Can you please tell us about yourself?
I am originally from Sao Paulo, Brazil, where I graduated in Public Relations at University of Sao Paulo. I have over eight years of experience in PR and communications, having worked with clients such as Samsung Electronics, Airbnb and Evernote. Prior to the MA course, I was working at the influential PR agency Edelman, where I have had the opportunity to hone my expertise in corporate communications altogether at a global level.
Last year, I was granted a full-fee scholarship at the University of Westminster to pursue a Masters in Marketing Communications. I decided to study this course as it was strategically aligned with my professional and academic background and my onward career aspirations. Moreover, I was looking for a broader understanding of the communications market under an international perspective, especially in regards to integrated marketing communications. Now at the final term time, I can say that it is being an incredibly enriching experience and much more than what I expected.
Apart from my studies, I am currently working part-time at the University’s International Recruitment Team, doing volunteer work at Age UK Westminster and freelancing as a content developer for a B2B IT website.
As a fellow student what would you recommend other students during their time at Westminster Business School?
Firstly, commit to your studies and act professionally. Read, be punctual and attend classes and coursework meetings. Be fair to your colleagues and listen to your professors. It is not much of a secret: dedicate yourself to your goals and you should succeed accordingly.
Additionally, avail of the opportunity to build a professional network and increase your employability chances after graduating – this is as important as achieving good grades. Take part in events, volunteer and engage in part-time jobs or internships. It allows you to improve your skills and create valuable connections.
In the meantime, don’t forget to explore the amazing city that London is and have fun around. Make friends, explore new adventures and visit different places. This is a unique experience in your life, so make the most out of it. You won’t regret it!
Everyone is talking about employability skills what do you think is the best way to increase your employability skills during your academic studies?
Avail of the university’s student-tailored business experiences programmes. Initiatives such as mentoring scheme, fairs, special events and lectures are incredible tools to strengthen your professional network, gain experience and get you closer to your dream job.
Furthermore, try to engage in a work opportunity, even if it is not directly related to your area of study. I believe it is highly beneficial for your own skills and professional behaviour development, such as leadership, time management and accountability – not to mention that you will feel a greater sense of responsibility and financial independence from it.
Can you please tell us about your current position?
I support the International Recruitment Team at the University of Westminster, a part-time job that I have got through the Talent Bank programme. I was initially hired to provide administrative assistance in regards to overseas recruitment activities, such as CRM, data entry and freight orders.
Over time, based on my relationship built with the team, my professional experience and positive performance assessment, not only my contract has been extended, but I also have been assigned to further responsibilities which are more strategically-driven and linked to corporate communications. For example, I am coordinating the university’s first Alumni Buddy programme alongside the team, supporting institutional content reviewing across external channels, organising newsletters content, developing case studies and assisting on social media’s newsfeed, amongst other simultaneous projects.
What advice would you give to other students who would like to do work experience while they are at University?
If you are looking for a job, I advise you to first reach out to the Career Development Centre at the university. The team helped me improve my CV and cover letter and I was able to practice my performance on interviews and group dynamics through mock tests.
If you succeed in landing a job, plan and organise your schedule wisely so you don’t compromise your studies. In addition, it is very important that you align with your work manager and team about your academic commitments, which require flexibility. This is a paramount action as your studies must be your priority.
What are the main lessons you have learnt by being involved during your studies?
I believe that, as a Masters student, you need to show a professional and committed attitude, just as if you were on a work experience. I have always taken my studies very seriously as I deem it a key endeavour to bolster my intellectual growth and future career. Moreover, the fact that I have earned a scholarship makes me value even more the opportunity of being part of the University of Westminster.
As a last note, the university is a unique international environment, so take the chance to listen, learn and share knowledge with teachers and colleagues. Be open-minded and bold, raise your hand if you have questions and don’t be afraid of stating your opinion.
You are an avid blogger, what made you start blogging? Can you tell us a little bit about your blogging journey?
I started to contribute with the University’s International Students Blog since June. There, I write about my experiences as an overseas students and provide tips and advices. I understand how daunting it can be to travel from one’s home country and settle into the university life abroad, so I took the chance to share a snapshot of my life, along with my key challenges and achievements so far.
For example, I wrote a list of top 10 things a student should pack before arriving to UK, free fun things to do in London and a special post about how I got the scholarship.
Blogging is being a very fun and enjoyable experience as I love writing and connecting with other people. I recently received a reply on my scholarship post from a candidate who said she felt inspired by it, which made me feel greatly thrilled. It is incredibly motivating to know that I can help others by sharing knowledge.
We all know that student life is hard work! How do you manage to balance your studies with all the extra-curricular activities?
Keen organisation. I plan my schedule and follow it as best as I can and I take extra care with deadlines. Personally, I prefer a dynamic lifestyle, so I enjoy doing different activities at the same time. It challenges me to improve my multitasking skills and be more nimble and agile with my tasks.
Can you name a few of the best moment of university life?
Receiving Distinction grades and a positive feedback from my professors, going to the university on the first day, wandering around London whilst chatting with friends, building precious memories with my family, befriending through Age UK… so many great moments, and the year hasn’t even finished yet!
What keeps you occupied outside of work and studies?
Volunteering, freelancing, going out with friends, exploring new spots in London… there is always something fun and interesting to keep me occupied!
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