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School of Business and Management

Banu Ali (Management MSc, 2020)

Banu Ali came to study at Queen Mary on a Chevening Scholarship, which is the UK government’s international scheme aimed at developing global leaders. In her profile, Banu talks about what she enjoyed most about her course and how she hopes to apply her learning back home in Iraq.

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What course did you study at Queen Mary and what inspired you to study this course?

I studied MSc Management at the School of Business and Management. I always wanted to study Management after finishing my BSc in Information Technology and I studied this course because it truly aligns with my career aspirations.

What attracted you to study at Queen Mary in particular?

Queen Mary is one of the UK’s top-ranking universities and part of the Russell Group. They provide a brilliant learning environment and excellent teaching staff, and two years of career support after graduation. It is for these reasons that I chose to study at Queen Mary.

What did you enjoy most about studying at Queen Mary? Did you have any favourite modules or topics, or any favourite lecturers or seminar leaders?

I enjoyed the Strategic Management class, which was taught by one of my favourite professors, Professor Gary Schwarz. He was inspirational and I learned a lot from him. Another class that I enjoyed was the Financial Analysis and Management Accounting class which was taught by Dr Androniki Triantafylli. She made us understand the subject very quickly by giving us real-life examples that I will remember forever.

How did you feel when you found out you had been accepted as a Chevening Scholar?

It was a dream come true. I felt overwhelmed and proud. I always had this dream to pursue my postgrad in the UK and becoming a Chevening Scholar is an outstanding achievement that I will always be proud of.

What was special about your time at Queen Mary? Can you give one or two examples of your most memorable moments?

The best memories started when I first came to Queen Mary for Welcome Week in 2019. It was my first time on campus, and I immediately fell in love with it. I also saw the staff, the students and my classmates, and at that moment, I felt very excited, and I knew it was going to be an unforgettable journey.

The second notable memory is when Queen Mary organised a reception for Chevening and Commonwealth scholars in December 2019. It was my first time meeting the Commonwealth Scholars and some Queen Mary staff members. The staff members were there to support us and encourage us and this gave me the special feeling that we were all part of the same Queen Mary family.

Do you have a favourite spot on campus? If so, where is it and why?

My favourite spot on campus is the part where Regent’s Canal flows through. The view of the canal is magnificent. I spent my time there mostly hanging out with my friends or walking from there to Victoria Park.

What was it like studying and living in a different country and what advice would you give to prospective Chevening Scholars before they come to London?

It was not easy at the beginning as it was my first time away from my family for a year. However, London is very diverse, and this made it easier for me to get used to the city and to start to love it. The people are very helpful, and the Mile End campus is close to shops which meant that I could find anything that I wanted. I would advise Chevening Scholars to enjoy every moment and make the most out of this experience. London is a beautiful city, and you have access to anything you may like or need.

Now that you’ve graduated, what are your plans for your future career?

My career plan is to take what I have learned at Queen Mary and work on implementing this in organisations in Iraq so that the best services are also available for our people.