2024 MBAs Abroad: Emily Chew, Alliance Manchester

Emily Chew

Alliance Manchester Business School

Home City and Country: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Most Recent Employer and Job Title:  Senior Associate – Deals Advisory (Transaction Services), PricewaterhouseCoopers

How has studying business in the United Kingdom enriched your learning experience?  Studying business in the United Kingdom has significantly enriched my learning experience by providing a truly global perspective. Having completed my high school and undergraduate degree in Australia, and accumulating five years of work experience in Malaysia, the UK offers me a unique chance to learn about the European business environment. London, a major global financial hub, adds a practical dimension to my studies. The proximity of the Alliance Manchester Business school campus, just a train ride away, facilitates valuable connections with industry professionals. This exposure not only broadens my understanding of global business dynamics but also enhances my networking opportunities, contributing immensely to a well-rounded and internationally informed business education.

What has been the toughest transition to living in the United Kingdom so far? What have you done to overcome this difficulty? The most challenging aspect of transitioning to life in the United Kingdom wasn’t personally difficult for me, having studied abroad in Australia before. However, I observed many classmates grappling with homesickness during the initial stages of the MBA. To overcome this, fostering a supportive community became crucial. Spending time with classmates helped alleviate loneliness, as shared experiences created a sense of belonging. Moreover, Manchester, being an incredibly international city, offered diverse culinary options, making it easy to find comfort in familiar foods from home. I think this proactive approach, combining social connections and access to familiar comforts, will significantly ease the potential hurdles of anyone trying to transition to living life in the UK.

What school service has been the most helpful in transitioning to living in the United Kingdom? How has it helped you adapt? The array of social events organized by the university and the MBA program has been the most beneficial service in my transition to living in the United Kingdom. These events play a pivotal role in connecting individuals who are navigating the initial stages of adapting to a new environment. In a scenario where one may not know anyone in the UK or the course initially, these gatherings foster a sense of community. Making friends becomes more accessible, creating a support system that extends beyond academic realms. The diverse social events not only enrich the overall university experience but also contribute significantly to the process of adapting and feeling a sense of belonging in a new and unfamiliar setting.

What has been the most interesting cultural nuance of people living in the United Kingdom? Why has this struck you? The most intriguing cultural nuance in the United Kingdom has been the distinct regional variations in the British accent. Initially assuming the movie portrayal represented the typical British accent, I discovered the diversity when interacting with locals. Each region unveils its unique pronunciation and linguistic nuances, adding a fascinating layer to communication. Communicating with locals in different regions often becomes an engaging experience, as each area boasts its unique pronunciation and linguistic charm. This cultural nuance has not only enriched my interactions, but has also underscored the cultural diversity embedded in the UK, making every conversation a captivating exploration of regional linguistic identities.

Are you seeking a Visa to work in the United Kingdom after graduation? If so, what obstacles have you faced and how did you overcome them? Certainly, I am actively pursuing a work visa in the United Kingdom post-graduation, exploring options through sponsorship or the graduate visa scheme. The primary obstacle lies in the current economic downturn, introducing a level of uncertainty into the job market. Navigating this challenge requires a delicate balance of optimism and adaptability. Despite the uncertainties, I maintain an open mind, recognizing that opportunities may arise unexpectedly. By embracing flexibility and remaining proactive, I aim to navigate the evolving job market landscape and secure the necessary visa to embark on the next phase of my career in the UK.

What have you done to make it easier to make friends with people from outside your home country at business school? To foster meaningful connections with peers from diverse backgrounds at business school, I’ve proactively engaged in various social initiatives. Recognizing the significance of shared experiences, I actively participate in social events organized by both the university and the MBA program. These gatherings provide a platform for forging connections beyond cultural boundaries. Additionally, I initiate conversations in a genuine manner, expressing curiosity about others’ backgrounds and experiences. Overall, my approach involves a blend of openness, curiosity, and active involvement in communal activities, contributing to a more inclusive and globally connected business school experience.

What piece of advice would you give to an international student looking to study in a UK graduate business program? For an international student considering a UK graduate business program, my advice is to approach the journey with an open mind. Embrace new experiences, diverse perspectives, and cultural nuances. Acknowledge that challenges may arise, and managing expectations is key. During tough moments, reflect on the reasons that brought you to the UK, fostering resilience and determination. Recognize that the transformative nature of this experience, although challenging, is profoundly rewarding. Engage with the local community, participate in various university activities, and build a supportive network. This not only enhances your academic experience but also contributes to personal growth. Ultimately, the blend of academic rigor and cultural exposure will shape a unique and enriching chapter of your academic and personal development.


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