Graduate profile
The Rik Medlik building

Petrina Steele

"I gained maturity, independence, a great understanding of culture and different styles of management."

Study abroad location

Toulouse, Barcelona and Frankfurt

What subject did you study at the University of Surrey and what year did you graduate?

I studied for my BSc in International Business, Economics and German then an MSc in Management via distance learning.

What were the best things about your course?

The best things were travel, the friends I made, the variety of curriculum, professors and the size of the university.

Why did you decide to take an ERASMUS study/work abroad exchange?

Because I wanted to know what it was like to live and work abroad before I committed my future career path. Plus I also wanted to practise the language and get to know the culture as a local.

Where did you go and what did you do on the Erasmus scheme?

I spent time in Toulouse, Barcelona and Frankfurt

How did your ERASMUS experience help you develop personally or professionally during your time as a Surrey student, and has this influenced your choice of career?

I gained maturity, independence, a great understanding of culture and different styles of management. I wanted to be an internal translator but found I was really drawn into the business world (new tech).

What do you do now and what do you find most enjoyable about your line of work?

Meeting new people, building new teams, constant learning and solving puzzles!

How can students hoping to work in your profession make the most of their time at Surrey?

Surrey is one of the most advanced Universities in science and IT so you’re already in good stead coming from there. Additionally, meet people (as many as you can)! All the people I met I’m still in contact with today and it’s great to have that network and that diversity of friends. It enriches you both personally and professionally.

What advice would you give to current students thinking about an Erasmus study or work-abroad placement? 

Do it 100% you’ll never regret it and its far better looking on your CV than a gap year!