of a big city without being congested, and yet small enough that it feels homely.

My course so far has had its interesting bits, as well as the challenging ones. I particularly enjoy the way we integrate what we study with what’s happening in the real world, making what we study very interesting, practical and enjoyable. Some courses can be tough though, meaning one needs to work quite hard to do well, but the lecturers and tutors are available for extra help however. Overall, studying this course has enhanced my analytical skills and understanding of certain key issues we face in the world today, and with the blend of courses I have studied…from development economics to strategic management, I feel like I have the best of many worlds.

The staff are very friendly and helpful. I discovered this when my arrival date was delayed a bit, and I was able to get all the necessary support I needed even when I was still in my home country, and that made it a bit easier to settle in when I arrived.

The university is within the city centre, and everything I need is just a walk away from where I stay, which is a great plus. There are a great many places to see…the Clifton Suspension bridge, the harbour side, some very beautiful gardens, when all you want to do is just relax and “enjoy the view”, and of course, all the beautiful artistic graffiti in the city centre.

Away from academics, there is so much else to do. I signed up for a charity fund-raising event “Love running” where we raise funds to support several projects in developing countries, and also take part in the Bristol 10k, a ten kilometre race across Bristol. In summary, we “get fit, get friends and change the world!” All of this contributes to making my overall experience in Bristol a great one, and one I’ve really enjoyed so far!

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