My confidence in myself and my ability has grown astronomically since attending GCU and I’ll be forever grateful to everyone who was part of my academic journey.

2021 MBA Global Business graduate Ryan Cook shares his insight into life at GCU and life after graduating from university.

I chose to study at GCU because…

Having studied at another university during my undergraduate programme, I wanted to pursue new challenges within a different academic institution and learning environment. For myself as a recent BA (Hons) Business graduate, I wanted to broaden my knowledge of my chosen discipline but within the wider global context. After a bit of research, I finally came across the Global MBA programme at GCU. What really appealed to me first of all was the reputation of the university and how well recognised they are as an academic institution. In regards to my chosen programme itself, what really excited me was the incorporation of contemporary issues such as Black Swan Events like the Covid-19 pandemic into our learning experience. In addition, I felt that the course content being tailored around the UN’s SDG’s was of vital importance, as ultimately the students of today will become the business leaders of the future, thus it is essential we have a comprehensive understanding of the critical issues we face moving forward.

The most important aspect of my university experience has been…

Collaboration amongst my fellow students and lecturers was the most important experience during my time at GCU. As my cohort enrolled on the programme less than a year into the pandemic, it was decided that a shift toward distance learning would be the most appropriate action to take in order to protect public health and cause less detriment to our learning experience. I must admit, initially I didn’t have a clue how this would work with not having face to face lecturing or the ability to physically interact with my classmates, but in fact, in the end, it was a fantastic learning experience! What I found really strange was that during my time on my MBA programme, I actually enjoyed it so much more than my previous university experiences and I actually strengthened and improved my grades significantly, despite moving up a level and not having that F-2-F interaction. I feel that my cohort really pulled together and got stuck into our coursework despite the challenges of the pandemic, we were also proactive in the offering of support and guidance to each other and ensuring that we built a sense of community to motivate and engage the group. The Global MBA programme enabled me to work alongside a number of really nice people from different countries with a range of backgrounds, which was really constructive in the learning experience as we could also learn new things from each other!

My biggest lesson learned so far is…

The biggest lessons I’ve probably learned from my University experience is to believe in myself more and that if you really put time and effort into your studies, it will really pay off. Having took the step up from undergrad to postgrad study, I was a bit anxious as to how complex some of the learning material might be. It was really overwhelming initially and I didn’t receive the best grade for my first piece of coursework which made me think ‘I’ll really just be happy to pass my course and get this over with’. This was the completely wrong attitude though and I feel that my lecturers were instrumental in empowering me to change this and encourage me to really get my head in the books and work harder as I was more than capable of getting good grades. I took their advice on board and it was pivotal in my success at GCU. The end result was that I graduated with a distinction classification, which, I can honestly say is my proudest achievement of my life. Never did I think that a wee guy like me from a council estate on the west coast of Scotland could ever gain a qualification like this. My confidence in myself and my ability has grown astronomically since attending GCU and I’ll be forever grateful to everyone who was part of my academic journey.

I’m proud to be part of the University for the Common Good because…

I genuinely believe that my time at GCU has been more than just an academic learning experience. I’ve learned more about myself and feel like I’ve actually grown as a person as well. The people at GCU really make it what it is, a happy environment where everyone just wants to do their bit to help better each other and to society as a whole. I feel like I have contributed towards the common good during my time at GCU, having undertaken research into consumer behaviour changes during the pandemic, adding to the pool of literature and addressing gaps in current research. I also think that my time and learning experience will enable me to put the common good at the forefront of my mind when making both personal and work choices in the future.

I get my inspiration from…

I get inspiration from my Mum. She had been a single parent for most of my life and always worked extremely hard to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table. At one point my mum worked three part-time jobs and studied a Bsc in Occupational Therapy full-time, all whilst looking after me, and I was no angel! Despite my mum losing both her parents and all the other pressures in her life, she has never given up and that itself has installed an exceptionally strong work and educational ethic in me and it has empowered me to do my very best and give 100% to anything I do. If it hadn’t been for my mum I wouldn’t be half the man I am today!

My next steps look like…

Now I have completed my MBA programme, I am now looking for a graduate or internship role within an organisation which can offer me a rewarding career with further training and development opportunities. I’m at a stage in my life now where I’m ready to buy a house, get a job and settle down and think about starting my own family. I therefore hope that within the next 2 years that I have found long-term employment and have made good progression towards my personal goals. Personally, I’m not hungry for wealth or anything like that, I just want a simple life and to be happy, as that’s the most important thing at the end of the day!

Thank you to Ryan for sharing his GCU experience, if you would like to share your #GCUGradStory visit: https://bit.ly/3C4zNqY 

For more information on how to apply to GCU visit: Undergraduate | GCU

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