Pathway to Business - Zaid's UPIC Story
"UPIC was very helpful in all ways you can possibly think of, whether you were confused, needed advice or simply were in difficult situations, even if they were not relevant to your studies, the college would never dismiss them or make a student feel that their issues are their own. "
An Interview with Zaid | BA (Hons) International Business
What inspired your passion and interest in Business?
Growing up in the GCC, I have been surrounded by independent entrepreneurs and their stories inspired me to create something out of nothing, and the core of a business is to utilise your key strengths. I always felt an attraction towards music initially but that was soon dismissed since it’s not a credible career where I’m from, so soon enough I started to love accounting and economics. International Management & Business was a compilation of everything I pursued, as a result I was able to achieve Middle Management almost immediately after graduating, luckily, I was able to find organization that tested me beyond just my academics. You can surprise yourself with how far you can go with a little faith and a lot of work. I’m still surprised actually.
What made you decide to study the first year of your degree with the International College rather than entering the university directly?
It all happened by coincidence, after A levels I was keen on applying to universities my friends were applying to, I have applied with my friend where we met the spokesman Chris in Muscat. It felt as a better integration programme, it gave us seamless support about the City, locals and advice on how to manage ourselves and our stay, it wasn’t only academic, but also guiding us to be on track. It’s almost like having a distant parent, and eventually it was fruitful, myself and my course mates at the college were all far more prepared than people in the University, and being at the college did not even cost us time, we progressed afterwards to second year immediately. It really opened up our eyes on many topics to be warry of, be more attentive to time and responsibilities. We learned balance.
What skills did you take away from the course? How and to what extent has this impacted your career to this day?
I definitely got myself around time management, due to the nature of our courses and fitting in my chores and activities to align with my studies and classes, you had to be disciplined so you don’t short come on any. This helped me manage so much of my time post graduating to be able to travel, study and work and align them smoothly together throughout the day. Being able to divide my focus but still give my maximum capability for each is definitely an important skill. The most remarkable skill is that by next year, I’ll hopefully be a Certified CMA.
Reflection is also another topic, I reflect on almost everything I do that matters, or impacts my career. It helped us understand the value of re-assessing situational incidents and how we can improve on ourselves each time. At the university, this also meant growth of wisdom, understanding and ability to impede your opinion in a straight forward manner.
Which aspects of the student experience at UPIC were most notable and valuable in your opinion and to what extent have they impacted you?
UPIC, was very helpful in all ways you can possibly think of, whether you were confused, needed advice or simply were in difficult situations, even if they were not relevant to your studies, the college would never dismiss them or make a student feel that their issues are their own. The college stepped in whenever they could, offering advice and guidance with whatever they could. Given that all the students there were internationals, it should be worth mentioning that event from a parent’s point of view it is very comforting knowing that you child will always have help when needed.
Personally, It impacted how I viewed the college, I grew fond of the amazing people who work there, I was able to feel more comfortable talking what’s on my mind, share my ideas and be able to contribute to the college in any way I could, as simply as forming a study group or extra activities, you will always feel like a part of the team. It is definitely an experience you could not forget.
Plymouth was a beautiful city, we had the sea, the community and everything was within a walking distance, it was an exercise just getting to class. There’s plenty of attraction places and many aspects shaped it to truly be a student city.
How would you describe the culture at UPIC?
The Environment is very dynamic and friendly, Diversity is embedded in the college and personally I do believe it is the key of success. Since the college has so many different people from different backgrounds, the college was flourishing with fresh ideas, methods, questions that pushed us to become competitive and challenging in a positive manner. it was like a second family in a way.
It was never dull or a routine.
What is your general reflection on your UPIC experience and how would it positively inspire future students?
Incredible, it was definitely a memorable chapter in my life, it definitely did more than just education, I grew to love the city and yearn to visit in the future once more. It will influence students with a push and passion for self-betterment and improvement in any sector the felt fit, Many people join university to only pursue a degree, but rather in PUIC where they are given the necessary exposure to different people and help them become motivated and eager to change for the best. Academically, athletically and even if that is not the case, the exposure to this type of environment could perhaps inspire them for different to learn different skills, languages, travel or even become entrepreneurs in a new sense which might have not been their initial goal.
If you had to sum up UPIC in 3 words, what would they be and why?
Enthusiastic, Understanding and Supportive.
Essentially that the college always has a positive view on everything, from my background it is very frowned upon to fail, that word did not exist in my upbringing so even when you encounter any type of difficult situation, they will always be there, with different solutions and lend you a hand when you need one. Not to mention how casual it is to go out for a coffee with any of the staff, it definitely brings a whole new level of mental comfort to talk and become close with people at the college, it’s a part of building a long lasting emotional roll coaster when you are transferred to University.
Lastly, what advice would you give to future students that you wish you had known before starting your own study-abroad experience?
Do as much as you can, expose yourself to as many new things as possible. It may be difficult if you’re an introvert at first, but it is definitely worth it. Different foods, different people, and be sure to tour the UK! As soon as you graduate you will be occupied with so many new responsibilities that you may not get enough time to explore as much as you wanted to.