Armed with a first-class Business with Law degree from Hertfordshire University, Mariana Duarte joined Surrey to study for a masters in Human Resource Management. Here she tells us why she chose Surrey and her experience of being a postgraduate student.
"I knew Surrey was the right place and choice for me to learn, develop and grow"
I chose to come to Surrey for a number of reasons. Firstly, for what the programme had to offer. Upon graduating not only would I be receiving a MSc in Human Resource (HR) Management, but I would also have the incredible opportunity to obtain the CIPD [Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development] Level 7 accreditation and, as result, help me build a career in HR.
"I wanted to make sure I could obtain as much HR knowledge as possible within my one-year programme to prepare me for a career in HR"
In addition, whilst looking for the right university that I believed was better suited for me and my learning, I soon discovered that Surrey had modules on offer that other universities did not. For example, Employment Law and HR Analytics were two modules in particular that Surrey had that stood out to me and I wanted to make sure I could obtain as much HR knowledge as possible within my one-year programme to prepare me for a career in HR.
Lastly, prior to commencing the course, the University of Surrey ranked 8th in the UK for Business and Economics by the Times Higher Education World University Ranking 2021. Building my CV is incredibly important and knowing the University of Surrey ranked so highly,I knew Surrey was the right place and choice for me to learn, develop and grow.
Impressions of Surrey
"I instantly felt supported by all my lecturers and peers. Everyone within the cohort wants to see you succeed"
I instantly felt supported by all my lecturers and peers. Everyone within the cohort wants to see you succeed. The support system at the University is incredible. Whilst completing my masters I actually had a lot going on in my personal and family life and I was incredibly fortunate to have such supportive personal tutor and lecturers who understood my situation and were ready to be available when I needed any support.
I feel incredibly grateful for the amazing friendships I have gained across the programme, which include wonderful memories that I will cherish with me always.
What do you like about your course?
I have always had an interest in business and I have always been someone who likes to support and care for others, which led me to finding HR the ideal subject to study and eventually pursue as a career upon completion. What I like about the course itself is the variety of topics and modules.
"...it was a great opportunity that we could add to our CV and show future employers what we did"
Furthermore, our cohort had the amazing opportunity during our Employee Resourcing module to apply theory into practice, we were tasked with an eight-week consultancy project with the engineering firm, SNC Lavalin. We worked in groups of five or six that enables us not only to get to work with members of the cohort we wouldn’t usually work with and create new friendships, but it was a great opportunity that we could add to our CV and show future employers what we did. It was an opportunity that enables all of us to work on our soft skills.
"In respects to socialising, there is something for everyone"
During my time at the university, I was Vice-President of the Portuguese Society and course representative of the MSc Human Resource Management programme. The best things about life at Surrey include the variety of locations you can choose to study from; for example, the University Library, Surrey Spark, the Hive or even the Nest.
In respects to socialising, there is something for everyone, the University has its very own nightclub Rubix. In addition, the University has a student pub, Wates, and a range of coffee shops and restaurants to offer so students have a diverse range of options on campus.
If you enjoy sports the university has the Sports Park and there are local gyms nearby. There are a range of activities in Guildford for everyone including the nightlife, Guildford Spectrum, Guildford Lido, AirHop and of course shopping.
Lastly, the university is extremely close to amenities not just in Guildford but by train the university is also only 34 minutes away from London Waterloo, 45 minutes from Gatwick Airport and 54 minutes from Portsmouth, if you would like to spend the day shopping at Gunwharf Quays.
How do you spend your time on campus?
I spent quite a bit of time on campus during my time at Surrey. Between studying in the Library or MySurrey Spark, I would head to Starbucks for a coffee break or simply head to Wates for a pub lunch in between studying and completing assignments with my university friends. I believe it’s vital that we find balance between studying and treating ourselves, so that we don’t end up overwhelmed.
"I believe Surrey had a huge influence on my employability"
I believe Surrey had a huge influence on my employability. I was incredibility fortunate for the variety of opportunities available during my course which led me to landing a job offer at Oracle as a GenO Human Capital Management Consultant on its GenO graduate programme.
What has been your best moment at Surrey so far?
I think the best moments I have had have included the lessons in person with the entire class and meeting new people from across the globe.
Advice for students thinking about postgraduate study
There is time for everything study, work and socialising. Sometimes we just need to take a step back, breath and re-organise and prioritise.
Do you think you’ve changed since you started at Surrey?
I believe I have changed positively, I am more confident and more outspoken. there is a lot of things that I would have not had the confidence to do prior to commencing the course that I now do.