This month we have a series of blogs from young people who are weeks away from graduating and are about to enter the world of work. In these blogs, the graduates discuss how university has prepared them for their future careers. Our third in the series is from Kirsty Young, who will graduate from Robert Gordon University with a degree in Management. Kirsty is about to start working for Fine Coffee in Edinburgh through a ScotGrad placement.
Studying for an Honours degree in Management in the Aberdeen Business School at Robert Gordon University (RGU) was extremely challenging and our lecturers pushed all of us to achieve our very best.
The wide range of subjects we studied included Marketing, Business Strategy, Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Economics, Finance, Business Ethics and Business Law, among many more.
In our final Honours year we also had to write a dissertation of 12,000 words on a Management topic of our choice (I chose to do a research comparison of Airbnb and budget hotels).
Before that our entire 3rd year was spent on a work placement, in my case within the Finance team of the Norwegian oil and gas company Aker Solutions.
We learned the importance of Marketing throughout our various modules then the E-Business module we studied in my final year opened my eyes to the importance of Digital Marketing.
When I saw an advert for a position as an E-Commerce Marketing analyst with Fine Coffee Club (an Edinburgh start-up which sells Nespresso compatible capsules online), I was really keen to apply.
This is where the RGU Careers Office came in, with support and encouragement as well as practical advice about how best to target my skillset to the application. Lorraine from Careers took the time to remind me that the skills I had gained during my degree made me qualified for this role – from the transferable technical skills such as SWOT analysis and competitor research to the vital soft skills gained in my course and on my one-year placement such as time management, working to tight deadlines, coping with stress and working as part of a team.
The Careers team supported us throughout our degree, arranging for Careers Fairs and inspirational guest speakers and working closely with us during a full module on the mechanics of CV writing.
Two of the guest speakers who really inspired me to apply for this placement were a speaker from Google Partners who introduced us to Google Analytics and an owner of an inbound marketing agency who taught us how to identify competitors via Semrush reports. I was able to download a Semrush report about Fine Coffee Club as useful preparation for my interview.
I think in hindsight what stood me in good stead for my successful job application was the basic message that Careers always tried to transmit to us – namely that you should always follow your passion and let your enthusiasm shine through. My two passions for coffee and marketing must have come across in my application and interview and now I have the chance to put the theory I gained at RGU into practice within a real-life context.
To read other blogs in this series: