Name: Aigerim Nurlanova
Degree: BSc Economics (graduated 2011)
"I currently work for Dostyk Advisory consulting company in Kazakhstan and I am a business-consultant.
I started as a manager in a small but very successful Australian company representative in Kazakhstan. Then I realized there was no opportunity for me to gain professional experience, so I moved on to the business consulting sphere. Business consulting provides an opportunity to apply knowledge of economics in a very creative and diverse way.
I could not come to Birmingham prior to sending my application to the University of Birmingham, however, the information on the website about the BSc Economics course was very complete and comprehensive. I loved how the course is structured, professional qualifications of the Economics Department staff. I also loved the pictures of campus, Big Joe, city of Birmingham. I was also really excited by the fact that the University of Birmingham has big beautiful campus and huge territory, while the city centre is just 10 minutes away, compared to many other universities whose buildings are scattered around a city. Another important advantage of the University of Birmingham for me is that all the major railways of the UK intersect at Birmingham New Street, so travelling around the UK is easy.
The most challenging part of the degree programme for me was the first year of the programme. It took time to get used to living in a different country, using a different language, meeting loads of new people, overcoming homesickness, and doing all of it while studying. I remember being devastated after I accidentally missed one of my summer exams. It felt like the end of the world, however, I have successfully resat it in August and it was not as bad as I viewed it at first as a freshman.
Apart from the time it took me to get used to everything new, I enjoyed most of the programme. Year two was very interesting in terms of the modules, studying was hard but exciting. Year three was more challenging, because of the pressure of final exams and extended essay deadlines, however, despite all that it was crazy fun.
I would advise students interested in studying my programme to be more relaxed at first, because you only need to pass Year One, also most of the modules will be covered deeper later in the course. The first year is the best time for socializing, travelling and introducing yourself to general economics. Save most of your academic efforts for the second and especially third year. Try to be inspired all the time: read economics articles, be familiar with the news in the field, discover new topics and disciplines. We live in a very challenging time in terms of economics; new notions and views appear all the time, you need to be up to date with all that. This will make studying easier and much more interesting. And the most important advice: do not procrastinate too much, in my view, every hour of work on the day prior to the exam or an essay deadline adds about 5 marks to your total, so the earlier you start, the higher you get. Basically, every day of studying builds up your mark and knowledge, therefore if you do not have enough time left, you might not be able to get high enough marks.
Birmingham is a very convenient, nice and clean city. It is a big city, but still not as expensive as London. There are huge shopping malls, arts museums, concert halls, arenas, lots of pubs and restaurants, clubs; you can always enjoy the urban lifestyle here. However, there are also quiet parks, sidewalks by the canals, suburban flowery lawns. I love Birmingham because it is diverse and practical. It is easy to travel from Birmingham: there are links to major railways and the city airport is 20 minutes away from the city centre by train.
One of my fondest memories of studying in Birmingham is graduation ceremony in the Great Hall in the beautiful Aston Webb building. I will always remember the feeling of pride and happiness, feeling that you accomplished something big and important.
I would definitely recommend the University to prospective students, because
• You will get a high quality education here;
• You will get prestigious diploma (if you study hard enough);
• You will have the best time here;
• You will save on living costs;
• You will have an opportunity to travel around UK
• You will meet lots of new people from different countries and cultures "