At the University of Salford we believe in creating opportunities for anyone who has the passion to learn, and that’s why we provide programmes for workers in industry. We recently met up with Sarah Balint, a part-time evening MSc Human Resource Management and Development student. We talked to Sarah to find out about how she used her industry experience to get into university.

Why did you decide to do a Master’s at Salford?

I’ve worked in Human Resources for 10 years, but I really felt that it would benefit me if I could gain an official qualification in that area. I don’t have an undergraduate degree or A-levels, but I went straight for the master’s because I wanted to be challenged. The University of Salford was recommended to me by colleagues that had previously studied there: my HR director, manager and some of the advisors. Also, it was the only university to offer a part-time course with evening classes – a big thing for me as it fitted in with family life.

Sarah Balint on campus

How was the application process?

I was really passionate about the course so I spoke to Francine Morris, the programme leader and told her about my experience. Because I didn’t have an undergraduate degree, I needed to show that I was capable of doing a master’s. I was given a statement and asked to do an academic essay on it before going for an interview. It was a roller coaster week! I had to research how to write academically and spent half of the week learning how to do it, the rest of it I spent writing the essay. Some nights, I was up till 4am to get it done! Then I came for the interview, and they offered me an unconditional place straight away!

Did you get along with the people on your course?

Everyone was lovely! Most were mature students with family commitments like myself. A lot of them were already working in HR, so they could bring their experience into the discussions and give their views on certain situations. We were all learning from one another. It was a nice, two-way communication between the group. We would all want to hear each others opinion and were genuinely interested in their point of view. It was really enjoyable.

What does your family think of it all?

They’re really proud of me and excited to hear about my results They’re coming to my graduation! It’s been good for them to see me do it because I’ve given them some inspiration to go to university.

Sarah Balint shaking hands

Have you got any plans for the future?

As I progressed though my degree, I knew that I wanted to be a lecturer. So, I’m going to be a visiting lecturer here next year. It’s on an as-and-when-needed basis but it’ll be good for me because if it’s something that I really enjoy, which I’m sure it will be, I’m going to look at doing a PhD. It’s exciting because I think this is where I’m supposed to be. It was 100% the right move to come back to education.

What advice would you give to someone who’s in a similar position to you?

If you want to do something, do it. Have confidence in your own ability. It’s 100% worth the investment. In the beginning, it can feel like a mammoth task, but everyone at Salford is supportive. Structure your time, set goals and keep yourself motivated. If you’re worried about something or feel yourself slipping, then speak to your supervisor or lecturer. I totally recommend it.

Thank you, Sarah, for your time. We wish you the best of luck for the future and hope you have a fabulous graduation ceremony.Expand your capabilities and become unstoppable with a Master’s in Human Resource Management and Development – it’s never too late!