A while ago Hana wrote a post on ‘Are the Humanity degrees worth it‘. I thought that today I would write a post on what a Business Management course is really like. Obviously, this is going to be a subjective post and differs between every person and university. However, I hope it may be helpful to those of you who are considering it as a degree or those of you who may already be on it and just want to get an idea of what may lay ahead.
Before I started University
Before I started University, I didn’t know what course I wanted to do. All I knew was that I wanted to go to University. I then decided to pick a general course that would get me a degree and open me up to many opportunities after Universities. That’s how I came to choose Business Management, even though I had never taken Business before, I thought it would be a good general degree to take. Even though I had read the course brochure and gone to the open days the department held at the University, I still was not to sure what to expect.
As a new University student, it can very nerve-wracking the first few weeks of First Year especially as you are trying to make new friends and settle into your accommodation. However, the most challenging part for me along with the homesickness was getting used to the 2-hour lectures. At my University, the lectures are 2-hours long and go through so much information that I was finding it hard to keep up and write notes.
The modules that I took in First Year included; Introduction to Finance and Accounting, Principles in Operations Management, Economic Principles for Business and Markets, Business Statistics, Fundamentals of Marketing, Consumer Behaviour, Organisations and Management and Placement Preparation Module.
As you can probably tell from the list above there are some pretty boring sounding modules, however, they were useful modules as these modules helped lay down the basics for me. Especially as I had not previously learnt Business before, most of these lectures were good introductions to the course. When you start the course, in the First Year you will probably take modules that will help bring everyone up to the same level of Business knowledge. If you have done Business before, you might find that you have already done lot’s of what you may be taught but you do begin to learn new things after a while.
My overview of Year 1 was that it was a good year to learn the basics of Business Management although there definitely were some boing modules such as Business Statistics and Economic Principles which dealt a lot with numbers and graphs. On the other hand, I enjoyed the Marketing modules where we had to create a brand and market it to our lecturers in groups. Whatever modules you end up taking you will probably end up taking modules in accounting, marketing, economics and operations which are all crucial parts of Businesses.
Year 2 was a big step up from Year 1. People had told me this throughout Year 1 but I never really understood how big the step up would be until Year 2 hit. Within the first few lectures, I had all my assessments
The modules I did in Year 2 were; Theory of the firm, International Business, Market Research, Business and Employment Law, Introduction to People Management, Fundraising Management, Corporate Social Responsibility and Entrepreneurship. A lot of these I did not like at all. Theory of the firm was an extension of Economics and Business Statistics and Employment Law was so hard to learn as there were so much case studies to remember. Not only were they hard but they were also just really boring. When I sit in a 2-hour lecture listening to threads of information being talked at me, I find it hard to pay attention and just end up going on my phone. However, Fundraising Management was quite interesting as we learnt about how non-profit organisations got their income. Entrepreneurship was also a good module as we were in groups and we had to create a product and a brand.
Although not all modules may have been great, they were good for developing my knowledge of Businesses and I do feel like I have learnt some things, especially the proper Business vocabulary. Also in the Second Year, I got to choose 2 modules which made life a little better as I felt like I had some say in what I learnt and could begin to narrow down my area of speciality. I decided after Year 1 that I wanted to go into Marketing so chose Marketing modules in Year 2 to help further that desire. The modules I got to pick were Market Research and Fundraising Management. Hopefully, in your Second Year, you will get optional modules that you can pick and so you can begin to narrow down your speciality whether that’s accounting, Human Resources or Marketing. Furthermore, as a side note, I had a mix of exams and coursework throughout this Year.
Originally when I signed up for this course, I opted to do the 4-year course which had a Placement Year in Year 3 however, due to many reasons I went on to do the 3-year course instead. It is so hard to get a Placement. If you do one then that is great, it is such a great opportunity but it was so hard to get one. I sent so many applications out and did not even hear back for half of them. I also had a few friends who started their Placement Years but ended up doing nothing on them so transferred back onto the 3-year course and left their jobs. So make sure you pick your Placement carefully and start looking early.
Anyway, I am in the Third Year now and it is mental. In my first semester, I pretty much had a deadline every week. We were given all our assessments in the first lecture back so work was already beginning to stack up from week 1! Although I do not have a very full on timetable, work takes up so much time and trying to make sure you get it all done is quite stressful sometimes. Thankfully this semester, I have only got 4 coursework deadlines and one exam which is nice. However, I do have to write around 15,000 words in total.
The modules I am doing this year are as follows; E-Business Models and Strategy, Project Management, Marketing Strategy, Events Management, Corporate Communications, Becoming a Leader, Managing Knowledge, Strategic Management and Business Policy. This year I got to choose 4 modules which was nice and even better I do not have to do a dissertation. You could choose to do one or you could choose to take two modules instead and I chose the two modules. A lot of my modules this year tie into one another and cover the same sort of things or touch on things that I have learnt in previous years. It is a good consolidation of everything I have learnt whilst diving deeper into Business Management. I am enjoying Marketing Strategy as for our coursework we have to come up with a Marketing Plan for a chosen company of our choice so it’s something creative which I like to do best. Managing Knowledge is probably my least favourite module as I just do not really understand it but hopefully soon it will click.
So far, Third Year has been really crazy as I have is much work going on and there is so much to learn as well as lot’s of words to write however, I feel like I am getting to that stage where I am ready to move on and find a job which I think is a good thing. I am glad University has prepared me for this moment and helped me learn about the Business environment.
Overall, this course has been good at helping me develop the fundamental skills and knowledge I need to go into a Business. Although there have been some very boring modules, there have also been some good ones that have been interesting and have left me wanting to learn more. Now as I come up to graduation, I want to go into Marketing and hopefully soon, the right job will come along and I will be able to find a job soon and utilise the skills I have learnt about in my Three Years at University.
If you do not know what you want to do at University but you want to go University, I would highly recommend a Business Management course or a Business course as they are great diverse courses enabling you to explore all areas of Business. However, make sure you definitely want to spend the money first as it is a lot of money but I am really glad I went and did a Business Management degree.