When Nikole Cervantes left her home country of Costa Rica to visit relatives on the Isle of Man, she never expected that a year later, she would be studying a Master’s in Business Entrepreneurship with Work Based Integrative Studies (WBIS) at University College Isle of Man (UCM), and undertaking an exciting placement opportunity with UNESCO Biosphere Isle of Man (UBIOM).
Here, Nikole sits in the Hall Caine Library, ready to share her journey of studying at UCM, how she discovered the WBIS programme and how she is adapting to life on the island.
A change of scenery
Having previously completed a Psychology degree at the National University of Costa Rica, Nikole knew that she wanted to continue to develop her learning, and progress to a Masters, “I was looking for two things, a good university, and as my first language is Spanish, a place to improve my English”.
“The friendly atmosphere and intimate class sizes of UCM really appealed to me; here, it doesn’t feel like most other universities, it has such a close-knit, supportive community, and that’s something that I knew would help me as an international student”.
Combining her passions
The WBIS programme tailors learning around a realistic work-based environment, enabling students to gain beneficial workplace experience, whilst building valuable connections within industry, an interesting change from psychology, and an important aspect which attracted Nikole to the programme.
“During my psychology degree, I studied some modules on the evaluation and execution of projects, where I witnessed how elements of psychology are utilised in business. I wanted to direct my passion into business, and the Business Entrepreneurship programme at UCM allowed me to gain an insight into, and experience how a variety of host businesses across the island, operate”.
Exciting placement opportunities
Nikole is currently undertaking a placement with UBIOM, to assist with her Masters research into how businesses and UBIOM can work together to support the environment, “Through UCM, I have had the opportunity to work with UBIOM which has given me hands on work-place experience and provided valuable contacts which I hope will be very helpful in the future”.
“This placement has opened my eyes to the importance of protecting the environment, and in particular, how local businesses can aim to reduce their carbon footprint and change their behaviours, allowing us to continue improving and protecting this beautiful Island”.
Thinking about the future
Despite Covid-19 impacting face-to-face learning and social communication, Nikole has continued with her studies, working remotely and utilising Zoom to stay in touch with her tutors and new industry contacts, “My tutors have been brilliant throughout the pandemic and have always been there to offer advice and guidance for my research. Despite the cold weather, I have had a chance to explore the island a lot more, and take in its beautiful sceneries”.
In her free time, Nikole runs a blog, where she shares her ideas and advice on how to take care of your mental health when you are feeling lonely, and various other topics. See here: https://nikolecervantes.com
For more information about the MA Business Entrepreneurship with Work Based Integrative Studies (WBIS) course, see here: https://www.ucm.ac.im/courses/higher-education/digital-enterprise/mamsc-business-entrepreneurship-wbis/