Akriti Sethi’s Cambridge International AS & A Level subject choices were based on her interest in advertising and PR: 'At Cambridge International AS Level I studied English Language, Business, Economics, Psychology, and International History, because I wanted to get a better perspective of the dynamic field of brand management, especially a business perspective. When the time came to choose my Cambridge International A Level courses I already knew that I wanted to study communication at university, so I chose English Language, Business, and Economics – subjects I thought would be relevant to my degree course.'
Akriti went on to study Communication and Media Studies, with a specialisation in Global Studies, at Monash University Malaysia, where she is now in her third and final year: 'University life is extremely active and engaging,’ she says, 'Malaysia is an exciting destination for a student – it’s relatively cheap and very diverse.'
There is no barrier to questions in Cambridge courses. Information is not confined to the textbook or classroom – an economics question, for example, will use a real-world scenario. This helped me prepare for a world of study beyond school
Akriti felt well prepared for university studies thanks to her Cambridge courses. 'There is no barrier to questions in Cambridge courses. Information is not confined to the textbook or classroom so that an economics question, for example, will use a real-world scenario. This helped me prepare more holistically for a world of study beyond school. I also briefly studied Cambridge Global Perspectives,’ she adds, ‘which broadened my understanding of how countries and transnational organisations reach mutually beneficial decisions, which helped me when I specialised in Global Studies at university.'
As for many students around the world, Akriti’s university life changed dramatically as a result of Covid-19, but she has retained a positive attitude: 'Until the pandemic hit, university had been just as I had imagined – fun and exciting, and I was also involved in activities such as an international students’ organisation and volunteering,’ she says.
'During the pandemic all my teaching moved online but I decided not to defer my semesters in order to graduate on time. There were times when I felt deprived of the full university experience, but from an academic viewpoint I have not seen a dip in my grades.'
And what’s next for Akriti? 'I plan to take a year off after my degree and hopefully work for a public relations agency so I can gain some practical experience,’ she says. ‘Then I would like to pursue a Master’s degree, preferably in corporate communications.'