e-BM Graduate 2012-2013
"A great experience - both professionally and personally"
Andra Ioana Rotaru came to Warwick from Romania in 2012 to study for an MSc in e-Business Management. Having originally studied Law, this was a big change of direction for her. She described the reasons behind it, and how she is now using what she learned to build her own business.
“I studied for my first degree in Law at the University of Bucharest between 2008 and 2012. During this time, I attended a summer school that included an element of e-business. I became particularly interested in the subject and then, in 2011, I took a course called e-Business in the Digital Age at the London School of Economics and Politics.
Part of a community
The campus itself was very different from Bucharest. There you are in a big city and you don’t feel that you are part of a student community. At Warwick, everything is in one place. All of the people around you are connected with the University in one way or another, so it’s a completely different atmosphere.
The course itself was very challenging, but also extremely stimulating and enjoyable. It is structured so that you gain lots of information in a very short space of time, but then you have a few weeks to research and study the subject in more depth as you work towards your assignment.
It was also good to work in a team on specific exercises. This helped me to develop my soft skills in the areas of communication, teamworking and more. In one exercise, as part of the Creating a Profitable e-Business module, we were introduced to two entrepreneurs who run a sound equipment business. As teams, we analysed their website and suggested improvements to build their traffic and presence. We did this during the week we were studying the module, so it was quite pressurised in terms of time. It was so enjoyable though that we stayed behind afterwards to work on the project. At the end of it, we presented our findings to our tutor and the business owners.
I feel that I learned a great deal through these exercises. It is a completely different way of learning than listening to lectures and making notes. You learn by working together to solve problems and develop solutions, putting the information you gained in the classroom to work in the real world of business.
Putting it all into practice
My dissertation project was ‘Reputation Management on Social Media for Higher Education Institutions’. As people use social media more and more to influence their decision making, it’s vital that organisations are able to manage their reputations effectively. I worked with both Warwick and other universities and colleges, looking at how the whole community of staff and students (prospective, current and alumni) could be leveraged to build the institution’s reputation.
While on my course, I also designed and delivered a social media training course for students at the university and Warwickshire College, focusing on how to network with prospective employers and business partners via LinkedIn.
After leaving WMG, I decided to put what I had learned to practice; I have opened a jewellery e-shop and I also work as a freelance online marketing and social media consultant. This has included helping businesses to improve their online presence through efficient, cost-saving solutions. A colleague and I have also recently founded a social media training business called ‘Get it Right!’.
The skills and knowledge I gained on my course have been invaluable to me in running these enterprises. I don’t just mean the specific subjects we studied such as creating a business, financing and technologies, but in areas like research, analysis and presentation too. Also, the nature of the MSc programme means that you have to be good at organising your time well. Obviously, that’s a key skill in business.
My year at Warwick was a great experience both professionally and personally. I made many good friends and even met my boyfriend there!”