Kinjal Shah

Kinjal Shah

Tell us about your degree - why did you choose it? What elements of the degree inspired you to study it? 
I studied my MA in Advertising and Marketing at Leeds. I found myself looking for a course that could equip me with a blend of both education and industry experience. Every subject taught on its own is insightful, and put together the whole package makes for a great learning experience.

How was the transition to a foreign country? Did the university offer support or services that you found helpful? Can you offer any advice? 
I am from India but University of Leeds ensured that it provided all sources possible to diminish the cultural and social barriers. From food restrictions, (I am vegan) finding a house, to prepping up for the British weather they made sure everything was a smooth adaptation process. They held pre-arrival seminars inviting a lot of ex students who we could interact with and get hands on information before we flew to Leeds. Even while in Leeds, we could avail counseling sessions if we were too overwhelmed with the sudden change. My piece of advice would be to plan in advance, plan your entire year out in brief. Note down all the things you must do, have and need before you head to Leeds.

What was your impression of the City of Leeds and the region itself? 
Its a lovely warm place that I call my second home. Its one of the most beautiful cities in England and it has a young energetic vibe that never disappoints you.

What would you say is your defining memory of studying here? 
I was very overwhelmed before I left, I'm an introvert so making new friends seemed like a task but Leeds really pushed me out of my shell. I studied with over 300 people, changed 7 houses and made 2 hospital trips. Everyday was an adventure that led to me to be a more open, knowledgeable and confident. It taught me that I could adapt to challenges thrown my way and today that's my key strength.

What was the best part of your studies here? What did you enjoy the most?
The best part of studying in Leeds was the fact that my class was a cultural hotpot. Everybody came from different countries and different backgrounds making it such an enriching experience. It enhanced my people skills and left me with friends across the world.

What were your career aspirations when you arrived? Do you think the experience and skills you gained here will help/helped you in your future career plans? In what way? 
I had no idea of where I wanted my career to head except that I wanted to graduate as an expert in my field. I aimed to be at the top of my game and learn as much as I could at university. University helped me realise my career aspirations, it not only provided education but also networking opportunities that helped me connect with like-minded people.

How has your career progressed since leaving the Business School? Have there been any notable highlights? 
I finished my masters in 2016 and after returning to India I was very overwhelmed about job hunting. I started to question my skills and talent and the bitter truth is there was no quick way out but to hustle for a job. I then decided to go to a Leeds University Business School networking event in Mumbai and spoke about my predicament. Thankfully due to the vast network of professionals at the alumni event, I landed a lot of interviews and met my future employer. The notable highlight of my story is the fact that I was a University of Leeds alumna. My university brought a lot of credibility and recognition to my profile.

Where are you currently working, and what is your role?
I am now a digital account executive and currently work at Edelman (India). I handle the digital and social activities of brands like KPMG, Belvedere and LinkedIn. In essence my job is to ensure we're constantly delivering a unique digital strategy that would help our brands stand out in the market.

What are your ambitions for the future?
I want to return to studying! I am motivated to pursue a Ph.D. and specialize in volatile consumer behavior in the digital context. My long term goal is to get be recognized as an expert in my field of work.