Blog post

A home away from home

When I made the decision to go abroad to further my education and settled to come to the United Kingdom, I didn’t know which school to choose as there were so many great universities in the country.

By Mercy O. Okorie - 11 May 2020

I attended a career fair and met with the representatives of over fifteen universities, I selected five out of them and began to research each of them. Having lived most part of my life in large cities in my home country Nigeria, I had experienced the busy lifestyle that follows and felt that I needed a change, to a calmer and more serene environment. That was the reason I immediately fell in love with Derby.

I discovered that the University of Derby has so much to be proud of, it is, after all The No.1 Student Centre in the UK and has several high rankings. I said to myself “Mercy, this is exactly what you’ve been looking for”. Before arriving, I was able to communicate with staff at the University through a satellite office in my home country, they provided the best customer service and career guidance. They have worked with me throughout the entire process, from the first day until I arrived in the UK.

I took a personal tour of the University within the first week of my arrival. After seeing the beautiful facilities such as the Bloomberg laboratory, radiography equipment, NHS standard mock hospital, the forensic laboratory, and other things, I was convinced that I had made the right choice. Studying here at the University of Derby has been a blend of challenging experiences and exciting moments.

I struggled a little to get used to using Google Maps in this country as the houses look so alike. Sometimes, it was funny missing my way and having to get back to my starting point. I went on a tour of the city with my new friends and gradually we became used to the routes for our outings.

Academically, I have been stretched and challenged but have gained vast knowledge about trading across borders which is preparing me for my goal to become a global entrepreneur. Adhering to coursework deadlines has improved my time management skills as I am a naturally, detailed person and prefer to do important things without hurrying.

Having access to a whole range of resources from the library has opened my mind to a lot of knowledge. I am able to acquire this, within and outside, my discipline. This amazing University has given me a better knowledge of using modern technology and different software. I learn something new each day. During a time in which I fell ill, the Student Wellbeing Service, my personal tutor and my programme leader supported me until I got back on my feet, this gave me a great sense of belonging within the university.

My lecturers have been professional and encouraged us individually according to our needs. The weekly seminars have been an avenue to challenge us in critical thinking through question and answer sessions. Additional reading lists given for each module have encouraged me to nurture a reading habit, as each of these classes are very engaging.

Every activity at the University is preparing me to become a global entrepreneur, I will be an employer in the future. I have been researching on several aspects of consulting for some global brands to optimise their processes and workflows and handle parts of their supply chain management. I have also enrolled and commenced training on the ‘Be the Boss’ initiative launched by the University.

With these preparations and more I am currently considering, I have no doubt that I will succeed as an entrepreneur. Derby’s community spirit makes you have the feeling of being at home, it is very much my ‘Home away from Home’.

About the author

Mercy O. Okorie
Program Representative (University of Derby)

I love adventures. My daily Mantra - 'Do it Right, Anytime, Anywhere' Most importantly, I owe my life and everything to God. I believe in Jesus.