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Taking a Master's in Business Leadership in New York

19 January, 2018

Lola Hasanovic and Uros Ranisavljevic, from Serbia, have recently completed the MS Business Leadership program at Concordia College, New York, after taking the Graduate Preparation Program at Kings New Jersey in preparation.

We spoke to them about studying in the U.S., what their Masters program was like, and how the Graduate Preparation program helped them.

Where are you from, and what did you study at Concordia College?

Lola: I am from Serbia's capital, Belgrade. I studied in the graduate program in Business Leadership at Concordia College.

Uros: I am also from Belgrade, and was a graduate student in the Master's in Business Leadership program.

What did you like about studying at Concordia College through the Kings program?

Lola: The subjects we took were very interesting. I definitely like the location. It's very important when choosing a school. Because Concordia is close to New York City, it was easy to go there every other day.

Uros: First of all, I like the program in itself. It was very interesting. I also liked that you can do an accelerated program, so within a year you can be done with your program. I think that is a very good thing.

I like that Concordia (and Kings) is small, so you get to know all the people. They are all really friendly and here to help you. That is important when you come from far away. As the Concordia motto says, 'Small school, great input' — it was really like that.

What challenges did you experience with the U.S. higher education system?

Lola: I would say I didn't experience a great deal of challenges because we had done the Kings Education Graduate Preparation Program at Rider in New Jersey before coming to Concordia in New York. So we were well prepared for everything. It was helpful and we knew what to expect.

Uros: There were not too many unexpected things. The Preparation Program was very helpful. My biggest challenge was being accepted by my classmates due to cultural differences. So there were just a few challenges being in a new culture with American students. I also had to learn how to use BlackBoard, which is a technology where I had to submit some assignments. So I had a little problem with that, but I figured it out.

What were advantages of being close to New York City for you?

Lola: New York is a huge advantage because we were able to live for a whole year only a 30-minute train ride from the center of New York City. I got to experience the city completely. I visited every tourist destination and museum there is. Also I got to enjoy the nightlife and food. It was really an amazing experience. It was always a dream of mine to one day live in New York.

Uros: One of the reasons we chose Concordia College is because it is so near to New York City. Due to that, we took advantage of every opportunity and experience the city had to offer us. At least for a year, we could consider ourselves residents of New York City, which is really great.

Do you have any advice for other international students considering this program?

Lola: I think that it helped that we were well informed because of our relationship with Kings. I think that was very helpful to get all the information and check everything, so we weren't surprised by anything.

I would advise you to do your research carefully, and visit the school before you come here to study. We had the chance to speak to a Concordia student before we came, even when we were still in the Kings program at Rider, so he gave us insight into that program.

I would say that everything was a really great experience, and it taught me a lot. Just being here with all these other students from all over the world was a big and important experience for me. I think this Leadership program gave me a lot. It had some really really good subjects and some amazing professors and I really think I learned a lot in the past year, so I am happy that I have chosen Concordia to do this.

Uros: In general, for international students whether doing undergraduate or graduate studies, don't be afraid to ask questions, do the research and make sure you know how to do everything correctly. It was valuable to have Kings to help us with all that paperwork and to answer questions we had.

As far as the program goes, anyone who wants to make a change in your careers, this program is really good. Even if you don’t have experience with business, you can learn and get skills for business. It would also be good for people who already work in business to advance their careers.