My name’s Rubia, more commonly known as Rubi, and I’m a 20-year-old second-year Business and Marketing student at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan). I was born and raised in Preston and I want to share with you my experiences of taking up the many opportunities on offer at UCLan’s Lancashire School of Business and Enterprise.
I knew I loved business so I contacted UCLan and spoke to an academic, Peter Ashfield, who introduced me to their Business and Marketing course. I fell in love with the course in an instant. This course offered the perfect coverage of all types of business functions within the first year. After speaking to Peter, marketing seemed like a career that would encompass my growing creativity, highly mathematical mind and my interest in the developments within digital marketing. With plenty of interesting modules including one where I could design a website, I joined the course.
In my first year I had so much support from University tutors. Knowing a student is dedicated enough to turn up to all lectures puts you in good stead to build productive relationships, which it really did for me; these same tutors told me about other opportunities to get involved with because they knew I was a reliable student who could balance university life with personal life and achieve great results.
During the summer of my first year, I couldn’t stand the thought of sitting at home watching Netflix. So with only a year of university experience I enhanced my CV by visiting the Careers Service at UCLan and went ahead and applied for as many marketing roles I could find on the University job finding service and other recruitment websites.
I applied to a summer internship with UCLan’s School of Nursing - they needed a marketing intern to head a marketing strategy for a new service they had launched called ChatHealth. I applied and after a successful (my first ever) interview – I got the job. I had secured myself a 10-week, full-time paid summer internship through the University. I worked with many senior nurses and researchers to produce a fully detailed marketing strategy (which was something I was about to study in my coming second year) to increase the awareness, engagement and use of ChatHealth.
During this internship I was also asked to join another project called the Neo-Natal Early Supported Transfer project, where doctors at Royal Preston Hospital asked me to design a logo for the project. I did this successfully and as a result my logo will now be used in every hospital in the UK.
After getting involved with so many projects over the summer my tutors were very happy with my ambition as I entered the second year of my programme. They introduced me to opportunities that I might benefit from - one of which was LaunchPad. LaunchPad is an exclusive two-year leadership development programme open to students from different Schools across the University, offering a select number of places per year to high-achieving students. The interview process was very long, consisting of a written application, psychometric tests, assessed group activities, a presentation, a five-minute pitch and an interview too. Again, I was fortunate they gave me a place on the programme. The chosen candidates then spent a residential weekend in Wales where we abseiled down slate mines and zip-wired into ice-cold water from 100ft in the air – it was truly an experience and a place where I have made life-long friends with similar goals and ambitions. I now spend two hours every fortnight on the LaunchPad programme where we listen to exclusive guest speakers, build on our leadership skills to access the best jobs in the market and much more. We also have the opportunity to go on an international trip at the end of the two years.
I also embarked on a trip to China with UCLan’s Journey to the East, it took 15 hours to travel there being over 4,000 miles away from home. I spent two weeks in two cities in the south of China, Xiamen and Chongqing. As the University has links with their partners in these cities, they took us out and showed us around; we built long lasting relationships with all the students there. We had days jam-packed with sight-seeing and trying local cuisines like the famous Hotpot, we saw first-hand how local businesses operate and consumer behaviour; we even stayed at top-end hotels and were given our own free time to explore and shop. With China being ahead of UK time by seven hours, it often meant I called my family in the very early hours of the day; however, this journey was a once in a lifetime opportunity which I will forever be grateful for.
9 December 2019