Armed with a first-class Business with Law degree from Hertfordshire University, Mariana Duarte joined Surrey in 2021, graduating with a masters in Human Resource Management in 2023. 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 was attracted 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.
Your strongest memory of your time at Surrey
"I always looked forward to my lectures and seminars on campus"
My strongest memory of my time at Surrey is the good times our class had with one another. I always looked forward to my lectures and seminars on campus and I just loved the friendships that we all built during our time at Surrey, we truly had a genuine support for each other and wanted to see all of us succeed.
What were the best things about your course?
The best things about the course were the variety of Human Resources modules that were on offer, it enabled us to get an insight into a variety of different areas of HR that we could potentially explore once we completed our course at Surrey and begin focusing on our careers.
"The best things about the course were the variety of Human Resources modules that were on offer"
Additionally, we even had the opportunity to be involved in a consultancy project for one of our modules. This gave us the opportunity to work on our critical thinking, communication and presentation skills which really helped all of us focus on building and developing these skills further.
What do you do now and what do you find most enjoyable about your work?
I currently work as a Human Capital Management Associate Consultant at Oracle. I've been really enjoying my time here and one thing I like is that I've been pushed out of my comfort zone on many occasions. Being pushed out of your comfort zone can be a little uncomfortable at times but it really helps you to build your confidence and grow as a professional.
"I've been pushed out of my comfort zone on many occasions"
How did your time at Surrey help choose what career to go into?
Surrey provided us with the opportunity to get us involved in a consultancy project for one of our modules on the programme, which gave me an insight into consultancy and what it entails, and consequently led me to applying to Oracle for a role within HCM Consultancy.
Advice for students aspiring to work in your profession
A one-year masters course flies by, my advice for anyone who is interested in my profession is to get involved in as much as you can during your time at Surrey to prepare you for a career within consulting. The course provides various opportunities to work on your presentation skills and communication skills, whilst also providing you with a broad understanding of human resource management.