Jhoana Cepeda

MBA Business Administration with Pre-sessional English, from Bogotá

Jhoana Cepeda

I chose the Bath MBA programme because of the placements. So many one-year MBA programs don’t give you this opportunity.

Why did you choose to study at the University of Bath?

I had several reasons for applying to the University of Bath. I chose to study in the UK because I wanted to improve my English and I chose Bath because it is a small city and also because of the diversity of students. I spoke to an alumnus who told me about the different nationalities of all the students. I also wanted a one-year programme, which Bath offers. I was also able to apply for a scholarship, so it was a good deal for me to come here.

Why MBA?

The quality of the programme and the choice of modules appealed to me.  For the past five years I have been working in the commercial area. I already have some practical experience and I realised that I wanted to improve my knowledge of business. I wanted to change career paths and start my own business, so I thought it would be a good idea to learn from experts before doing this. I am so happy with the decision I made to take a year off and come here to study.

What do you enjoy most about living here?

I have never lived in a small city before and I find it really peaceful here during the week. Everyone invades at the weekend! It’s quiet and safe, and the landscape is beautiful. The atmosphere is great for studying because it allows you to be relaxed: there are no big-city problems to be stressed about. I like British culture a lot. The thing I enjoy the most is how people here are really polite and kind. When I arrived, people approached me to ask if I needed any help, which was lovely.

Was there anything that you found particularly useful when settling in?

The induction week was very useful. In particular, the student volunteers were really helpful. They were always in contact with us to see if we needed anything. I really appreciated the way that these students were willing to help. I go to a lot of the activities at the weekends organised by the Students’ Union so that I can enjoy lots of aspects of British culture.

What was the most significant challenge you encountered upon your entry in the British higher education system?

For my undergraduate degree I studied engineering, so I had never written an essay before I came to Bath: now I have to write essays for every module. It’s quite challenging because you have to do a lot of research, but it is an interesting way to learn a lot. It was stressful in the beginning because I am not a native speaker: I found it more challenging to express my ideas in an academic way. The Pre-sessional course was helpful in this respect, because it taught me how to write in English. I would definitely recommend this course if English isn’t your first language.

Will you do a placement as part of your course? How will it help your career?

Another reason I chose the Bath MBA programme was because of the placements. So many one-year MBA programs don’t give you this opportunity. If I return to Colombia it will help that I have gained experience of working in the UK. The placement is one of most important parts of programme because you can put what you have learned into practice. 

What sport do you do?

The sports facilities are amazing. Not many universities can offer so many different sports and activities. I play tennis with some of my classmates at the Sports Centre and I go running around Bath: I especially enjoy running along the canal.

What are your plans for the future? How do you think the MBA will help with your career prospects?

I plan to go back to Colombia and start my own company in the food or retail sector. The MBA will definitely be good for my career prospects because of everything I have learned from it. My experience of working in a different country where the retail sector is really developed, like the UK, will be a real advantage when applying for new positions. I have a broad understanding of business here and I will have learned a lot from working with people from many different backgrounds.

Do you have any advice for other Colombian students interested in coming here?

I would definitely encourage Colombian students to apply to come to Bath. I have been here for six months and I am very happy with my decision to come. The MBA is definitely an intensive programme but in the end it is really worth making the decision to come here to do it. It is important to speak to alumni who can help you to decide whether Bath is the right place for you. You will make friends from lots of different countries and learn from their culture and experiences.