MSc Marketing Management: End of Induction Week

Last week was rather long. Apologies for not posting a day-by-day update, but I was rather inundated with non blogging related things. All in all, it was a lot of fun, and I’ve learnt an awful lot about marketing. I’ve learnt so much about marketing, that I’ve come to realise that I don’t actually know that much about marketing at all. I’ve learnt that marketing is a (supremely) integral part of any business, I’ve learnt some things about accounting, and most importantly, I’ve learnt that marketing isn’t at all what you think of it. In fact, it’s not really what anyone thinks of it. It’s quite hard to define what marketing actually is. From my perspective, it’s an amalgamation of various business functions, all catered to give customers a more pleasant experience in dealing with said business. But what do I know?

I had Wednesday off, which I was very relieved about. I spent it not really doing anything at all, except catching up on reading (Trainspotting) and gaming (The Secret of Monkey Island: SE), and also catching up on sleep. The early starts really bothered me at the beginning of the week, but I’m quite enjoying waking up to see the sun rise over Broadlands Road, but it does mean that I’m going to sleep earlier to compensate, and that I can’t really stay up late as a result. Ho-hum.

Thursday was a lot of fun. I had my first ‘Introduction to Marketing’ lecture, which was pretty inspiring, in which I found out many of the truths I revealed above. My course director, who takes the unit, sounds like quite a cool guy, who’s very experienced with this marketing business. He’s the man responsible for turning Coke from glass to plastic bottles! The lecture was quite long: three and a half hours in total, I think, but it was broken up in such a way that it never really seemed too boring. It’s a far shout from Humanities lectures, which unfortunately were sometimes a little too one-sided, where you were simply talked at for an hour, or two. I’m not complaining, as seminars were used to feed back and discuss ideas. The lecture was an overview of marketing, in general, but at many points throughout the session, we were asked questions, and made to answer! I started off thinking of these only as purely rhetorical, as is the case in most lectures, but soon realised that our lecturer was expecting an answer. I think this is one way of compensating for the fact that we don’t actually seem to have any seminars – at all. It certainly made the lecture go faster, however, and helped keep us all engaged. The lecture was also broken up by many real-life business stories, or ‘case studies’. Right from the start, I’m seeing how what I’m learning can be applied to business practice, which is brilliant.

After this, we had a short break, before having to go and pick up our new ID cards. To be brutally honest, I’m not a huge fan of the new student cards. They seem a bit more drab than the old-style of card I’m used to, but that could possibly just be because I’m so attached to the university dolphin. I miss the dolphin. 😦

I also completed my first assignment on Thursday night, which I think is very productive of me, even though it was due on Friday. It was 500 words on why marketers must ‘delight’ their customers, but I continually found myself going over and editing what I had, as I wasn’t happy with it. That being said, the essays seem a lot more ‘straightforward’, and mostly common sense, which is something I occasionally lack in. Good to start learning now, then, eh? No, the assignments seem very much to be about doing the reading, and then, with this in mind, writing the assignment. I was initially terrified of using a new referencing style, but actually, Harvard seems to be a lot simpler (and quicker) than MHRA, although MHRA does appear as if it’d be more helpful to someone either marking or reading the essay. I also got my second assignment during the lecture on Thursday, which is a case study, of sorts, of a soap company. This sounds mental, but I’m actually looking forward to it.

Friday quite simply involved handing in my work (which was a little tedious) and attending a library induction, and finding out about all of the business resources we can use. It’s absolutely remarkable how much stuff we can get our hands on, from full access to the NexisUK database, to the ‘Keynote’ marketing database. It’s quite scary that I can, as it stands, pull up financial information on any registered company, but I’m sure this will come in handy as I start working on more assignments.

I’m looking forward to starting the course ‘properly’, although I kind of have already. I have ‘Accounting and Control’ first thing tomorrow, and I’m not actually dreading it as much as I originally thought. As always, I’ll keep you updated. Wish me luck.

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