Niall Rachman

International Business with a Modern Language

Tell us a bit about your background…
I’m originally from Glasgow. I was brought up in the South Side just outside Newton Mearns where I attended Mearns Castle High School. I’m the first person to attend university in my immediate family, but have family connections to the university – my grandad designed and helped build the old thermodynamics lab and my dad spent much of his childhood at the university. It felt right keeping the traditions going.

Why did you decide to study at the University of Strathclyde?
I didn’t want to move away at first, so being only 30 minutes by train from the uni was ideal for me. The university too has some family connections since my grandfather was a lecturer here, it felt right to attend and keep the family ties going. Strathclyde also holds the ability to say it is one of the top business schools in the UK – for a business student, this immediately made me want to attend here!

What made you select your course?
I wanted to do something with languages, but I didn’t want to become a teacher.
I thought business would open so many doors for me into the world, which is perfectly married up with the languages doing the same. Having the masters element of my degree also attracted me as it puts me miles ahead of the competition – essentially it is 2 degrees in 1, and it’s free as I’m a Scottish student – why would I say no?

What has been the highlight of your time at Strathclyde so far?
The highlight of my time at Strathclyde was my year abroad. The university has SO many connections which can take you anywhere and everywhere across the globe. It’s incredible.
I went away to Madrid and worked with an accountancy firm TMF Spain. Whilst keeping in close contact with the university they also allowed me to spread my wings and go as far as I wished.

What would you say is one of the key takeaways from your course?
The biggest takeaway from my course would be that the course has really prepared me for anything (and everything) the world will throw at me.

It has made me more organised, culturally adaptive, able to live and work abroad amongst others – overall, it has made me into the “well rounded individual” that I know employers and society is looking for.

What would be your advice for people considering studying at Strathclyde?
Go for it. Strathclyde has had its ups and downs, but so does everywhere. Where else would be better to study than the city centre of Glasgow, next to so many places and things to see/do.

Once you get here, throw yourself at every opportunity possible – opportunity brings further opportunity which could lead to an awesome graduate job!

What has been the main challenge while studying at University?
Managing my time & getting the work done.

University is full of opportunities at every turn. There’s sports clubs, societies and extracurricular activities related to your degree or study path – you need to be able to sit down and think which are best for you and prioritise your studies and time manage!  

The main challenge too is that there’s no one behind you pushing you to get the degree. It’s down to you – you need to be self-motivated and driven to get the job done, otherwise it’ll all just pile up!

If you could travel back in time to give advice to yourself on your first day at Strathclyde, what would you say?
Embrace more of the extracurricular activities – there’s so many, don’t get sucked into 1 or 2. Do them all until you find one you absolutely love.

Have you joined any clubs or societies while at Strathclyde? Tell us a bit more about your experience!
Yes! I’ve been involved in a load of clubs/societies. My first was helping start the Korfball Club within the sports union, and eventually I moved on towards joining the skydiving club. I became secretary for 2 years and this year I was captain. I’ve been involved with the language ambassador course, which was in place in order to encourage disadvantaged kids to follow language learning further into higher education.

What do you hope to do when you complete your course?
I’ve just graduated – I’ve just started my own business and I’m utilising the skills developed both through business and languages in order to make the business succeed.

Failing this however, I know I can always fall back on my degree and I know that even when I’ve gone, the team here at Strathclyde will support me either with references or even opportunities.

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