Bernat Añaños Martinez
- Course: MA Corporate Communications, Marketing and Public Relations
- Year of graduation: 2016
- Nationality: Spanish
How did you hear about Leeds University Business School and why did you choose to study here?
Choosing a university is not an easy decision as it is an important time and economic investment. For a few months I researched, compared and balanced funding, cities, life styles, and quality of the education. At the end I made the decision (I wasn’t sure) of picking Leeds and I do not regret the choice. Leeds University Business School is part of a top ranked University with a focus on skills at the same time as being an affordable and convenient city. This allows you to constantly take part in extra-curricular and social activities.
Tell us about your course – why did you choose it? What elements of the course inspired you to study here?
MA Corporate Communications and Public Relations is a course that allow its students to get insight from different communication and marketing fields. Looking at the year plan it has an effective balance between theory and practical classes. Furthermore, having the chance to talk to the Programme Director through Skype helped me to choose a University where proximity is a vital asset.
Did you receive a scholarship to study here? If yes, why did you apply for the scholarship and why do you think you were successful? What did it mean to you to receive it and how did it help you?
I received the Excellence Scholarship, which covers half of the tuition fees. The fact I like the most about the whole scholarship scheme is that the Business School does not simply focus on previous grades and academic courses; it puts skills, personal and professional experiences as key assets to achieving it too. Personally, it meant a lot to receive it and it boosted my confidence just before I started the course.
I would recommend everyone to apply for the scholarship and ask themselves “what can I offer the class?” and forget about giving a statement full of “I have been on the top during my degree” or “my grades are excellent”. The world of communications and PR is more about skills and attitude than theories (yes, they are important too).
What has been the best part of your studies – what have you enjoyed the most?
I have fully enjoyed being surrounded by such a multicultural environment. Living an intense experience, as it is a full-time Masters with people from all over the world, is a challenge but at the same time a life-changing and a unique opportunity. I have met people who changed my world perspectives and made me grow and understand numerous things.
What are your career aspirations? Do you think the experience and skills you’ve gained here so far have helped you in your career plans? In what way?
After completing this Masters I want to learn more and more. I want to be involved in small companies where I can take part in all kinds of corporate communication processes. The degree has shown me that my preferred fields are: PR, crisis communication, branding and CSR, and these are the ones that I want to specialise in. Nevertheless, I think it is key to try and be prepared to face all kinds of communication tasks in order to become a stronger corporate profile.
How has your career progressed since joining the Business School? Have there been any notable highlights?
I got an offer to join a company, and it is not an internship. Therefore, yes it has changed my career prospects. I am happy to receive the confidence of a company and I am sure the fact I studied in an international business school helped me to achieve it.
Do you have any noteworthy achievements from your study at the Business School that you can tell us about? e.g. prizes, highest scores etc.
I won the chopsticks competition on the Chinese New Year celebration. This is just one example of what you get to learn out of class just because of being around people from all parts of the world. All of us study communications but at the same time we understand communications in so many different ways, and this is magic.
I am happy about my grades but I do think the way I have developed myself goes far beyond having or not having a distinction. Personally, after studying in Leeds, I consider myself a stronger person and ready to face such a competitive career area as communications.
What has been your experience of the facilities, the staff, your peers, the city of Leeds and the Yorkshire region? Are there any experiences outside of your studies that you have particularly enjoyed? e.g. participation in extra-curricular activities or groups, nightlife, the region’s historic places of interest.
The University itself provides high standard facilities and all kinds of resources to make the learning experience convenient and satisfactory. I was absolutely amazed by the professor’s proximity and this is for sure one of the highlights of the year.
Leeds is a well-connected city, which allows for constant escapism and many chances for you to discover new places. Yorkshire is full of stunning spots, it’s a great place with a lot of small villages and towns to get lost in. However, if you are a night owl you will find yourself in Leeds.
Would you recommend the Business School to others who are considering studying here?
I would recommend that you follow your instincts. There is no correct or wrong answer, it is just a decision. Leeds University Business School is a good institution and if you feel it might be a place where you can develop your skills, I am sure it will be that place. Additionally, I assure you they will try to help you and support you as much as they can throughout the year.
However, wherever you go, please do enjoy the learning experience and do not lose the opportunity to meet the amazing people that will surround you. Theories might be forgotten, but those, are forever.