Student Shanté Thompson. Shanté stands in front of an out of focus background, to the right is a university building and to the left is a tree. Shanté is smiling and wears a neutral check high neck top.

Shanté Thompson

Please tell us a bit about yourself and your background?

My name is Shanté, and I am a final year undergraduate student from Barbados. Before coming to Leeds, I studied Spanish, Management of Business, Accounting, Caribbean Studies and Communication Studies at CAPE. I am also a Government of Barbados 2018 Scholarship Winner.

What made you want to apply to your course and to Leeds?

I applied to study my course for two reasons. Firstly, I found the courses that I would study throughout my degree interesting and believed that they would help me develop both personal and professional skills. I was particularly excited to take courses in Intercultural Competence, Small Business Internationalisation and Growth, Managing International Business and Spanish American Literature, which I had also studied when I did Spanish in 6th form.

Secondly, because of the compulsory Year Abroad in my third year, which would allow me to study or work in Spain or Latin America. I really wanted an opportunity where I could fully immerse myself in the language, meet new people and learn about new cultures.

What is it that makes you passionate about your area of study?

I am extremely passionate about studying International Business and Spanish because I am learning everyday how the world works, and I see real life examples of what I have studied in class in the newspapers. For example, when I go to do my shopping in the supermarket, I have a greater understanding of how the product that I have bought got on the shelf; there was a lot of trade negotiations and supply chain considerations amongst other factors that makes it possible for me to buy the product. Secondly, I love meeting people from different countries and cultures and learning Spanish gives me the opportunity to reach outside of my circle and develop friendships with people that I would have never met.

What aspects of the course do you enjoy the most? 

 A major highlight for me has been working with my peers on different projects. As mentioned above, I enjoy meeting new people from different countries and my course allowed me to do that. I have been able to work on projects with people from Oman, England, Brazil, New Zealand, America and Morocco and it has been a great experience seeing how students’ backgrounds and cultures have not only influenced their approach to the assignment but also to working in a team.

Another aspect that I have enjoyed has been applying what we have learnt in class. For example, in the first semester of my final year, we had a group simulation where we were the owners of a phone company and had to make decisions such as marketing and financial every round to help our company grow and beat the competition. Assignments like this not only helped to give me an insight into the world of work but also makes me feel more prepared.

What other activities are available for students to take part in outside of their studies, and which ones have you tried out yourself?

In my first two years, I was a member of the African Caribbean Society and I attended many of their events such as games nights. I also was a Peer Group Support Volunteer for LUU Mind Matters Society, and I am currently a Link to Leeds Ambassador. I have also attended many of the activities going on in Leeds such as Bonfire Night and Light Night Leeds.

What do you plan to do when you’ve finished your course, and how do you think the skills and knowledge you’ve developed so far at Leeds will help with these plans?

Sadly, due to the pandemic, I was not able to go on my Year Abroad in my third year as had hoped. After my course, I am really hoping that I will be able to travel to Spain or Central America, in particular Panama because that’s where my grandfather is from, so that I can have that opportunity. My course has helped to develop my Spanish language skills which will be useful for this plan after university.

What would you say to anyone thinking of applying to your course?

I would say to apply. This course has not only helped me to grow academically but also personally. You will develop critical thinking, research skills, time management and communication skills. You will also get to work with students from different countries and backgrounds which is highly important as the world is becoming more globalised and cultural sensitivity and awareness are important.