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This is a guest blog from Marta, studying MSc Events Marketing. Marta explains all about her experience on the course and the opportunity that she has been given while studying her Master’s degree.

I’m Marta and I’ll graduate in November in MSc Events Marketing. After ten busy months full of assignments and fun times with my friends, I wrote the required dissertation between June and August. At the beginning I was unsure about everything concerning the dissertation and its process (especially because I was coming from an Italian background). Finally, after the submission and the results I realised how interesting, despite being complex, the whole Master’s path has been.

Back in September 2017, I would have never thought I’d end up with a dissertation title like the following: “An examination of brand elements embedded within social media influencers’ (SMI) Instagram posts when attending (fashion) marketing events”. The final version of this title required many variations throughout the dissertation drafting. In effect, thanks to my supervisor – Dr. Miguel Moital – it has been possible to narrow down and focus my initial research question that was about storytelling and fashion brands. My interest in storytelling as content for my dissertation started thanks to an early Events Marketing Communication assignment I did. It is a broad and fascinating topic that aims to persuade people through the narration process. On the other side, the fashion context was chosen because it represents the industry where I want to work. From these initial broad categories, it has been possible to grasp the importance of the way social media influencers (SMIs) communicate fashion brands through a digital storytelling discourse while attending fashion marketing events. After the identification of a gap in the literature review; through a qualitative content analysis of SMIs Instagram posts, it has been possible for me to discover 6 brand elements with their 22 related sub-elements. Moreover, through an in-depth analysis, a taxonomy of SMIs based on brand usage was developed, identifying three typologies. Finally, it has been possible to answer my research question also giving recommendations to fashion firms and SMIs in their marketing event strategies.

Surprisingly, after the submission, my supervisor also offered me a great opportunity and an additional challenge to the dissertation drafting. In effect, he asked me to present the result of my dissertation on Instagram marketing to the MSc Events Marketing and Management students of this year, as part of the Events Principle and Practice unit. Initially, I wasn’t sure about giving a brief talk; but after a little consideration I thought it would have helped me to develop more my presentation skills. So, I prepared a Power Point with the most relevant information and I presented it via Skype to the class. The first minutes I was quite nervous while I was talking; but students were paying attention and seemed interested, so I managed to feel more relax at the end. I still can’t believe how last year I was the one sitting with them and paying attention to the lesson, and now I succeed in giving a little talk about my study!

I’m happy about what I have achieved thanks to my hard work and the support of my supervisor. And, I’m glad I had the opportunity to confront myself a little bit more through the presentation of my dissertation to the current students!

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