Russell Gwata Business School

"Beyond the classroom there are so many opportunities that have added to my student experience."

Russell Gwata,
BA Hons Business with Law (Graduated 2016). 

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Being an international student, why did you decide to make Greenwich your home?

"When I was applying to Greenwich, the message that came across was that it was one of the most diverse and international universities in London. As an international student wanting to come to the UK, I knew there would be some culture shock. However, when searching for universities, I saw how accommodating Greenwich really is to international students, I felt it was a place that I can really fit in."

What activities did you take part in during your time at university?
"One of the main things I did was to become a member of the basketball team at Greenwich, which helped me meet and make friends through sports. I also had a part-time job and worked at networking fairs and events with the University' Education Liaison Unit. I also completed a placement year at IBM."

Tell us about your placement experience at IBM.
"It was an eye opening experience, as before I began my placement I knew little about IBM. I was Business Operations Support for IT Services. Working for the company, I saw that it is more than just a big name who invented the first ATM or made computers. IBM is a company which stands for a lot more and offers its employees many great opportunities. It was an interesting experience. I learned a great deal."

Has your placement year helped shape your career interest after university? Are you aiming to find a similar role?

"Yes, as I'm looking for a role in a similar industry, within IT and consulting. My placement year has taught me that there are many roles within the sector. Particularly in areas I had not considered before such as consulting and sales. Through my placement year I figured out that I have the skills which are necessary to be successful within sales."

It takes a great deal of courage to move across the world to study at university. Where does your drive and determination come from?

"My motivation comes from my family. My dad in particular is extremely hard working. Since I've been a kid I've never really seen him take days off, even when we used to go on holiday. My parents have sacrificed a great deal for me so a lot of my passion and everything I do is for them. I want to make them proud and I think this determination has been within me from the outset of my journey."

What has your fondest moment been at the University of Greenwich? What pops into your mind?
"My induction in my first year, I'm in a new country, new university, new everything. The group of people that I went to McDonalds with after our first induction lesson of university were my friends up until my last day of second year even till now! The bond you make with friends helped me, as an international student, to settle into the UK really quickly."

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