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Student of the Month - August 2014

study a tripartite MBA at Griffith College

Course: MSc in International Business (Griffith College) / MA in International Management (SRH Hochschule Berlin)

Year: Graduating in 2014

Nationality: Brazilian

Home Town / Country: Recife, Brazil


My Current Situation

At the moment I am writing my MSc thesis. I am looking forward to celebrating my graduation with family and friends next month!

My Background

Originally from the city of Recife, located on the northeast coast of Brazil, I lived in the capital, Brasilia for 12 years. I worked for a bank during that time but I had always wanted to travel and live abroad. I wanted experiences that could add value to my life. I wanted to explore the world, be in touch with different cultures, learn languages, travel and live life to the full.

I am outgoing - I love to socialise and be surrounded by people. In my free time I love to do sports (tennis, squash, running, mountain biking, etc.), read, paint, cook and travel. I love to travel to different countries to get to know people from various cultures. Languages fascinate me; I think it is because I love to interact with people. I am very friendly, communicative, easy-going and open-minded.

My motto is: The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new. (Socrates)

Recommendations for the MSc in International Business, Griffith College and Dublin

I totally recommend the College, the city, AND the country! My study experience in Dublin is unforgettable. It will be in my heart and memories forever.

Preparing for the MSc in International Business

Initially I found the workload tough. Managing my timetable was a big challenge. Dealing with cultural differences and study deadlines was something I got used to. I had to work very hard to complete assignments on time but it was worth it. I learnt an awful lot in a short time and this was down to the lecturers and tutors.

Working on course projects in groups with other students of various ages who all had different knowledge, experience and opinions was extremely valuable. In light of the cultural differences I found it was important to be sensitive and strategic to accomplish tasks within a team and to get the results we wanted. It was a useful opportunity to learn to respect people’s differences.

My Main Tip for New Graduate Business School Students

Balance your timetable carefully. Study hard but don´t forget to enjoy the craic!!! J

Highlights of Your Time at Griffith

The best thing that happened to me during my semester in Dublin was becoming an International Student Ambassador for Education in Ireland. It was a unique experience. The role involved writing a blog about my experiences of studying in Dublin.

The highlight was attending the Education in Ireland Awards ceremony. The event took place at Farmleigh House, a gorgeous estate that was once owned by the Guinness family (as in the famous beer!) and now is a public space. Located in the middle of Phoenix Park, it was a gorgeous venue. During the event, we met the Prime Minister of Ireland, and the Minister of Education, who presented us with certificates for being International Ambassadors.

It was amazing. It was a once in a lifetime experience and I am so grateful to everyone at Education in Ireland and the international department at Griffith College for making it happen.

I met many interesting people and so the experience has broadened my professional network.

Marta Welker, MSc in International Business student at Griffith College

Why I Chose Griffith

As my husband is half German our first destination when leaving Brazil was Berlin. Before we left though we agreed that I would do my study abroad semester in Dublin, as I wanted to improve my English. I studied for one year at SRH Berlin. I then chose Griffith College as it’s a partner of SRH Berlin.

As soon as I arrived I felt at home – everyone was very friendly and there was so much to see not only in the city but the countryside too. So Griffith was definitely a good choice for me!

What I Like Most About Griffith

I found there was a huge cultural diversity not only within my classes but within the College and also Dublin.

This diversity really helped me make the most of the MSc modules I was studying. Our professors were always bringing an international issue to discuss in class and because of the different nationalities involved in the discussion it was always a challenging and enriching experience. It was also a wonderful opportunity to learn about different cultures, economies, and social life. Now I feel more prepared to deal with the challenges of the global world.

Griffith College’s environment is very friendly and warm. Here you are not just a number as you find in many other universities. My lecturers were always willing to help or support me  with any difficult problems I encountered. The professors and lecturers made the effort to know all our names. The College’s professors would go the extra mile – for example, even searching the campus to find a particular student who they wanted to give feedback to!

I can honestly say that Ireland is quite different from others places I lived before. It is very welcoming to foreign visitors and international students. Irish people have cultural awareness and a respect for diversity. They know how important international students are for the country’s development, not only economically, but also as a society.

My Dissertation Subject And How I Chose It

My research is about savings bank business models in Europe and Latin America and the challenges that these institutions face in the global world. I chose this topic because of my experience of working in a savings bank in Brazil for 12 years. As a bank we worked hard to overcome the challenges of market liberalisation and deregulation.

Savings institutions have existed for more than 200 years. They have managed to survive despite wars, and social and environmental changes. However, market wars and the quite dramatic changes of the past twenty years have put the very existence of these institutions at risk.

In some countries savings banks are disappearing completely, and in others they are becoming traditional banks that are economically driven. The two main goals of my thesis are to prove the importance of these institutions both in developed and developing countries, and to propose a new business model for the Brazilian savings banks to help prepare them for surviving the new challenges of the global world.

Best bits of student life at Griffith …

Cultural diversity.

Best thing about Dublin …

Cultural life.

My Plans For The Future

I hope to find a job in Europe after my graduation and apply everything I have learnt. I would love to work in another business sector to broaden my knowledge further.

Read Marta’s blog on Education in Ireland



Useful Resources

Find out more about Griffith College's Graduate Business School

MSc in International Business

MBA in International Business

Interview by Lydia Casey

Interested in doing a Post-Graduate Business degree?

Explore the wide range of Business courses available from Griffith College's Graduate Business School.