This international management student at Imperial loves life in London

Caroline Pappas is a master’s student in international management at Imperial College Business School. Before her trip to London, the American studied pursued a bachelor’s degree in Latin American studies at Georgetown University in the United States.

The decision to study in London – a global financial center – was a no-brainer for Pappas, who spent a year in London when she was younger. “I knew how wonderful the city was – the perfect setting for my next step,” she told Study International.

The recipient of the Imperial Excellence Scholarship is heavily involved in the Imperial Business Club. This gave her the opportunity to develop her leadership skills when she held positions such as Regional Alliances Coordinator and Director of Communications.

She is currently juggling with her studies in international management at Imperial while holding a full-time consulting position with FTI Consulting. We caught up with her to find out more about what it’s like to study in London and her advice for students wishing to study in the UK:

What made you choose the UK for your studies in strategic marketing?

It was for two reasons. First, I felt the Imperial program was the best for my future goals and passions. More importantly, after a year and a half locked in my room studying online, I thought this would be a great adventure.

The next steps in my college career seemed right to be in the UK as I would be leaving home and spending time in a new environment. Second, I spent a year in London when I was younger and knew how wonderful the city was – the perfect setting for my next stop.

Tell us about your background as a strategic marketing student at Imperial Oil.

As a strategic marketing student at Imperial, I am participating in a 12-month accelerated master’s degree. It teaches us all the skills needed to succeed in management roles around the world.

Then, as a few core modules continue into the spring semester, we start taking electives. This will allow us to personally manage what our degrees will teach us and what we hope to do next.

There is also another one-year module – Leadership in Action – which covers management, leadership, team building and the virtual workspace. We are given the chance to participate in a simulation project at the end of the year.

This means real-life experience before we graduate and enter the professional workplace. It has been so helpful so far and I look forward to learning more next year.

In addition to your studies in strategic marketing, tell us what it’s like to live in London. What are your favorite things?

How multicultural it is – you can access many different types of food just by moving through the city. I also like how easy it is to get around (the metro and buses are super reliable). Finally, I like to see the beautiful sights of the city – every day you can discover something awesome!

“Live as close as possible to public transport,” advises Caroline Pappas to international students wishing to study in London or the United Kingdom. Source: Tolga Akmen/AFP

What memories did you create in London?

I had a wonderful evening ice skating at the Natural History Museum with my friends just at the start of Christmas. I was also able to watch NFL games at Tottenham Stadium which is incredibly huge (and which also brought me closer to home).

I’ve been to many museums and concerts which, in London, is super special. Traveling around the UK has taken me to places like Cheshire, Dundee, Worcester, Edinburgh and Liverpool (by train mostly).

Tell us about your background. Where are you from and what is your hometown like?

I grew up and still live just outside of Boston in the United States. It’s a special place that thrives on passion and loyalty. It makes me warm and comfortable even when it’s freezing and snowing.

I would take visitors to see the history of the American Revolution that is found throughout the city. More importantly, I would recommend visitors to catch a sports game in Boston or New England, as the city is passionate about its sports.

International management

International students can navigate their way through London’s exciting food scene. Source: Justin Tallis/AFP

Food is an important topic for international students. How do you feel about the local food scene in the UK compared to back home?

The food isn’t too different – there are a lot of similarities between the US and the UK. I fell in love with the milk chocolate digestive biscuits with tea – a perfect combination.

I also really enjoy the curries I tried in London. The one thing I can’t forget is the UK’s love of beans, baked beans have always been at the bottom of my list for me.

What are you planning to bring back from the UK?

I have already told my family to get a tea kettle although we rarely drink tea. I will also bring back some quintessentially British phrases because sometimes they work better than the way we pronounce them at home.

What would you advise international students wishing to study in the UK?

Get used to looking right rather than left when crossing the road. I would also advise them to live as close as possible to public transport because the system is great.

Also, the sun sets at 4:00 p.m. so be prepared for that. Finally, the UK is a great place to study and in my personal experience, classmates and teachers are there to help you succeed in a special way. I really recommend it!

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