My background is in linguistics and cultural studies, but I’ve been working for different MNEs since graduating over 10 years ago. Even though I never had a degree in business, I managed to work in procurement, sales and even marketing in supporting roles, but always felt, that also having a business degree, would give me more credibility and a competitive edge especially paired with my existing language skills.
The selection was unfortunately limited when applying, as most schools require previous studies in business. However, I didn’t want to compromise on the quality of my studies as I wanted to learn, and not just to hang another framed degree on my wall. It was important for me that the school has an excellent national ranking, interesting projects, and a modern curriculum, hence I chose Xamk.
How did you manage to fit studies around your day to day life?
I wanted to study international business for several years now, but the timing was never right. I was either busy with adjusting to a new position at work, or was working on personal projects, such as offering Finnish cooking courses to tourists visiting Helsinki or writing content for Japanese food brands.
But then I thought, now or never, and simply applied. Little did I know at that time, that I would also become a mother by the time my first semester is over.
Luckily having blocks of contact teaching allowed me to plan well ahead even with having a lot on my plate. Finding team mates for the group assignments, who have a similar schedule as me, also helped a lot. But I learned a great deal about time management and efficiency, which I truly appreciate, as they were not my best traits.
Has studying in English benefitted you or your career in any way?
Getting out of one’s comfort zone, and learning something new always benefits a person. It shows that the person has courage, dedication and commitment, all features that are highly valued by my company.
When one is working in an international environment where the company language is English, it’s very important that one speaks the business lingo, and is familiar with the terminology of different areas of business, especially the most current trends. Learning useful phrases and business expressions definitely made me more self-confident in cross-functional meetings, and during presentations to higher management.
It also allowed me to express my thoughts and ideas more precise for others to understand. After all, a big part of success at work is communication, and knowing what you are talking about.
What advice would you give someone considering studying for a Masters Degree in English?
When I shared on social media that I’m studying for Master of Business Adminitration in English, several former school mates from my previous translation studies reached out to me. They were also wondering for a long time now, if they should enrol in business school, but were scared, that it would be too difficult for them because of “only” having completed studies in humanities, and not having studied in English before.
The more diverse group we have in the courses, the more we can learn by tapping into eachother’s knowledge and experiences.
However, I encourage anyone with a good set of brains and interest to apply. Not only for their own benefit, but for the benefit of others too. The more diverse group we have in the courses, the more we can learn by tapping into eachother’s knowledge and experiences. Also it is a safe environment to practise English. It’s very efficient, as it works like content and language integrated learning, or language shower as the Finns call it.
But my most important message is: Just do it, the perfect timing doesn’t exist!
Annamária Manegara, student of International Business Management degree programme