LUMS Survival Guide

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Photograph: Steph Mitcalf

First of all, Congratulations! The LUMS (Lancaster University Management School) is a smart choice for business students as it is consistently ranked the top ten business schools in the UK! I hope you will have a nice time at the LUMS. Before you start your academic life, here are five tips that can help you to survive from the first year.

If you don’t want be late, look at the map!

If you’ve never been to the LUMS building, and you are going to have classes in there, or will venture in to meet your tutors, I strongly suggest you get there in advance (at least ten minutes early) and follow the map. There are maps dotted around campus and in the LUMS foyer, and the iLancaster app is another great resource with a Locations function that will get you where you need to be. One thing about Lancaster is everyone is happy to help. Everyone was new once, so ask the nearest person or find a member of staff.

If you don’t understand classes, don’t be afraid to ask for help!

At school, if you don’t understand something, you will probably just skip that part rather than speaking to your teacher. At uni, things are different. Learn to ask for help and not be embarrassed about it. Students of LUMS are mainly from 8 majors: Accounting and Finance; Economics; Entrepreneurship, Strategy and Innovation; Marketing; Management; Management Science; and OWT (Organisation, Work and Technology). Most business tutors offices are in the LUMS building and Charles Carter building (Opposite George Fox). Each seminar tutor and lecturer will have designated Office Hours, which is the time they are available to meet all students. So, if you want to talk to your tutor, check their office hours and send them an email to check they are free. Office Hours are there to be used. They always emphasize that there are no stupid questions; all queries are welcome. So, don’t be panic or be upset if you find it hard to follow lectures, just write your questions down and send them in an email, they are happy to help you!

Extra Academic help in the LUMS

If your first language is not English or you have never written an academic assessment before, then you need to know about “Academic Writing Zone”. The Writing Zone helps students review essays and presentation structures, and correct grammatical errors.

The Maths and Stats Help (MASH) aims to help students improve mathematics skills. If you have problems on maths and are shy about asking your tutor, the MASH is a good choice.

As they all very popular and always fully booked when the time close to deadlines and finals, make an advanced booking to secure your place.

If you decided to change your major…

Whilst the vast majority of students will stick with their original major, the minor system in your first year will inspire some students to change subject. There are two time periods to do this:

  1. At the beginning of first year. This does not often happen but if you’ve decided already, you need to go to the department you’d like to study, and ask if you are qualified to switch your major to another course. If they agree, then you will need to fill in a form. As many courses are very popular each year, I would recommend you to do it as soon as possible.
  1. At the end of first year. After studying two terms, you may feel you have lost confidence in your chosen subject and decided to change. You need to ask the department you’d like to study at first. However the major you want to switch must related to your first year’s study. This is because there are certain pre-requisites to progress to study a subject as your major, you cannot start the subject from scratch. Once the department has agreed, they will give you a “conditional offer”, such as pass all assessments; overall 60 in Part 1; or 60+ in specific courses.

The point is, if your course doesn’t sit well with you, don’t worry. It takes a while for everybody to adjust to the work and you may realize that you are passionate about something else. But it is not the end of the world!

Supports for further careers

Dozens of events are held in the LUMS each term, you can find information from the dashboard and book a slot via targetconnect. Firms such as the Big Four (EY, PWC, KPMG and Deloitte) and Johnson & Johnson have close connect with the LUMS. Some also hold recruitment fairs in the LUMS regularly. Taking mock interviews or mock assessment centers can help students practice application skills. Also these are important for people who plan to undertake the Lancaster Award.

The LUMS has its own career services to help business students in various ways, such as reviewing CVs, and helping students prepare for interviews. Both the Base and the LUMS career team offer career guidance, but the LUMS’s team is more focus on the business world.