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Brian Finlay

Human Resource Management

I was attracted to the University of Stirling because of the location and the beautiful settings of the university. I had also researched universities throughout the central belt and felt that the university offered flexibility to adapt your degree after year 1 and 2. I initially chose a BA (Hons) Human Resource Management and French but found myself wanting to study more business and marketing modules so changed to a solo BA (Hons) Human Resource Management after year 1.  The main benefits I found about my time at the University of Stirling is how much I enjoyed individual study and research. The library facilities are great both on and off campus. The electronic remote access to journals and other resources when you are away from campus are phenomenal. The university also ensures that advice and knowledge on how to use relevant programmes available online is kept up to date and facilitates your learning fantastically.

I thoroughly enjoyed all of my learning from my BA (Hons) modules and especially enjoyed the critical approach to HRM theory and practice. I felt not taking professional advice about HRM at face value really enhanced my learning and allowed me to form my own opinions on the topics. I was able to express these opinions in my essays and by creating a strong argument to back up my point of view. I found the lecturing staff to be open minded to everyone’s varying opinion on some controversial topics and they encouraged open debate during seminars. The HRM course really covers work and employability from all aspects and discovered areas of this topic I had never considered relevant before. My favourite modules revolved around the sociology of work and unemployment. I went on the complete my dissertation on working relations amongst employees in the service sector and this inspired me to continue researching in this area through post graduate studies and hopefully a PhD.

On reflection I would have liked to take up more clubs or societies. I didn’t really consider the benefits that these would have had to my studies as the wide variety of clubs and societies could compliment your degree.  After speaking to people who had joined the Business Club they had held debates and discussions about contemporary issues in the business world and had mixed this with socialising which I would have enjoyed. I would encourage new students to get the most out of their university experience and get stuck in with everything it has to offer. Being a mature student and having other responsibilities I did not have the time to invest in additional sports or societies but feel it could contribute positively to a student’s experience. 

My studies have completely changed my career aspirations. I returned to higher education as a mature student and after years of experience in retail management I aimed to get into corporate human resources. I now aspire to complete my PhD in a sociology or work/employment relations topic followed by a part time higher education lecturing career and part time working in the HR for a charitable organisation. I have also been inspired politically during my wider research around policy and working conditions modules to start writing political letters for a National newspaper and would like to develop this into a political blog that revolves around work and employment in the future.

Your learning at the University of Stirling is driven by you and you can take it as far as you want to with the great supportive lecturing staff and different resources at your disposal. I utilised both the academic staff and learning facilities extensively in year 3 and 4 which resulted in me gaining a first class BA (Hons).  I never expected to ever gain such a high grade and the most important skill I have learned from my time at the University of Stirling is to be critical and explore topics fully and understand opposing arguments.

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