Kuhikaa Vaishnavee Arora
- Course: MA Corporate Communications, Marketing and Public Relations
- Year of graduation: 2023
- Nationality: Indian
How did you hear about the Business School and why did you choose to study here?
I found out about the University of Leeds while going through QS World Rankings and came across the Business School while researching the courses offered. I always wanted my Masters degree to be one that exposes me to multiple communications domains and MA Corporate Communications, Marketing and Public Relations was one of the very few courses I found that did that.
Tell us about your course - why did you choose it? What elements of the course inspired you to study here?
Communication is a multidisciplinary field. I have often seen people switch from advertising to PR and branding. Thus, I wanted to study a Masters course that would help me understand and explore the many dimensions of the communications industry. This led me to choose MA Corporate Communications, Marketing and Public Relations, which is basically a study of three communications majors in one degree.
What is the best part of your studies? What are you enjoying the most?
I love how holistic the course is! It blends strategy, research, and creativity. Of course, it is challenging and extremely hectic, but it feels worth it. Every assignment has challenged me differently and through these multiple assignments, I have been able to understand the vital role that creativity plays even in the more structured areas of communication such as strategy.
What are your career aspirations? Do you think the experience and skills you will gain on your course will help you in your future career plans? In what way?
In the short term, I want to work in an agency. I'd love a role that blends client servicing and creative writing. In the long run, I want to provide strategic direction to brands. MA Corporate Communications, Marketing and Public Relations has exposed me to all sides of the communications industry and has provided the foundation that I will need for both roles. Moreover, by teaching me the basis of the knowledge I will need later in my career, I feel like MA Corporate Communications, Marketing and Public Relations has given me a head start.
Do you have any noteworthy achievements from your study at the Business School that you can tell us about?
I was elected as the Course Representative and my work was later recognised through a nomination for the Global Award at the LUBS Partnership Awards.
If you are not from the UK, how was the transition to a foreign country? Did the University offer support or services that you found helpful? Can you offer any advice?
The Marketing Department had a 15-day long induction for our courses. This induction covered everything from coping with stress and finding support for academic writing, to finding cheap grocery stores and understanding British cultural norms. I also found the Postgraduate Cafes very helpful. One major reason for coming abroad for education is to interact with international audiences. However, it is easier to gravitate towards people from the same background as you. The Postgraduate Cafe events helped me step out of my comfort zone and connect with most of the non-Indian students who are also my friends today.
What is your impression/experience of the facilities, the staff, your peers, the student union, the City of Leeds and the Yorkshire region?
The university offers a tonne of facilities and support. It's difficult to explore all of it in just a year. The staff are brilliant and extremely helpful. My professors have been available and have made time for me even if I couldn't meet them during their office hours. Leeds University Union too is extremely willing to help. I have contacted them in person and via email and they have tried to help me as much as possible, no matter how odd my query was. One occasion that stands out for me is when I went to the union asking for a room in which I could independently rehearse and stay in touch with dance, and they helped me find a space and provided thorough guidance on when and how I could use the room.
While Yorkshire is beautiful and worth exploring, Leeds itself is amazing too. It has many parks and stately mansions that one must visit. All of them are accessible by bus. The only disclaimer that I'd like to give is that Leeds is deceptively large. My advice to students is to go beyond the city centre and see parts of the city that are not frequented by their peers. There are some beautiful walks and hikes!
Are there any experiences outside of your studies that you particularly enjoyed?
In my case, I'd never lived independently before coming to Leeds. Living alone around a bunch of other students was my favourite part of the year. Completing a Masters degree can be stressful and my friends were my support throughout. These people have been my survival kit and I am so grateful to Leeds for bringing us together.
What would you say your defining memory of studying here was?
I've made so many memories and grown so much here, it's difficult to pick one. If I had to though, I would pick the time my mother visited me in Leeds. I had been working part-time since October and managed to save enough money to pay for 75% of our trip to the Lake District and Scotland.
Would you recommend the Business School to others who are considering studying here?
I would definitely recommend the Business School but I will also say that your time here will only be as good as you make it. There is a lot to be done at any point in time and your willingness to push yourself out of your comfort zone is going to matter immensely in determining the quality of your experience.