A view from the inside

Rachel Ruff, student at Pearson College London

By Rachel Ruff, Pearson Business School student

Whilst walking through Covent Garden, listening to an operatic singer and noticing the street entertainers, it doesn’t quite feel as if I am on my way to university. The atmosphere in London, no matter where you are, is always exciting. That isn’t the only exciting thing about London, with Pearson College London emerging and being based at 80 Strand, home to Pearson and many other huge companies it is very different to a traditional university. The working offices mean that studying here has a much more professional atmosphere which is a great thing to experience, but also means you’ll stand out like a sore thumb if you rock up to lectures wearing your hangover clothes!

Being part of a FTSE 100 company means that studying with Pearson College London has a totally different feel – it means that those around you fully understand how to prepare students for a life in business as they themselves are part of a great one. This difference to traditional university also means that business minded lecturers of a high calibre have joined to lecture alongside running their own business, ensuring the knowledge passed on is up-to-date and relates to the real world.

With the opportunities that Pearson College London has to offer, such as industry days with some of the biggest companies, networking is not just another key word, it is genuinely a part of student life! Some of the industry days that have taken place this year are with L’Oréal, Unilever, Salesforce and Direct Line. I attended Direct Line which was a two day event and consisted of a ‘hack’, where we had to revolutionise insurance! This also consisted of twenty boxes of Domino’s pizza to keep us going! Salesforce let us into their head office for a day which included an inspiring talk from Jeremy Waite, explaining who and what Salesforce are, this then prompted them to return to PCL and offer internships to a group of 6 lucky individuals! Their offices are home to a HUGE fish tank in their lobby and transparent lifts facing London that take exactly 15 seconds to reach the ground - perfect for an Instagram video!

Alongside industry days, Pearson College London has great links when helping students gain amazing internships and with the support of Talent Development, it gives you a fantastic head start on the career ladder.  

But don’t worry, it’s not all so serious! As well as working hard, there is also the chance to play hard, and although London is known for its high end restaurants and bars, which may make you worry your student budget might not stretch that far, fear not! Pearson College London have teamed with University London and have some great student unions on board – I recommend Kings, the burger and beer deal can’t be beaten! If you are feeling a little more up market, All Bar One has a perfect happy hour on cocktails, again, easy on the purse!

If you’re thinking of going to university then I have the following five top tips to consider:

1. Location, Location, Location! Now you may think that this is the be all and end all of student life! Don’t worry, loads of people commute from home or live in different areas of London in halls of residence. With London transport nothing is too far and there are bars, restaurants and nightclubs all over! Get chatting to current students on Open Days to find out where most people are living and then check it out!

2. Make sure you visit the premises you’ll be studying in to make sure it’s somewhere you think you’d want to be every day – again Open Days or personal visits are a great opportunity to do this!

3. Check out previous graduates LinkedIn profile title’s to see the types of careers that students have gone on to secure after graduating from that university! Just search under ‘people’ ‘graduates from…’ and this will give you an idea of the sort of prospective jobs open to you if you chose that particular university.

4. The course!!! This seems obvious but find out as much as you can about it from a wide range of sources, don’t just stick to the prospectus. Ask for a break-down of how the academic term plans out, how many contact hours is the course a week and are these compulsory? Importantly find out how you’ll be assessed to make sure there are no hidden surprises!

5. Last, but by no means least - what do they offer you that can form part of your unique selling point when you leave university? There are tens of thousands of graduates each year, and good grades alone don’t always cut it anymore!  

Interested in studying Business from within a FTSE 100 Company? Check out the Pearson Business School section of our website.