MSc Marketing Management: Induction day #1Posted: September 28, 2009
I was very, very scared, as I scrambled to university this morning. Not only was I to be starting a Masters degree, but a Masters degree in a subject field of which I have little to no experience. More than that, I’d lost the letter I was sent with my induction pack, notifying me of where exactly I needed to be to take part in induction arrangements, as well as what time I needed to be there. Off to a great start, clearly.
I found my way to the School of Management building, and enquired at the office where I was meant to be going. I’d gone in at 9am, just to be safe. I was told I needed to go to the Physics building, and that I was two hours early. Just to double-check (I was feeling particularly mistrusting this morning) I went to the Physics building, and was then told I needed to be there at 10:30, and not 11:00. Aha, a cunning feat of deception in order to make me late!
Having nothing much to do, I decided to take advantage of the geographical proximity of my house to the Highfield campus, and go home and watch Scrubs. It’s the first day of Freshers’ Week, but the freshers were nowhere to be seen, at least not that early.
I returned to uni at the correct time, and was made to queue for registration behind a collective of Asians. I made a friend in the queue called Jim (English name, I presume) who was visiting England for the first time, and had only been here for six months. After registration, we shuffled into a large lecture theatre where I’d had some of my undergraduate lectures, and where I believe I was taken to on my open day, back in the days before university. We sat down, and I introduced myself to those around me. I met Sultan (sp) who’s from Saudi Arabia, visiting England for the first time, also, Isabella, who is originally Polish, but has been here for six years, and did her first degree in Languages at Southampton. I also met Andrew, who’s a burly fellow from Latvia, who complemented me on my hair, and told me I look like the frontman for a rock band, and Gwen, who’s also just come from China.
We sat around chatting for maybe an hour or so, before what turned out to be quite an intense day of induction lectures began. We were introduced to the major players of the School of Management, told about its reputation, and various other things of interest. Apparently, the head of the School has a great interest in trains. After this, we were dismissed for an hour, which I spent walking around campus meeting old friends, before having lunch with Seb, who is 22 today. By this time, the freshers had shown themselves, and I was swamped by promotions staff, who felt it necessary to throw leaflets at me, as well as complement me on my hair, which was far nicer.
After lunch, I journeyed back to the School of Management building, descended into its icy depths and received another lecture, this time by the marketing staff. Before it began, I met Christo, who’s from Bulgaria, and is apparently “100% Bulgarian”. He’s been here for a year, and he’d spent most of the time working, although he had also taken a prerequisite English course over the summer. As a result, he had already made a lot of friends, who he gladly introduced me to.
The lecture itself then began, and was this time focused more on my degree, and also its sister counterpart in Marketing Analytics. Again, we met the team of tutors and directors who I imagine are going are to be a big part of my life over the next year. The course itself sounds fantastic, although I couldn’t help feeling just a bit way over my head. The director of my course explained, very simply, that marketing has evolved over time. He started off by mentioning the names of what I can imagine are famous marketers. I shrank into my seat a little, not having a clue of who they are, despite sounds of agreement from the rest of my peers. To my relief, he said that they are all “a load of rubbish”, as they’re now outdated. He showed us diagrams of what marketing once was, compared to what it is now, and even to a novice like myself, the difference was clear to see. Marketing has understandably evolved, due to the prevalence of technology, and is now very much more customer focused. In his words, marketing is what links consumers and organisations, providing a two-way channel of communication between both parties. It sounds supremely interesting, and I can’t wait to start studying.
I did have my doubts as to whether I’d be suited to the course, which are still lingering in my mind now. I do have a module called ‘Accounting and Control’, and I’m the first to confess that I’m absolutely atrocious when it comes to numbers. The thing I think I’m going to find most jarring, however, is how different it’s going to be from doing English. Gone is the tedium of the MHRA referencing style, replaced by the (what I believe to be) simpler Harvard style. There’s still an emphasis on wider reading, but I don’t imagine having to read as much as I did for English. I’ve got my first session of a module titled ‘Essay Writing Skills’ tomorrow. Our course director stressed that writing ‘academically’ is vital, which is understandable, and is something I think I’ve come somewhat close to conquering with my undergraduate degree. I have no idea of what’s expected from an MSc essay, though. Of course, English (as a language) is English, and that’s not going to change (radically) any time soon, but what intrigues me most is the skillset and thought processes required. I can see some attributes of English essay writing which could carry over very easily, like form and grammar, but I can’t see myself using the analytic skills I developed for close-reading. What is then to fill the void, is a mystery to me. I shall keep you updated, nonetheless.
Essay Writing begins at 9am tomorrow, meaning an early start. Seb wants to go to Jesters tonight, however, for his birthday. This should be interesting. Keep watching the skies, reader.