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Bournemouth University first piqued my interest for being the only one to offer a course focused on the retail industry. Since I was looking for a university that would champion professional growth as much as academic development, BU’s relationship with the industry and local businesses was a decisive factor. And once I learned about the town of Bournemouth being one of the fastest-growing digital economies in the UK, it was an easy choice.

The MSc Retail Marketing & Management covers a variety of topics from how to merchandise a store and product development, to social media and consumer behaviour. However the most important lesson I learned was that you don’t have a one-size-fits-all solution in retail. With a great balance between theory-based knowledge and practical skills coaching, the course made me think about the “why” behind the “what”. And I can say that this reflective yet practical approach is being extremely helpful at my current internship.

As part of my programme, I had the opportunity to go on a placement and get some work experience. To be honest, I was really anxious about the job search and hiring process.  To help me with that, I had guidance from a  BU Career Adviser, especially when it came to adapting my CV to the UK format, and with feedback on my cover letters.

Image of an open-plan office

My placement offices.

I had a very clear goal of landing a position from which I could learn and that would challenge me. I must have applied for jobs at more than 10 different companies, but, in the end, I found the perfect placement through MyCareerHub, BU’s career and jobs platform.  It was everything I was looking for: an internship in digital marketing and ecommerce at a Bournemouth-based online company, called Beyond Retail. I am now five months into my 40-week placement and am still learning new things every day.

My job at Beyond Retail can be described as digital merchandiser, which means making sure every product on the website is shown at its best.  It’s a very hands-on role, where I can develop my skills in data analysis, social media content, SEO techniques and customer acquisition and retention. However. I have had many opportunities to contribute in some of the company’s many projects, from improving our shopping experience to creating new product categories.

Image of dogs in an office

The office dogs!

The company’s relaxed environment and collaboration-based system make it the perfect setting for learning from others and being as creative as I can be. Beside, as an extra benefit, we have awesome dogs at the office!

Retail is one of the most global industries, and having an international academic and work experience will definitely set me apart in a very competitive market. My time at BU and at my work placement has given me a multi-culture understanding that has improved me as a professional and as a person. It has been a very exciting and challenging venture. And I cannot wait to what comes next!

Andreia Daemon, Brazil, Retail Management and Marketing student