So now we’re on to the most exciting part of the programme – Consulting! Real companies, suits and boots and a whole lot of competitive bidding action. This year, we have been provided with briefs from a range of different companies varying in size, geographical location and industry. The big trade-off our group meetings were centred around is whether to go for the prestigious brands or the smaller start-ups, given that the former could provide a great CV boost, whereas the latter could involve campaigns that have a much bigger impact on the chosen business’s performance. But the key is to really understand which skills of the team as a whole are best suited to the projects on offer.
Apologies for my lack of posts these last few weeks. For most of the Christmas period, I was far too busy with endless hours of tearful revision, pulling my own hair out and generally losing the will to live. Not painting the prettiest picture of MSc life here, but the picture shows nothing but the truth. Some of it can be attributed to the fact that I am the perfect face of lastminute.com, but really, the reading list is EXTENSIVE, at best. Admittedly, I expected nothing less, for it is a one-year degree programme at one of the top ten universities in the world, and it is student nature to moan.
(Scroll half-way down the page if you’re here for the serious stuff)
1. Thou shall upload numerous photos of your group ‘working hard’ into the early hours to Facebook, evidently the most productive use of thy time.
2. Thou shall draw obscene images of male genitalia on your group member’s iPad during particularly fruitless brainstorming sessions. Thou shall do this often and it shall never cease to amuse thou.
3. Thou shall post infinitely affectionate and enthusiastic comments on assessed discussion forums, with generous use of emoticons that reflect the exact opposite of what thou are in fact feeling.
I’ll be honest, the best part about being enrolled on the second year running of the Strategic Marketing course has the benefit of what I like to call the Alumni Legacy, which was presented to us in the form of a ‘Where’s my distinction, man?!’ session by two gloriously experienced students from last year.
Often, in the first few weeks of your degree programme, you find yourself slowly wheeling off the edge of sanity, trying to balance yourself on the mounds of coursework, exams (approaching sooner than I can count to January), exploring London and spending time with your chums. Everyone has a load of random friends from the past scattered about the big smoke, and everyone definitely has a load of friends who suddenly decide it’s the perfect time to visit.
Monday was pretty eventful as far as Mondays go, despite the 6am start to prepare for my group presentation on the Consumer Behaviour module, which, to our great pleasure, got excellent feedback. The presentation was based on a research experiment conducted within our cohort two weeks ago, and my group’s topic of choice was ‘The Influence of Gender Identity in Purchase Decision-Making’. Gender was probably the most interesting component of my Sociology A-level, followed closely by Class, so I thoroughly enjoyed designing the experiment and then evaluating the findings within a marketing context. I think it really stood out from the standard taste test related studies this level of research tends to drift towards.
As far as introductions go, my name’s Muniba (known by most as Mia), and as per my Twitter tagline (yep, straight into the social media like a true Marketer), I come from a family where gravy is considered a beverage. No word of a lie. Born and brought up in Pakistan, I moved to the UK back in 2007 for my undergraduate degree in Business Management and Marketing at Cardiff University, followed by two years of the 9-5 in Copywriting and SEO at an internet marketing company, marketing and media campaigns for a tennis club as part of the Lawn Tennis Association, and most recently, I was working on property projects at the law giant Eversheds LLP in the renewable energy and equity release sector.