Meline Gueguen

France, MSc International Business Management and Finance

“The best advice I would give to anyone starting university: go out of your comfort zone. Try to do things that you do not usually do. It will help you learn, meet people, and ease you into doing more challenging things in the future.”

When you were considering your next steps and universities, what made you choose the UK and also what made you choose Oxford Brooks specifically?

I have always wanted to live and study abroad. I thought the UK would be the best compromise as it remains in Europe geographically and culturally, it is an important economy in the world, and it is not too far from France and my family.

During my last year of French Baccalaureate (A levels equivalent in France), I started to look for universities and I found Brookes that appeared to be very innovative, modern, and vibrant. The Bachelor in Business Management and Marketing really appealed to me, so I applied and got conditionally accepted.

I wanted to do a Master’s degree after my Bachelor to be able to be a competitive candidate regarding Graduate Programmes. I decided to stay at Brookes as I had an amazing experience and as they were offering a MSc that remained broad, but with a focus on Finance as I missed doing mathematics! (MSc International Business Management & Finance).

In terms of the path you've taken with the Business-focused courses, do you have a career in mind? Or how do you feel that may be beneficial for the future?

I mainly chose to take Finance as a master's degree because I wanted to work in consulting. I think taking finance as a Master’s is really good if you want to work in that specific area of business.

What do you enjoy the most about your course?

I would say the content and the practicality of my course, because as compared to my undergraduate, I feel like I'm learning so much more now in my master's degree, especially around financial skills and management. It's very challenging, but also really interesting because I'm learning a lot and I can definitely say that I'm going to be able to apply it in the corporate world after I graduate. The teaching team is also incredibly talented and they provide so much value to the course. The professors are patient, they answer any query we have, and they take the time for their students.

How would you say your English language has improved?

As I am 100% French, I was not helped at all by my family or anything likewise. I always loved English and it used to be my favourite subject at school. Watching a lot of series and tv shows helped me improve my English level as well, until coming to the UK where I learnt the most.

How would you say the teaching style in the UK compares to in France?

It is quite similar, maybe except for the fact that there are more seminars and workshop sessions in France. In France, students have more hours of classes, but are required to provide less autonomous hours.

Have you done a work placement?

Yes, I did a placement in Paris when I was doing my undergraduate between my second and third year of university. I was in a consulting firm working as a Business Development Representative. My placement tutor made sure everything was going alright and she helped me speak out more to my managers to help me evolve in my role within the company. She was extremely nice and she always supported me so much throughout the entire placement. It was the best experience ever, I learnt so much about consulting, sales development, management, and about the corporate environment in general.

When I came back to Brookes for my final year, I received the Outstanding Placement Student Award by the Dean of Oxford Brookes Business School. It was very rewarding as I put so much effort in my placement. Through perseverance, discipline, and performance, I got rewarded. It was the best experience!

And are you involved in any clubs or societies at Brookes?

I was the President of the French Society for two years, for which I managed a small team. We organised social events to foster connections between students. I know that a lot of people met their friends through events I organised, which was highly rewarding. I think it is very interesting for students to engage in societies, it helps them feel more engaged, and I truly believe it is highly important for the overall student experience.

What do you like the most about Oxford as a city to live in?

Oxford is a very vibrant city. It is not a big city, but there is always something going on and things to do. What I love the most about Oxford is probably the extraordinary historical architecture. I think that is what makes Oxford, Oxford. I also love Brookes' buildings here, that are state of the art premises with modern and fully equipped co-working spaces.

And have you visited anywhere outside of Oxford at all?

Yes, I went to cities like Bristol, Cheltenham, Birmingham, Exeter. They are all really nice and typically British. Of course every student goes to London plenty of times during a year. I know that nice areas to visit are the mountains in the North or the coast in the South.

And where do you stay at the moment? Are you in university accommodation or private accommodation?

I am currently living with my best friend in a private accommodation.

But during my first three years at uni, I was in Brookes accommodations. I first started with Clive Booth, which is the best first year experience you can have. I then went to Beech House in Headington for 2 years, a nice and more modern place.

Do you have any advice for future international students who may be coming to Oxford Brookes?

Otherwise, engage in societies!! I think it is one of the most important things to do here because you're going to be able to meet people, make friends, do things you may not do alone otherwise, and experience specific types of events that are all part of a great university experience.

The best advice I would give to anyone starting university: go out of your comfort zone. Try to do things that you do not usually do, try to put yourself in a position where you may not know anyone or know what to do. It will help you learn things, meet people, and ease you into doing more challenging things in the future.

Do you have any plans or ideas of what you'd ultimately like to do? Once you graduate?

Working in consulting is the ultimate goal for me, as I really enjoy project management and I know it is an amazing way to learn a lot. In the longer-term, I would like to be an independent consultant to be able to work for clients I select for their values.

Do you think you’ll stay in the UK?

I will start working in London in September. It is usually the logical path that a lot of students here are taking. I am really looking forward to this exciting new experience in a dynamic capital, and one of the most important places in the world for business!

Thank you.