Octavian Hayden
MSc Business with Operations Management (2020 - 2021)

Tell us a bit about yourself, your background, and the course you are studying

My name is Octavian, I am originally from Essex and I studied my bachelor’s degree in engineering at Warwick. I have just completed an MSc in Business with Operations Management at WBS as I wanted to be able to apply what I learned as an undergraduate at a business operations level.

What first attracted you to WBS?

I studied engineering at the University of Warwick and took a couple of optional modules taught in WBS. I really enjoyed not just the content of the lectures but the atmosphere and ethos of the other students.

What would you say are the key things that sets WBS apart?

WBS sets itself apart by providing lots of real-world context to its teaching. It does this through having a wide range of guest speakers and lectures who have extensive professional experience and who give students real applications and examples to support academic theory. This helps keep students engaged and interested in the content as well as gaining the confidence to apply the theories in practice, something which I think comes across at interviews.

What is the best thing about your course so far?

For me, the highlight of the course was the Business in Practice project, which, while challenging and hard work, provided me with a chance to apply the year of learning and make friends with some amazing people in the process. I would certainly recommend it to anyone studying a business masters at WBS.

What is your favourite module? What do you cover on this module?

There were too many great modules for me to pick just one. However, some of the modules I enjoyed the most were the ones I was apprehensive of when I started the course such as Foundations of Financial and Management Accounting, Quantitative Methods, and Fundamentals of Economic Behaviour.

What has inspired you most throughout your studies at WBS?

Some of the greatest inspiration I got throughout my studies came from other students. I was impressed with the range of achievements; some were unbelievably clever, others had their own start-ups, and everyone had such different backgrounds that every conversation and group project was interesting.

Are you a member of any sports clubs or societies? How has being a member of a society or club benefited you?

It was harder than usual last year due to COVID but throughout my time at Warwick I fenced for the University and took up climbing which has a very active social side. I think that taking part in organised sport not only keeps you fit physically but helps with good mental health during your studies. As an undergraduate I was a team captain and fencing club treasurer which helped me build leadership and commercial skills.

What do you aim to do once you graduate?

 I have started work in Cambridge for a technology consultancy as a strategy analyst. I think that I would not have got the job offers without the MSc from WBS and I was able to talk about many of the things I had learnt at interview.

What are your tips for getting the most out of an MSc for those starting in September?

To get the most out the MSc you need to be proactive in everything you do. I contacted some people through the WBS forums and met up with them for a drink; one of them ended up being in my Business in Practice group and we will be keeping in touch after leaving WBS. You should also engage in lectures and do all the seminar work; being prepared means you get the most out of the contact time and the lectures promote asking questions and being inquisitive.

What top tips would you give to prospective MSc students who are deciding if WBS is the right place for them?

Look at the course content in-depth, there is plenty of information about the modules and course structure, the option to do business in practice instead of a dissertation really convinced me to study at WBS. Also, make sure that the University of Warwick is a place you think you would enjoy; for me, a campus works well as everything is within short walking distance, but some people may prefer to be in the heart of a city.