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How my year in Chester helped me land my dream job

Likith Balakrishna at work

Likith Balakrishna from India completed an MBA at the University of Chester in 2013. He is currently working as a Service Delivery Manager at Capillary Technologies in Bangalore.

There are many universities in the UK, which are crowded with overseas students. I wanted to join a university where I could experience the conventional British culture. In addition to that, I was looking for a university which provides high quality education at a reasonable price. Considering all these factors, I found the University of Chester to be a perfect study destination for me.

The one and a half years that I spent in the UK taught me a lot and my time at the University of Chester was an amazing discovery journey for me.

In India the approach towards education system is based upon group studies or spoon-fed system where all the teaching and course materials are provided by lecturers, whereas UK education system is focussed more on individual research to bring out more creative ideas and self-improvement. UK offers a perfect life, work and study balance and I learned to be professional and organised. I have learned to use systematic approach to solve any issue and feel more self-confident as a result.

I undertook several roles at the university through UniJob scheme, which places students in temporary posts on campus. Each role taught me a different skill. I improved my customer service skills boosting my employability in the process. I volunteered at university Open Day events and Summer Ball promotions.  I also worked for several charities, taking part in an event to aid homeless people.

I worked as a steward for a BBC TV show called ‘Flog it’ which had a day shooting in Tatton Park, Knutsford. Flog it, is a very popular television series presented by Paul Martin where people bring their antiques to be valued by experts. It was a great day for me since I saw famous television celebrities live. I was always happy to learn something new. It doesn’t matter how far it was, I was ready to go.

I was lucky enough to win the Student Temp Prize award at the 2013 Student Employee of the Year (SEOTY) ceremony. The SEOTY Awards are run by the National Association of Student Employment Services and recognise the outstanding contributions and achievements of students who combine part time work with their study commitments. I could have not achieved this without the inspiration from my line managers, professors and especially the University of Chester Careers and Employability department, for whom I have deep respect and from whom I have learned to challenge myself and perform better in many aspects of my life.

I am now working at Capillary Technologies. I joined as an 'Operations Manager' in July 2013 after completion of an MBA from University of Chester. The job profile requires both technical and managerial skills. My past work experience in IT firms has helped with technical knowledge while the degree from University of Chester, involved lot of research on business and management, has helped me to develop managerial skills.

When I was studying MBA, I was asked to go through many case studies related to leadership, management and business. These helped me in answering management related interview questions effectively in order to get this job and perform well. I apply managerial techniques and principles which I learned through the MBA modules. In addition, research methods which I used in my dissertation have been very helpful now so that whenever there is a new feature release of a product appropriate research can be done to test its feasibility and applicability. Overall, MBA degree has played a major role in helping me to secure a managerial position of a CRM (customer relationship management) organisation.