Who am I?
I am Molly, 23 years old from Sussex in England. My main passion is languages, I did French and Spanish for A level and picked up German at university (the free language classes that the university organises are great!!). So I love languages, business, salsa dancing, travelling, and trying to save the environment.
At the end of May, I finished my degree with a first in International Management and Spanish. In this short blog post, I will reflect upon my 4-year degree experience.
A fishy but tasty assignment
For the business side of the degree, there are many modules to choose from. One module I did was called Brand Management. Two lecturers ran the module and both had years of excellent experience working in the field for both multinational organisations and smaller companies. We had a mix of lecturers and guest speakers who came from companies or were academics, we even had a talk from the man who wrote our textbook!
The highlight for me was completing a group assignment where we chose a company that we thought needed to change its brand management strategy and we did a Zoom presentation on our proposed ‘repositioning’ of the brand. I really enjoyed using a real-life example and presenting it with a PowerPoint, which is something that you do a lot on placement and in graduate jobs.
We chose a medium-sized up-market fish brand and redesigned a new brand strategy focusing on targeting young professionals who want to eat healthily and are prepared to pay a little more. The whole process of the project management, the company research, and elaborating the new strategy was so exciting and insightful. I used this knowledge in interviews for graduate schemes and was definitely one of the factors that led to one of my job offers.
Look forward to your placement year, it’s a whirlwind!
During my third year, I completed a 9-month placement year in Madrid, Spain. For a degree in languages, it is compulsory to be abroad for at least 9 months during the third year of the degree. This can include working, studying, or a combination of the two. As you may know, Bath University is very big on the placement year and there are so many job opportunities, a lot of which are exclusive to Bath students.
I worked in a ‘ways of working' and innovation consultancy, which, very summarised, is basically helping companies to improve their office space to allow workers to be more productive. My main project was for one of Spain’s largest banks and I contributed to all stages of the project. It was so interesting to combine business with Spanish and both of these improved immensely.
What do I actually think of my course now?
After finishing my degree, I reflected on the course and came to some key conclusions. Firstly, and arguably most importantly, it equipped me and gave me the skills for getting a graduate job. Obviously, there are extracurricular activities and work experience which is also very important, but I feel this course gave me the analytical, business, technology, and personal skills needed to succeed after university.
Secondly, the course really invites you to think critically about real business problems which you can apply to industry. For example, in a final year module, we analysed which markets H&M clothing should open and close its stores globally and why. This taught me to critique, analyse and evaluate based on robust research and metrics.
Finally, I felt that everything links up in the final year between the modules. Our international business module related to brand management because we were comparing international strategies. Our decision-making and leadership module related to other modules because we learnt how managers and leaders take risks and why they choose certain strategies. All of this made everything I learnt in the degree fit together, which I really liked.
What is in store for me?
During my final year, I applied to graduate schemes mainly in the food and healthcare industries as they are the most exciting to me and my skills suit them best. I achieved two graduate scheme job offers and I am starting the GMTS (graduate management training scheme), which is in the NHS, this September 2021. For now, I am travelling as much as I can and visiting friends and family around the UK, making the most of my freedom!