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This is a guest blog by current student Ana Paula Teixeira, studying MSc Marketing Management.

Back in March of 2018 I felt a growing urge for transformation. I was not even sure the “transformation” I was looking for was related to professional, personal or even spiritual issues. I started researching about several subjects in marketing, digital marketing, certifications, teaching opportunities, professional sales courses, sussing job opportunities and even extra-curricular learning clubs such as French language or even Arabic.

I could not understand what was driving the restlessness!

After careful consideration and analysing several job opportunities, I decided that moving to another role in another company would not sooth my concerns. I was looking for something more. A transformation from inside out! I wanted to be challenged at intellectual level. I wanted to expand my critical thinking and innovativeness… I believed I had found the way going back to University.

The last time I was in university setting I was 20 years younger…a scary thought started to take place, considering to enter a master’s degree as a mature student got me anxious.

“Why would I bother to go back to University after so many years and face all the inherent challenges? What could I possibly contribute to the new millennials’ generation? How feasible – financially – would this idea be, considering my present circumstances?”

After kicking out the negative monologue in my mind, and giving space to all the new possibilities and opportunities to gain knowledge, it excited me so much the mere thought of going back to University, that I cannot really, remember how 6 months have passed by. I was enrolled and accepted for a master’s degree of Marketing Management at Bournemouth University! The new year was about to start with lots of challenges and excitement ahead.

I had put aside some savings, to getting me by for almost a year, so I could dedicate myself completely to my studies and devote this year to a soul searching, professional ramp up and personal transformation. I had a plan in place, and that plan was originated almost 13 years prior when my husband and I decided to immigrate to England, set our roots and raise our family in this Country. Somehow the universe had alerted me, the time had come!

Since my start at Bournemouth University I had nothing but dedicated support from the staff, lecturers and colleagues. It was a little bit strange at first, to be the only over 40’s student in a classroom but it got easier by the minute. It’s all about perception and limiting beliefs, because my classmates just saw me as someone that they could rely on, a very committed student and an invested mature student making the most of the University-life.

I have been involved already, in 5 different live marketing projects so far, 1 internship in an emerging Country (Tunisia) and 2 student-marketing jobs; each one of these opportunities were extremely challenging and brain stretching:

  • Social Media Manager for the Academy of Marketing B2B SIG – SIG B2B AM – UK
  • Bournemouth University Student Ambassador – BU Marketing and Events Ambassador
  • Internship Consultancy at Sartex Group – Société des Arts Textile & Garment – Tunisian Manufacturer – Development of Communication and Marketing Strategy for Corporate Branding and Sustainability Marketing.
  • Burberry Luxury Fashion – Assignment of Business Relationship and Network Unit – Market Penetration and Marketing Strategies entering Asian-Pacific Markets
  • Bunge Agribusiness – “the orange project ” – Initiated by Bournemouth University Global Talent Programme focusing on the creation of a Project Management for Mobile Application.
  • Rose’s Lime Cordial – Assignment of Contemporary Issues in Marketing Unit – Re-branding Strategy Project – through Sustainable Marketing
  • Domaine de Ségermès and BIOLIVE LTD – Assignment of Marketing Communications Unit – Expanding Company’s Market Reach in the UK through developing a Communications’ Strategy plan.
  • BRT Group – Assignment of Contemporary Issues in Marketing Unit aiming of the project: Assess BRT Group’s current marketing strategies and USP, critically evaluate the company’s current issues in communication, develop a proposal for marketing communication to address found issues

The beauty of attending this master’s degree at Bournemouth University is its programme model. I was looking for a University that could really give me an opportunity to get my “hands dirty” on live projects and so far, the Faculty of Management did not disappoint. The level of professionalism of the Lecturers and the content of the programme itself required of the students’ high level of critical thinking, problem solving, teamwork and creativity. I am in heaven!

The internship for example is not a core element, so far, in the master’s programme, however I would highly recommend to any student who wants to stand up from the crowd to seek for it. I carved an opportunity to have this experience under my belt, as I could envision the benefits of developing professionally and personally. It was strategic!

My internship experience at Sartex – Tunisia Denim’s Garment manufacturer – has open my eyes to some contemporary issues in marketing; such as sustainable marketing and corporate branding utilising voluntary social responsibility practices. Bournemouth University through the Faculty of Management and the Global Engagement Programme was key to make this experience a reality for me. Upon research for grants, where I could utilise to reach my purpose and have my internship viable, I came across the global engagement mobility grant, which had all the important aspects I wanted to get involved with.

The University’s goals are to inspire learning, advance knowledge and enrich society. The concept is based on bringing together research, education and practice to create something that is greater than the sum of its parts. These different elements combined, enable Bournemouth University to offer something truly remarkable to the world and therefore any student engaged with it, the main objective is to help us to think differently, and uniquely innovative.

My experience at Sartex in Tunisia, has opened my eyes for the kind of marketing professional I want to be perceived by moving forward. I wanted to get involved with organisations and concepts where fusion of market research, education and sustainable marketing framework are aligned in order to enrich our society, delivery sustainability through its processes and focus on stakeholders’ demands without compromising future generations.

In conclusion, going back to University was the best decision I made at this point in my life, and consequently in my career. I have found a way to channel all the energy and willingness to be part of something bigger that my egoistic dreams. I can learn and contribute, expand my ideas and share in a lab-kind environment with the support of the University that understands the values of excellence, inclusivity, creativity and responsibility.

My next step, after finishing my master’s degree is to keep it up with my studies, as I am already considering a career in academia, therefore a PhD at Bournemouth University seems the logical angle, and again it excites me, a lot!

 

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