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ECONOMICS AND BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION, MASTER

Learned how to cooperate

Carina Tordrup, International Marketing, 2010-2012.

English

Carina Tordrup has a Masters Degree in International Marketing and graduated in June of 2012. She is currently working in her first position as Market Coordinator at Sanistål in Aalborg, Denmark. She wrote this testimonial following her graduation from AAU.

The choice of IM

I was not completely convinced about which Master’s degree I wanted to pursue after finishing my Bachelor’s Degree, but my first intuition and on the basis of how I had constructed my Bachelor’s Degree convinced me that the International Marketing Master’s programme was the right choice for me. Even after I started on my Master’s studies, I still had some doubt as I also had a big interest in organisation and management. I chose to continue with my first choice and I have never regretted it since.

I did not choose International Marketing because of the international perspective of the study, which many regard as a big advantage within. Back then, I would have preferred to study marketing without the international perspective, since I was primarily interested in the theoretical aspects. But if I look back now, I would definitely choose a study with an international perspective.

When it was time to choose my Master’s level programme, the economic crisis was still at its peak and marketing was probably not the best field for employment. However, I had decided that I would study something that interested me and not just choose a study where job opportunities might be better after I finished studying.

Challenges and benefits

The Master’s Degree in International Marketing has not only given me new theoretical knowledge, but I have also learned a lot about myself as a person. I took my Bachelor’s Degree at Aarhus School of Business and the way to study at Aarhus was through self-study and individual work, so if you wanted to learn something it was up to yourself. On the other hand, Aalborg University is more focused on project work and cooperation. In the beginning, it was a much greater challenge for me to learn to collaborate across cultures than to meet the theoretical challenges. Certainly, I have learned a lot more about how to cooperate with others, both with other Danes and with the international students, which I see as an advantage when it comes to participating in work teams within a company.

Another large challenge for me was that English was the everyday language. I have only read English through my Bachelor’s studies, and had some lectures in English. Thus I had no objection against this and it was natural for me. However, for the IM study, I was suddenly expected not only to speak English, but also to write in it. This was a bit beyond my capabilities at first, but I found out that many of the others felt the same and also found themselves on shaky ground. As I was not the only one with that feeling, that made it all much easier. I will say that I quickly saw speaking and writing in English as a natural par t of my daily life, and my English skills have improved a lot, which I see as a big advantage.

TRAINEESHIPAND MASTER’S DEGREE THESIS

Besides the improvements in my English skills, I would say that I learned the most from my 9th and 10th semesters. During the 9th semester, I was a trainee in in the marketing department of a Danish international manufacturing company. There, I had to prepare a benchmarking tool that they could use in the future and I also had to perform a customer satisfaction survey. This was really interesting and during this period I could take advantage of the knowledge I gained during my 7th and 8th semesters. The company is now using the tool and they have even stated that the tool can assist them in their daily work; they are using it to convince customers to choose them instead of their competitors. Furthermore, I will also say that my 10th semester was really exciting. I wrote my Master’s thesis together with two Danish girls, in collaboration with a Danish international company. The Master’s degree thesis deals with a digital marketing strategy; we first devised a business plan for the company and from there, we created the strategy that fit with the company’s resources and profile.

The period after AAU

Although the theoretical part of the study is of course really important, students also need to focus on the social aspects, since it is the social connections that help students get through. Moreover, I learned that the ability to collaborate across different cultures and with different people is highly valued in today’s labour market. I put great emphasis on this when I subsequently looked for a job, the fact that I have learned to study and work well both individually and in teams. I have been one of the lucky ones who got a job quickly after I ended my study, and now I have a job where I’m involved daily with marketing. My wish for a future job was to work in marketing and use some of the knowledge I have learned throughout my Master’s Degree studies, encompassing the theoretical, social and human knowledge. As it now stands, my wish has come true.

 

Dansk

I det følgende skriver tidligere Internatinal Marketing studerende Carina Tordrup om hendes oplevelse af at studere Internatinal Marketing. Dimitterede i june 2012.

Valget af IM

Jeg var ikke fuldstændig overbevist om, hvilken kandidat jeg ville vælge efter min bachelor, men min første intuition og ud fra hvordan jeg havde opbygget min bachelor, så var International Marketing mit valg. Selv efter jeg var startet på studiet var jeg stadig i tvivl, da jeg ligeledes har stor interesse for organisation og ledelse. Jeg valgte dog at blive på min første valgte vej og det har jeg aldrig fortrudt.

Jeg valgte ikke International Marketing på grund af den internationale side af studiet, som mange måske ser som en stor fordel ved studiet. Hvis jeg dengang kunne vælge, så havde jeg lige så gerne valgt et marketingstudie uden det internationale perspektiv, da jeg var mest interesseret i det teoretiske ved studiet. Da jeg skulle vælge studieretningen var den økonomiske krise stadig på sit højeste, og det var nok ikke lige marketingfolk, som virksomhederne ansatte flest af, men jeg havde bestemt mig for, at jeg skulle læse noget, der interesserede mig og ikke bare tage et studie, hvor jobmuligheder måske var bedre, når jeg var færdig.

Udfordringer og fordele

Kandidaten i International Marketing har ikke kun givet mig ny teoretisk viden, men jeg har ligeledes lært meget om mig selv som person. Jeg tog min bachelor i HA-almen på Handelshøjskolen i Aarhus, og studiet i Aarhus bærer meget præg af selvstudie og individuel arbejdsprocesser, så hvis man vil lære noget, så var det kun op til en selv. Hvorimod AAU fokuserer meget mere på projektarbejde og samarbejde. Det var lige så stor en udfordring for mig at skulle lære at samarbejde på tværs af kulturer, som de teoretiske udfordringer. Jeg har helt sikkert lært meget mere om, hvordan man samarbejder både med andre danskere, men lige så meget med de internationale studerende, hvilket jeg ser som en fordel, når man skal indgå i et arbejdsteam i en virksomhed.

En anden stor udfordring for mig var, at engelsk var det daglige sprog. Jeg har kun læst engelsk gennem min bachelor og haft lidt forelæsninger på engelsk. Dette havde jeg intet imod og det var naturligt for mig, men at jeg lige pludselig skulle snakke engelsk og ligeledes skrive engelsk, det var lidt grænseoverskridende i starten, men da jeg fandt ud af, at mange af de andre havde samme følelser og var på mere usikker grund og af den grund, at jeg ikke var den eneste med den følelse, gjorde det hele meget nemmere. Jeg vil sige, at jeg hurtigt så det engelske sprog og at skrive engelsk som en naturlig ting i min hverdag og at mine engelske færdigheder har forbedret sig meget, hvilket jeg ser som en stor fordel.

Praktikperiode og specialeskrivning

Udover at mine engelske færdigheder har forbedret sig, så vil jeg sige at jeg lærte rigtig meget af mit 9. og 10. semester. På 9. semester var jeg i praktik i en dansk international produktions virksomhed i deres marketingafdeling, hvor jeg skulle udarbejde et benchmarking værktøj, som de skulle kunne benytte sig af fremtidigt og samtidigt udføre en kundetilfredshedsundersøgelse. Dette synes jeg var rigtig interessant, da jeg i denne periode kunne benytte mig af den viden jeg havde indsamlet igennem mit 7. og 8. semester. Virksomheden benytter sig af værktøjet den dag i dag og de har selv udtalt, at værktøjet er behjælpeligt i deres hverdag, og at de kan benytte det til at overbevis kunder om at vælge dem i stedet for konkurrenten. Derforuden vil jeg ligeledes sige, at mit 10. semester var rigtig spændende. Jeg skrev mit speciale sammen med to danske piger og vi skrev det i samarbejde med en dansk international virksomhed. Specialet omhandler en digital marketingstrategi, hvor vi først udarbejdede en forretningsplan for virksomheden, hvor vi ud fra den fik skabt en strategi, som var passende til virksomhedens ressourcer og profil.

Tiden efter AAU

Selvom den teoretiske del af studiet selvfølgelig er rigtig vigtig, så er det efter min mening den sociale del, der bærer en igennem studiet. Derudover har jeg i hvert fald fundet ud af, at evnen til at samarbejde på tværs af forskellige kulturer og forskellige mennesker så vidt som at kunne arbejde selvstædigt har stort fokus på dagens arbejdsmarked. Dette har jeg sat stor fokus på, da jeg efterfølgende søgte jobs, at jeg har lært begge ting gennem mit studie og kan lide begge former. Jeg har været en af de heldige, som er kommet i job hurtigt efter endt studie og har i dag et job, hvor jeg dagligt sidder med marketingopgaver, som var et ønskejob for mig, at arbejde med marketing og benytte mig af den viden jeg har lært igennem mit studie, både det teoretiske, sociale og menneskelige viden.