Time to reflect...
One year ago, I was sat in the audience, listening to professionals and lecturers sharing their industrial experience, I admired their success and achievements, but I was also worrying about my own career. I had so many thoughts running through my head - what topic should I focus on for my dissertation? What would I do after graduation?
One year later, with a wide range of new skills and knowledge, I stepped out of the classroom and walked confidently towards the start of my career with a Master’s grade to be proud of and a job offer.
The summer term was tough. I spent 13 hours a day burying my head in my dissertation, and learning about new statistic formula. That said, I never gave up because I wanted to achieve the best that I could. The library became my home during the summer. In addition to studying, I was also busy editing my CV, applying for jobs, attending career fairs, and having job interviews. As an international student, it was far more difficult to get a job offer and a working visa aboard. I took every possible opportunity, and if there was no opportunity, I tried to create one.
That was the greatest thing that I learned studying aboard for four years - persistence! When you believe in yourself, you can always achieve something big. Throughout my dissertation, and the various deadlines that came with it, I kept sending job applications to different companies, even those that had no vacancies. I aimed to submit my dissertation two weeks ahead of the official deadline which then allowed me to take a short break too.
No pain, no gain
After many meetings with my supervisor, he was quite satisfied with my work. My dissertation allowed me to utilise much of the knowledge and practical skills learned from the course, especially the global perspective strategies. I found that the cultural divergence in the UK and China was a statistical significant contributor in the different level of mobile payment adoption between young Chinese and British mobile users.
A short time later, I received a job offer from a global digital marketing agency called Croud based in the UK. Croud has a wide range of clients throughout the world and also works closely with Google. I was so excited, as it was a real chance to achieve my dream of becoming a successful digital marketer.
I look back fondly on my time at WMG, and the most rewarding thing that I achieved was not only my qualification, but also the new friendships I formed with my classmates and the confidence I gained.
Before I left WMG I picked up a golden leaf from under one of the trees and have placed it in my diary. I will never forget what I experienced and gained.
A busy bee!
As the first spring flower bloomed outside WMG, I realised how fast time flies, and how my WMG journey was coming to an end. I would describe myself as a ‘busy bee’ in the spring term because I wanted to use all of my time effectively and meaningfully.
The more modules and activities I participated in the more rewarding and interesting I found life at WMG. I took four modules this term, three were my core e-business modules, and one was my optional module relating to Information Communication Technology. I gradually realised the consistency of knowledge between the modules, and that I could apply some techniques from optional modules into my core modules. For example, I could effectively combine the digital marketing strategies learned from Creating Profitable e-Business with design tactics developed on the Computer Graphic Visualisation course, to form a real well-designed and accessible E-commerce leather shopping website, for my E-commerce assignment. I found these courses so gratifying and rewarding because these techniques and skills are exactly what I lacked before, now my confidence and capabilities have been greatly enhanced.
My dissertation was another main focus in the second term. I was interested in exploring the perception and behaviour towards mobile payment among young mobile users across UK and China. This was in respect of the great revolution of mobile payment technology and the rapid adoption among customers. I aimed to gain a profound insight comparing how customer attitudes towards local and foreign mobile payment servers was among these two countries. I was grateful that my supervisor was helping me whenever I was confused and struggled with my project. And now, my dissertation is on the right track, and I am confident on achieving a satisfying result.
Apart from the study time, I also involved myself in different industrial visits. Thanks to WMG, I had opportunity to visit the Argos and ASDA distribution centres. I had always been interested in the supply chain and processing system in distribution centres. The manager showed us how firstly the products were marked automatically after order acceptance, and finally distributed to different retail stores. My horizon has greatly widened and the knowledge I learnt has consolidated the concept from my modules. Such experiences were unforgettable and meaningful.
Finding a job
I am also currently attending job interviews for graduate positions. The career center and skill sections provided me with great insight and ability to improve my employability and interview technique. It’s been easy to seek jobs through Warwick intranet myAdvantage service which international students, like me, can take great advantage of. People say ‘the busier you are, the faster the time passed,’ and I cannot agree more! The spring term was the most fruitful period at WMG, full of school work and job applications.
e-Business, leadership and blue sky
I still remember the first day that I arrived. The white clouds drifted through the blue sky and trees were full with crimson and golden leaves. Next to the trees, there were several modern buildings with contemporary design and a large fountain. I was surprised and impressed by such a beautiful environment, and I thought how perfectly it symbolised a new beginning of my life.
After I had received my timetable, I arranged and organised my time between module study, revision, post module assignment (PMA), and dissertation work. The module timetable was quite different to other faculties or universities, as each module took an intensive week with five consecutive lesson days and 60-80 hours of self-study on a PMA after the module. I really enjoyed such an arrangement because I could be more focused and arrange other activities easily.
Apart from the core e-Business modules, I chose Computer Graphic Visualisation, and Information Communication and Technology as my elective modules. These two modules allow students without a computer science foundation to obtain basic ICT knowledge, which helped me to combine both digital business skills with technical knowledge.
In every module, there is always group work or presentations which is my favourite part. Usually, there are four to six in a group to work on a 10 minute presentation. We allocated different roles and tasks based on the talents of teammates.
The most interesting and memorable group task was to model a Customer Relationship Centre and itinerary. We contacted our clients (our tutors) to obtain their personal information and sales preferance within a limited time. In my team, we split into three groups containing phone call, email contact, and meeting teams. Eventually, we achieved our target and impressed our tutor by using an SMS contact technique. Such work allowed us to combine the strengths of others from different backgrounds and talents. My leadership, communication, and interpersonal skills also significantly improved through this activity.
Although the length of the classes was considerably long, my tutors and classmates were so encouraging and supportive. During lessons, the time we spent together was even longer than with our family so we were like a big WMG family.
A personal touch
A supportive scheme that WMG provided to us, particularly useful to international students, was our personal tutors. My personal tutor provided me with lots of useful academic and study advice. She was like a mentor of mine to help me settle into WMG. We had several casual meetings and her advice enriched my WMG experience.
To make the best of my university experience, I participated into various social actitivies and societies organised by the students' union. For instance, I was elected as a member of the marketing and communciation committee helping to coordinate and promote events. I also took part in various TEDx Shows which broaden my knowledge and cognitive skills.