Meet Nina, a business and events student from the University of Northampton who has big plans for her future. Although she officially doesn’t graduate until later this month, she is already working as a marketing intern at the University of Northampton International College (UNIC) and has a long-term goal of setting up her own business and establishing herself as a freelance marketer.
As an intern on the Marketing and Admissions team at UNIC, Nina’s role includes updating the social media, making marketing collateral, updating the website and sending newsletters and updates to their global recruitment teams. UNIC is an associate college of the University, offering Foundation, First-Year and Pre-Master’s degrees to international students who don’t meet the entry criteria to enter UON directly. As an international student herself, who joined the university from Romania, Nina not only knows what information is vital to provide international students with but she gets how they might be feeling on an emotional level about being in a completely new country. Her empathy for the UNIC students position, combined with her passion and enthusiasm for marketing make her the perfect candidate for the role.
At the University of Northampton, Nina studied a joint honours degree in Business Entrepreneurship and Events Management. Joint honours allow students to pick two subjects that interest them and study modules in each to make up the credits of their degree. It also then gives students the opportunity to do a placement year, something Nina herself took advantage of.
She said: “My placement year offered me real business experience. This, combined with part-time work commitments has been challenging but a valuable learning curve and helped me to enhance my organisational skills. It was also been very helpful in allowing me to gain a good understanding of everything that comes with a full-time job and the level of commitment required.”
Nina speaks very highly of the academic support she received at UON. One of her favourite things about her course was being introduced to ‘live’ case studies as part of the teaching curriculum, so she could bring her learning to life using real business examples.
When asked for an example, Nina explained: “We were given the opportunity to revise the Waterside restaurant’s business and marketing strategy to see if we could improve its on-campus appeal. As part of the project we completed market research to improve and came up with ways to increase the awareness and appeal of their brand to students. It was well received, they actually took our guidance on board and we won a free meal as a thank you.”
The UK university experience is also about much more than just getting a degree. There is a social side to the experience that helps you to settle in and grow as a person. The University of Northampton is one of only two universities in the whole of the country that offer free clubs and societies to all students. And if there isn’t a club or society you like then you can create one yourself. That is exactly what Nina did.
She said: “I founded the Romanian Society in October 2015 and was the President for two years. Within its first year of activity the society was awarded “Best New Society 2016”. In its second year it was awarded a further three awards by the Students’ Union including the “Outstanding Contribution” award. I loved being able to start something from scratch and how I was able to support and meet so many different students. It was a lot of hard work, but it was so rewarding. We received excellent feedback and it was very satisfying to enhance the international student experience by providing a ‘safe space’ to socialise and explore the UK.”
Before we sign off this post we leave you with Nina’s advice to other students looking to start a degree at the University of Northampton:
- Seek support – don’t be afraid to ask for help because it is available.
- Believe in yourself have confidence in yourself – speak your mind.
- Don’t rely on other people to improve things you think need changing – take the first step.
- Don’t be afraid to take risks.
- Visualise yourself and your goals – if you are motivated, the University will help you to achieve your goals.
If you prefer to watch Nina’s testimonial please click on the link here.