Sandra Linner, Austria,
MSc Corporate Communications and Reputation Management
You may have stumbled upon the phrase ‘Original Thinking Applied’ while looking at the Alliance MBS website, Masters brochure or other publications. But have you ever thought about what this really means? ‘Original’ refers to being one of the UK’s first two business schools and Manchester – the world’s original modern city; ‘Thinking’ is about research, and ‘Applied’ means applying theoretical frameworks in practice.
During the last month, I have experienced elements of all three aspects of the Alliance MBS phrase and would like to share this with you.
I have been working on two big group projects, one presentation and an essay about Millennials and their changing work attitude during the last few weeks. For one of the group projects we had to analyse a company’s communication strategy while it was facing a crisis. We were allowed to choose the organisation and group members ourselves and had to explain our results in a 20-minute presentation with a subsequent discussion round. Although both projects were very time-consuming, I really enjoyed applying theories and discussing the case with my course mates.
In addition to those group projects, we had a few guest lecturers. Kate McNamee, Head of Global Marketing at Alliance MBS, talked to us about Integrated Marketing; Colin Byrne, CEO at Weber Shandwick, discussed Corporate Communication 2.0 and Stuart Roper, author of the main book we use in our programme, taught us how to measure Corporate Reputation.
My highlight, however, was a guest lecture by Bob Leaf, the grandfather of PR. He described his journey from being a student who tried to avoid the army by working on his dissertation as long as possible to one of the 500 most influential people in the UK. He has helped to build Burson-Marsteller into one of the world’s largest public relations firms. At the end of his talk, he even gave away signed copies of his autobiography.
As I mentioned in my last post, Manchester is a very diverse city. It is the only place where you can celebrate your Paraguayan friend’s birthday with typical South-American food and have German sausages and Glühwein at the Christmas markets the next day. Even if you get tired of Manchester itself, there is a lot to explore around it. Within a 40-minute train ride you can visit Tatton Park and take a walk among flocks of deer or you can go for a hike in the snowy Peak District. One of the best things about last month was a weekend trip with the climbing society called ‘Funkmasters’. Everybody is dressed in hilarious clothes from the 60s, prepared for a weekend full of climbing and fun in Wales.
Moving away from home can be a big challenge and you might worry about finding new friends, settling in and how to combine it all with your studies. I hope that sharing my experience will show you that there are lots of opportunities in Manchester and there will always be something to do. One important thing is to never underestimate the amount of time you have to spend on self-studying and reading. Finishing a Masters within a year is tough but if you plan your time wisely and take advantage of University support, you can make the most out of your time here!