September 10, 2015

Studying at the University of Warwick… An Incredible Journey…(Part 2)

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Carlos Serra, MSc Programme and Project Management WMG graduate has been telling us about his experience of coming to the UK - leaving his job, his home country of Brazil, his culture and everything he knew so well. It was an adventure of changes for him and his wife Suelem.

In the last blog, we learnt about when he first moved to the UK, his expectations before he came, and the rather different but pleasant reality of when he arrived.

In this blog, we continue on his journey as he talks about study and life at Warwick...

Part 2: Studying... and So Much More!

Carlos had thought hard about his year ahead and what he planned to achieve. Before even coming to the UK, he already had an idea about the research topic he wanted to cover in his MSc project and was prepared for many hours of study. But, so much more than just study awaited him, he came across a number of learning opportunities that he did not expect…

Study Focus...


Soon after enrolling at the university and commencing his studies, he had the opportunity to select his project supervisor from a wide range of areas; it allowed him to have an expert in the subject he wanted to research. This was really important to Carlos in ensuring he was well supported in studying his chosen project.

Besides the required support for his research project, Carlos found the teaching methods far above his expectations. Class time in modules consisted of real-to-life simulations, exercises, workshops and group activities. Between modules, the in-module practical experience was combined with in-depth study, requiring the research of papers, the reflection and a critical analysis. He said he had never seen a similar model in Brazil and found these methods of learning to be so important for the development of a student’s personal judgment with respect to each theme. Furthermore, the simulations with different people of different nationalities and cultures provided a unique opportunity to experience and develop an understanding of working in multicultural environments.

Keeping the balance...

More than studying 10 hours a day, Carlos embraced the opportunities available at Warwick to combine his study with sporting, social and cultural activities. The activities available at the university’s sports centre amazed Carlos and his wife, offering dozens of sports including some very unusual in their country such as gliding, climbing, sword-play, among others. Carlos a sportsman, enjoyed swimming, weight training and Jiu Jitsu at the centre.

The university also offered many cultural activities such as weekly trips to other cities through the International Office, hundreds of interest


societies to join at the Student’s Union, a diverse agenda of events and performances at Warwick Arts Centre, plus a cinema, two nightclubs and several restaurants, cafes and bars, all located within the university campus.

Cultural activities and sports offered even more opportunity for integrating with people from other cultures which was an extra learning experience for Carlos which he found to be a very beneficial experience and enjoyable alongside his studies.

The Life of a Student's Wife at Warwick...

Whilst most students coming to study at Warwick are often travelling here alone, in moving to the UK from Brazil, Carlos's wife Suelem came with him for the journey. So for anyone who may be bringing their family with them, she gave us some of her thoughts on what life at Warwick was like, from the perspective of a supportive wife during Carlos's studies;

"For an entire year, Carlos’s life was focused on studying. I had to get used to not always having him around whilst he spent days and evenings in the library. But I took the opportunity to look for activities for personal and professional development. I took English courses, volunteering activities, temporary work and even started to develop a business plan based on opportunities that I'd identified during the year. It was actually a very good period for our relationship, I had more time to devote to Carlos and to myself, something that was often forgotten about in Brazil given the demands of our professional lives.

The year together in the UK was often challenging, I missed my busy work life a lot, as well as her family and friends. But, with our determination and willingness, it was an enjoyable and beneficial experience for both of us. So, if you are thinking about coming to the UK with your spouse, do not hesitate!

Since studying at WMG, Carlos's career has gone from strength to strength. He has worked his way up working in Senior Project Management positions in companies including Venture Information Management, Lloyd's Register Energy and currently works as PMO Lead for Gazprom Marketing and Trading.

The research he undertook for his MSc project has proved very successfully. He has delivered presentations of his research at various conferences and it has featured in papers and articles. He is now in the final stages of writing his own book based on his research which is currently being considered for publication.

Suelem is also doing well. Since Carlos graduated, she spent over a year working in the recruitment industry in London and has since gained UK qualifications in HR. She is now CIPD level 5 qualified and is working as a Senior Global Recruiter for SGS, a Swiss organisation with over 80,000 employees all around the world, which provides inspection, verification, testing and certification services. Due to her multicultural skills in HR and Recruitment, she was tasked to travel to Angola and Brazil to implement global recruitment processes in the local offices, to meet client organisations and to do business development.

Read more about Carlos Serra and his on-going journey.

(This blog was taken from an article written on, 2012)

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