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Murat Kamaran

BSc Management

Murat moved from Turkey to Berlin when he was five-years-old. In the area where he grew up not many of his contemporaries went to university. He explains, 'I lived in an area with a lot of immigrant families, and most of the children would help out with family businesses after school. There was no culture of higher education.' However, Murat always felt that he was capable of studying and was disappointed that he never got a chance to because he got his high school diploma in the United States in 2002. If you went to school in Germany you can only study at university there if you have a German high school certificate. He says, 'I knew if I didn’t go to university I wouldn’t be happy because that unfulfilled desire would always be inside me.'

A friend of Murat’s told him about Birkbeck, and how the courses were taught in the evening so he would be able to work during the day to support himself. When he arrived in London, Murat quickly found work but also qualified for financial support from the College, which was a great help to him. He said, 'Although things were tough financially while I was studying, the tutors were really supportive and always reassured me that there would be support to help me get through my degree.' Even when he was having financial difficulties, Murat would make sure he attended classes. He describes them as a 'very positive escape' from other worries.

Birkbeck was Murat’s first experience of university. He remembers, 'When I arrived I felt quite bewildered, and as though I was the only person who didn’t understand anything! I really had to raise my game at the start in order to meet the challenge of studying in a different language and a different way. I became much more self-motivated and when I realised that I’d been able to meet the challenge it had a very positive impact on my self-esteem.'

Support from his tutors played a big part in Murat’s personal development throughout his degree. He says, 'The tutors had really high expectations of us. It put pressure on us, but not in a bad way – I always felt that the tutors believed in me. Even when it didn’t seem possible that I would get to the end of the course, the tutors had faith in me and it really motivated me to live up to those expectations. The growth in my confidence levels was unbelievable.'

Career progression was one of Murat’s motivations for studying as he always thought that not having a degree was putting him at a disadvantage. Having gained his degree he is clear the benefits extend far beyond his career. He explains, 'People set themselves goals such as earning more money, getting married, or having a family but, in the end, making a positive change to  your own character or personality is the best investment that you can make.'

Murat finishes, 'There have been so many unexpected but amazing things that I have discovered on this journey. I met some amazing classmates, who helped me when I needed things explained to me – I can’t explain how much I appreciate their support. The tutors enabled me to achieve something that I didn’t really believe was possible four years ago. My whole way of viewing the world has changed and I’m much more open and slower to judge than I was.

'There were times when the last four years were tough, but it was like building a building one brick at a time and now that I’ve finished I can see that it was absolutely worth it. It was a fantastic experience, and I recommend Birkbeck from my heart.'

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'It was a fantastic experience, and I recommend Birkbeck from my heart.'