Newcastle University Business School

Pilar

Student Profile - Pilar

Biography

I studied Media and Communication Management at the Fresenius University of Applied Sciences in Hamburg, Germany, where I am from. My undergraduate degree in International Business Management and Marketing was the perfect foundation for my postgraduate degree. During my undergraduate degree, I spent a semester abroad in the USA, studying at Berkeley College and Pace University in New York for half a year.

Choosing this Dual Award programme

I wanted to study at postgraduate level in order to experience another country, expand my knowledge before working full-time. I felt like I needed to deepen my expertise in order to feel confident entering my anticipated career.

I first became interested in Marketing and Management during my undergraduate degree in media studies, when it became obvious that marketing is what drives consumers. I was interested in taking this further because it is fascinating to me how small ideas can become big through marketing.

This Dual award programme offered by Newcastle and Groningen University enabled me to combine my two subject areas of interest, International Business Management and Marketing. It meant I could study Marketing but also keep my background and education broad in order to maximise my opportunities. Once I was offered a place on the programme, the decision was already made.

My course

I most enjoyed experiencing and living in two different countries, meeting a range of local and international people as well as staff and peers on my programme. The key benefit was being able to combine two areas of study and, of course, achieve two degrees.

With regards to modules, I really enjoyed Business Ethics at Groningen University, which focused on current business operations. Additionally, International Marketing at Newcastle University was a great experience, especially because the lecturer was very competent, had high expectations of us, and was fun to learn from.

The most useful elements of the programme which helped me move towards my career goal were the tasks we were set to complete during the studies which required us to work independently or in teams. Acquiring these skills was a challenging process at times but will be beneficial and important for my future career.

Studying at postgraduate level

An obvious difference between my undergraduate and postgraduate studies was the language of study. I wasn’t accustomed to studying at a University as big as Groningen or as diverse as Newcastle University Business School, so it took some adjusting.

Postgraduate study required a lot of theoretical background reading, information analysis and independent work. Preparing for lectures and classes and then evaluating everything afterwards became second nature.

Student experience

Being a postgraduate student at the Business School was interesting and exciting. I met students from many different nationalities and with it being so central, I was able to experience the city of Newcastle every day. Local people are open minded and welcoming and social events are organised by and for members of the postgraduate community. The various social media accounts set up by the Business School makes the postgraduate community very connected.

Both Groningen and Newcastle University have great study facilities, such as work spaces, technical facilities and libraries which are modern and up to date. As an international student, I really appreciated being able to access resources on the well-organised online library database.

I attended the Gain a Global Advantage event (GAGA) at Newcastle University Business School, among others. I mention this one in particular as it led me to apply for an internship at a brand consultancy in London which was presenting at that event. The internship turned out to be a great experience!

Career aspirations

Studying at Newcastle helped me achieve my career goals by providing relevant knowledge and shaping my expertise in the field of Marketing or Management. I wish was to gain an entry position in preferably an internationally-operating organisation. This year, I achieved my career goal. I am now working as an Account Executive at BBDO, a worldwide advertising agency in Germany. I am working with a lovely international team and really enjoying it.

Settling in

I arrived in Newcastle by ferry from the Netherlands with fellow classmates. It was quite a long journey and we had quite a lot of luggage to carry but also fun as we arrived in Newcastle together and excited.

On our arrival at Newcastle Business School, we had a nice tour around the building and had the opportunity to ask questions. After that it was really easy to navigate around the Business School. The main university campus is no more than a ten minute walk from the Business School.

Through Blackboard (the University’s online teaching platform) as well as our University emails, we were well informed about events and lectures from our first day onwards.

Living in Newcastle

In my opinion, the most important thing when living in a new city is the people you share the experience with. The city itself is beautiful and historical but small enough to navigate. Newcastle is nicknamed the “20 minute city” due to its compact size and excellent transport links.

The city centre has an abundance of restaurants and pubs and the quayside with all of its bridges is beautiful. The BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art across the Millennium Bridge is free of charge and from the top floor you get incredible views of the city. The city centre is also known for its shopping and is easy to get swept away when you only intended to grab some lunch.

I lived in Heaton, which is not directly in the city centre but is a very student friendly area. We had a lovely park in the neighbourhood and were close to many conveniences such as shops and bus routes.

Spare time

I love to travel whenever I have spare time. In the winter I go snowboarding but whilst at University I enjoy running and dance, as well as music and photography as extracurricular activities.

I was also a Newcastle University Student Ambassador, as well as a Business Champion, during my time in Newcastle. It was especially nice to meet new and potential students, hearing about their interests, questions and concerns. Being able to help them with their decisions, giving advice and sharing my experiences was reinforcing and rewarding. I also liked getting a deeper insight in how University marketing is organised internally.

Advice for new students

  1. Build a community with your fellow students.
  2. Prioritise your time to ensure you’re getting the most out of your studies.
  3. Make time to experience Newcastle as well as the UK - it’s not just about your studies!

Highlights

Making new friends and sharing experiences together has to be my main highlight. I also enjoyed gaining insights into the British and Dutch cultures and lifestyles - living in two different countries within one year was fascinating.

Academically, there were certain lecturers and professors who were especially inspiring. I really enjoyed learning from people who had backgrounds in international business plus years of practical experience. I appreciated the enthusiasm of lecturers who inevitably sparked enthusiasm in their students as well.

The experience has made a lasting impression on me. I will never forget about how, collectively, my university experience has shaped me as a person.

My postgraduate experience in three words

Lasting, fun and challenging.