Naila Alakbarova

Master of Business Administration (MBA)

I work in the banking industry and the fact that I’ve coped with an MBA definitely makes me more attractive to potential employers.

Why did you choose to study at Kent?

For me, Kent Business School offered the perfect combination of teaching quality and value for money.

How does your MBA differ from your previous studies?

It is a totally different experience for me. I’ve taken undergraduate and Master’s degrees in my home country, Azerbaijan. But here at Kent, I am studying in a multicultural environment. This diversity is easily seen in group projects where all members can share their thoughts and experience.

What support do you receive as a student?

You know that you’ll always get help if you need it. Any questions about your course, modules and so on, are answered by your lecturers or the student office, or sometimes even the MBA director.

The University also has central support facilities. My favourite is the Student Learning Advisory Service which organises events for international students, provides valuable tips on study in the UK, and even psychological support.

What are the facilities like at Kent?

This year Kent Business School moved into the new Sibson building. This an awesome place to study: comfortable and well-designed rooms, computer labs, places for group work. Overall, the University has everything you need for living and studying. Also, the location is in what’s called the ‘Garden of England’ – it’s a lovely place to be.

How have you funded your studies?

I am lucky enough to get a scholarship from the University of Kent. Almost half of my tuition fees are covered; the rest is self-funded.

What extra activities do you take part in?

The School provides several workshops with coaches during the year. These help us to identify our expectations and analyse our behaviour. It also has the ASPIRE programme which is designed to help future entrepreneurs. I really enjoy the workshops and communication with other participants.

Kent Business School is also well known for its business networking events that connect local business representatives with members of the School. During such events, lecturers and business leaders have a chance to speak about ongoing topics and discuss future trends.  

How would you describe your research project?

My research project is about preparing a business plan for opening a London restaurant. The focus is on food from former USSR countries, combining the different cuisines in one place.

The project helps to push me out of my comfort zone. I have no connection with the restaurant industry so it gives me the chance to learn a lot of new things about this area of business. It opens up new horizons in terms of how I can apply my knowledge.  

How would you describe your relationship with your supervisor?

The MBA director tries to allocate students to the supervisor they wanted. I chose mine because my topic was in her sphere of interest and I really liked her during the taught module. Our relationship is based on mutual respect and she is very helpful, giving feedback and many valuable comments on my work.

How has the MBA enhanced your career prospects?

In Azerbaijan I work in the banking industry – the fact that I’ve coped with an MBA definitely makes me more attractive to potential employers. It adds value to my CV. I’ve already had several job offers and I’ve chosen the most interesting one with the highest level of responsibility.

Any advice for those thinking of taking the MBA at Kent? 

It was the right decision for me to do an MBA at this point in my career. Kent Business School has everything you need to improve your knowledge and skills. I think an MBA  from a reputable UK university such as Kent definitely increases your chances of promotion.