I was amazed by the campus and facilities.
Why did you choose to study at Kent?
I had a university fair at my school (I live in Qatar) and Kent had a stand there. I saw that it has courses accredited by the CMI, it has a huge campus and, as a bonus, the University is only 50 minutes by train away from London.
So I applied straightaway and I visited the UK before making my final choice. I came to Kent and was given a tour of the whole university; I was amazed by the campus and the facilities, especially the Sibson Building [where Kent Business School is based], which had only just opened then. It is so huge and modern – and so is the library. I liked that there are lots of international students, and the way the course is taught met my expectations, so all those are reasons why I finally chose Kent.
What was it about studying Management that interested you?
I looked at three courses – International Business, Marketing and Management. I felt Management covered the areas I’m most interested in. It seemed very focused and straight to the point, and it also had the least amount of maths content, which appealed to me!
And did Kent live up to your expectations?
Yes, before the pandemic I was enjoying it so much and I took advantage of so many facilities. I learned French, I went to the Aspire hub, I joined societies, I had friends from different countries, I had so much fun but then … Covid happened.
Can you tell us about the teaching, before and during the pandemic?
I wouldn’t say the quality of teaching has decreased now that we are studying online but of course online is not the same as real life. I’m a very outgoing person so when we were on campus I would just meet people in class and talk to them. Also the engagement is better when you are meeting face to face, there is more discussion in the seminars and everyone is sharing their opinions. We have pre-recorded lectures and then we can post our questions about the lecture on Moodle [the virtual learning environment] – that’s good because it means everyone can see the questions and benefit from the answers.
For our group presentations I’ve been lucky to be in a good group that has been super-engaged. We are all third years and we all want to succeed but we have definitely needed to be resilient over the last months.
What do you think of the academic facilities?
The Sibson building I mentioned before is amazing, I’ve taken lots of Insta pictures of Sibson! I discovered there are small private study rooms on the third floor so if my friends and I didn’t want to go to the library we would hide ourselves away up there to work. I can’t study at home, I find it impossible, but I had a favourite spot in the library – it could get crowded but I could usually find a space. Since I’ve been back in Qatar I’ve found that instead of buying books for my assignments I can usually find an alternative online from the library.
You mentioned the Aspire hub – what is that?
It’s an area of Sibson dedicated to entrepreneurship and I went there to take part in the Business Start Up Journey scheme. Lots of the students who attend have ideas for starting their own business right away. I do want to set up my own luxury fashion design brand eventually but when I was doing the Business Start Up Journey I was interested in gaining ideas about marketing, running a business and learning from the activities they do. Really I just went along for fun!
Let's talk about the social life. Did you live on campus?
I did a foundation year and lived in Keynes College. It was good but my best friend was living in Turing and that was even better. Even the laundrette in Turing is luxurious. I liked Keynes because it is very central and the restaurant in Keynes (Dolche Vita) is my favourite place to eat on campus. I love their chicken Caesar salad, and the outdoor seating area is a nice place to relax during breaks.
Are you in any societies?
I’m a member of the Arab Society and they do lots of fun activities like bowling, Arab nights and laser tag, although they have not been able to do things like that during the pandemic of course. This year I signed up to be newsletter editor and writer for the Kent Business Society. We have been able to hold our meetings online. We invite alumni to come and speak to us, we’ve done some collaborations with Kent Marketing Society and given advice on entrepreneurship. We’re looking for more students to come and share their experiences and advice on getting jobs and CV tips – there’s a strong focus on helping people who are going to be graduating soon.
What are your career plans?
I’ve applied to do a Master’s in fashion marketing at University of the Arts London (UAL). My aim is to set up my own footwear brand. I did courses in fashion design and fashion business in Paris in summer of 2019 and a shoe design course at UAL. I love drawing and sketching – that’s my passion, but I wanted to study business at university because it’s a good qualification to get into jobs in lots of areas.
How do you think you have changed and developed at Kent?
I have become more strategic and critical in the way I do things. Before I do anything, I like to prepare and educate myself about it. I’m the kind of person who does their essays two weeks, three weeks before the deadline because I can’t work under pressure. I’ve learned always to give myself deadlines, always ask for advice, always try to talk to people. Also, being in a diverse culture has made me grow as a person because when you talk to different people from different backgrounds you learn from one another.
Do you have any advice for someone considering applying to Kent?
I would advise that if they aren’t sure which course to apply for, they should list the things they like and then try to match their list to the course details. Do your research, watch videos about the university and reach out to speak to people, to get their advice. That is what helped me.