Human Resource Management MA (HRM MA) student Benjamin Evans talks through his university experience and London life as a postgraduate student.
Can you tell us a bit about your educational background, and what led you to choose London and London Met?
Immediately after graduating with my undergraduate degree, in Sports, Media and Culture, I did have a bit of success with jobs that were closely linked to my studies, however, sadly this only lasted a short while and then I embarked upon a period in my life where I was just taking any role, in any sector and on any contract type, in a desperate attempt to just have a job. This led me into a position where for a few years, I was working in a role that seemed to offer little progression for me, in a sector that I never thought would be a long-term career option and seemingly pigeon-holed into a type of job that I did not want as my long-term career. As a result of spending so many years in the same role and within the same industry, I had inadvertently made it very difficult for myself to find something different, something that would utilise my degree status a little more. I found myself at something of a crossroads and I knew the next move I made needed to be for the betterment of my long-term future. After spending time thinking about my strengths and weaknesses, what type of environment I wanted to work in and speaking at length with those closest to me, I was able to ascertain that I wanted a career that would utilise my communication, people and organisational skills to the maximum and concluded that a career in HR would be an ideal path for me to embark upon. After reading around the industry and looking into the possible options, I decided to embark upon a postgraduate human resource management degree with Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) level 7 accreditation at London Metropolitan University.
Did you start your course in January? If so, can you tell us a bit more about your decision and how the joining experience was?
Yes, I began in January 2018. The Human Resource Management MA I am studying is also accredited by the CIPD at Level 7, which was another important factor for me when considering postgraduate study. The joining experience was exemplary. After doing the appropriate research, I contacted Jo Cartwright, who is one of the course leaders on the MA to discuss the course on the phone. After this initial contact, I met Marcus, the second-course leader, at one of London Met’s Open Evenings, where I was able to further discuss the course, as well as being able to have a look around the campus. A subsequent meeting with Jo followed and I was convinced that my future was at London Met. I found the whole administrative process a very streamlined and efficient process, from initial enquiry to a fully fledged student was a painless process.
Do you have any highlights?
I think, for the most part, the main highlight was ascertaining that very early on in the MA, I had enrolled onto a caring, professional and aspirational course, where the lecturers are incredibly knowledgeable and supportive but so too are my fellow cohort of students. Having the confidence to speak in class and develop relationships with classmates, many of whom operate in the human resource industry, provided me with further validation that I had made the right choice and that I was capable of building a career in HR as a consequence of my time at London Met.
Have you had any work or industry experience as part of the degree – can you give us more details?
The fact I was studying for an MA was a determining factor in me being able to secure a summer HR Internship. Having successfully completed the internship, I have been able to secure a voluntary HR Administrator position within a local hospice. Once again, the MA was a major contributing factor in being able to secure this position. As such, I am slowly but successfully building a human resource CV, which will enhance my prospects of securing the type of position I want to when I graduate.
What are the lecturers and facilities like?
I cannot speak highly enough of the lecturers on the HRM MA course. They deliver the content in an informative and manageable manner, often explaining complex theories with clarity. They are incredibly supportive and their expertise in their respective fields is clearly evident. Each lecturer has the skill to manage engaging class discussions and have excelled at creating an environment where students are confident to voice their opinions and ask questions, which certainly aids the learning process. The library at Aldgate is excellent.
Do you have a favourite piece of equipment that supported your course here?
Whilst not exactly a piece of equipment as such, I think the library, and the thousands of available titles, certainly for my course, is very well resourced and we are equipped with a plethora of online resources and channels as well, which all help.
What do you do outside lectures when you have free time? Any favourite London spots?
It is a privilege to study in London. A short walk from of the campus you can enjoy incredible vistas of St Paul’s Cathedral and Spitalfields Market is only a stroll from the library at the Aldgate Campus.
Any advice for new students?
Just enjoy the whole experience and the journey that you about to embark upon.
Did anything surprise you about the Uni?
I don’t think anything really surprised me as such. Whilst I first graduated nearly ten years ago, that isn’t that long ago in the grand scheme of things, so I had a good idea what I was embarking upon and what was required of me. Perhaps the one thing that struck a chord and maybe surprised me a little, is how supportive the programme has been. I maybe feared being a postgraduate I might be somewhat cut off from support networks, but this could not be further from the truth.