The transition from an undergraduate to a postgraduate student brings many changes, but this Master’s degree has been a learning process allowing me to develop academically and professionally.
My expectations for this course included a formal atmosphere, with lectures based heavily on theory. However, I found lectures were quite similar to undergraduate lecturers, but as the classes were occasionally smaller there were more opportunities for class discussions. I was most concerned about studying Financial Management, as I had not studied a similar module before. Yet, it turned out to be my most successful module, especially as it was taught for beginners and I found the workshops the most useful because they went over anything that I had not understood in the lecture.
Coming from a degree which was heavily based on reading journal articles, I found this Master’s course utilized textbooks more, which allowed a better understanding of the concepts and their applications. Interactive digital books such as Principles of Marketing was also quite new for me, but the weekly multiple-choice question assignments assisted with the learning. There were also guest speakers from large corporations like Microsoft and O2, to start-ups like Letswapp and it was really interesting to learn about their work and career experiences.
Also, the assignments included a mix of group work which helped develop my presenting skills, especially as it included presentations to clients such as Bottomline Technologies. This was quite challenging, due to the fast-paced nature of Masters. We had numerous group meetings along with assignment deadlines and exams in close proximity. Hence, time-management was a key skill that you develop during your studies!
On the other hand, life outside academic study included the marketing socials which was a great opportunity to catch up with the other students. I also really liked the fact that the Programme Directors and lecturers would converse with all the students and ask about our experiences with the course. Also, the careers advisors were extremely helpful and sessions such as the practice assessment centres were useful in understanding the types of activities you might have to undertake as part of the job application process. I also enjoyed speaking to the career’s advisors including Graham, who gave honest advice and feedback on my CV and job applications.
Outside the University of Reading, there were plenty of places to visit, including Café Yolk known for their scrumptious brunch and within close proximity to the university. The Oracle shopping centre featured a wide range of shops and restaurants, and as a commuter, I would visit occasionally to buy snacks on my way home. Buses provided easy access around the town, especially as they run frequently and stop inside the university.
Overall, my Master’s has been a pleasant experience, with many opportunities to learn outside the classroom including study trips to the Madejski football stadium and even Moscow. I found being a group leader was one of the most challenging jobs as I had to organise group meetings and plan our tasks, something which I had not had enough experience of before. But this helped to develop my leadership skills, and I even ended up being chosen as the group leader for another assignment. The opportunity to work as a Social Media and Content Assistant at Henley Business School has been the greatest achievement as I’ve had many opportunities to learn new skills and even practice things I’ve learnt in my modules such as SEO monitoring and Google Analytics. I aimed to get as much practical experience with my Master’s degree, and this has definitely been achieved at Henley Business School.