My road to university began in my year in industry where I worked on the marketing and new product development for an international aromatherapy company. I had originally applied to university in my final year of sixth form, however after a difficult couple of years and a disappointing A Level results day I realised that none of establishments I had applied to were really the right place for me. Getting those results gave me the clarity I needed in order to move on and the awareness that I needed to find a university that would recognise my potential and determination.
On looking round UEA and meeting some of the Norwich Business School lecturers I realised I had found somewhere that valued their students, enabled individuals to take part in a vast array of extra-curricular activities and offered a wide range of module choices. My Marketing and Management degree course has also given me a high level of flexibility in terms of the options I could choose as I was able to select modules from other schools to complement my choices within the business school.
Some of the modules I have taken over the three years have not only been enjoyable, but also invaluable in shaping my future career plans. The Consumer Behaviour module I took in my final year was my favourite, providing fascinating insights into how we approach and understand consumption in society on both individual and collective levels. Strategic Branding was another final year module which I thoroughly enjoyed, prompting me to extend my time at UEA with a Master’s in Brand Leadership next year.
Throughout the three years there were a number of instances where group work that contributed to our final grade took the form of students forming mock advertising or creative agencies. In both my second and third years I acted as the account manager for two separate teams, one which went on to be finalist in the Adnams Employability prize and the other which won best pitch after delivering our concept to the marketing team at Kettle Foods, the creator of Kettle Chips. These opportunities have been crucial in preparing me for a future career in advertising, something that I am highly passionate about pursuing.
What I didn’t fully expect was the whirlwind of opportunities my time at Norwich Business School brought. In my first year I took part in the IBM University Business Challenge, an experience which I would recommend to any NBS student. Our team of five progressed through the initial competition rounds and gained a place at the semi-finals at Bristol University. We placed 12th out of 50 teams at the semi-final, an achievement that I didn’t anticipate but am very proud of.
However not all the activities I’ve taken part in with NBS have been academic. This year I’ve also been the senior sports activator for the Business and Economics faculties in the University wide Ziggurat Challenge run by uea+sport. I can honestly say I never thought I’d take part in a year-long sports competition, let alone get ridiculously competitive about it, however I’ve loved being involved in the challenge. The NBS/ECO team ended up placing just 7 points shy of first place – though I’m sure we’ll triumph next year!
A massive part of my University experience has been the extra-curricular activities and societies I’ve participated in, particularly the University radio society, Livewire 1350. My advice for anyone starting UEA is that there is no such thing as being too involved, especially in your first year! It’s a chance to try anything and everything the University has to offer, whether that be societies, sports clubs or competitions. My only regret, if I really had to choose one, is that I didn’t get involved in more things!
I’ve loved my time here at UEA and graduating with a starred first has been the icing on the cake. I feel that all the hard work and preparation of the past three years has paid off and I’m extremely excited about starting my Master’s in September as well as what the future holds.
Congratulations Becca, and thank you for sharing your story on the NBS blog.