Undergraduate to postgraduate journey at RGU: Kirstin’s story

Kirstin Bell, a current student of the Master of Business Administration course and an alumna of the MSc International Tourism and Hospitality Management course, writes about why she returned to RGU to pursue a Master’s degree upon completion of her undergraduate course.

Your time spent at University is a big part of your life. It’s going to shape who you are as a person. You’re going to meet some of your forever friends and have some incredible experiences and opportunities! That’s why for me, there was no other choice but to continue my studies at RGU.

Undergraduate to postgraduate journey

Kirstin writes about her UG to PG journey at RGU.

I had originally applied to RGU to study Media due to my interest in TV and Radio presenting. However, after doing a bit more research on the RGU website, I found the Event Management course. I decided that the course best suited me and aligned with my personality and strengths. So, after deciding to defer for a year, I joined RGU in 2013.

Graduating from the Event Management course with a whole host of work experience and links to industry professionals made it a no brainer to return to RGU to undertake a Master’s degree.

Kirstin Bell, a Master of Business Administration student at RGU

I wanted to do a course that complemented my events background but also gave me the opportunity to branch out and learn something new. That’s why I chose to study the MSc International Tourism and Hospitality Management course. The modules we studied were a great mix focused on tourism and hospitality as well as digital communication and brand management. But what really drew me towards the course was the placement and the opportunity to undertake a client project as opposed to the traditional dissertation. Being able to write a piece of work on behalf of a client was great. It gave me a taste of what it was like to create a brief, industry-focussed, formal project whilst working in the safe environment of the University and with the support of my lecturers.

How it helped my career

Kirstin writes about her UG to PG journey and her work at distilleries at RGU.

Whilst studying for my Master’s, I held the role of events assistant at RGU. I was lucky to be able to undertake a placement that incorporated my events background into it. I was given the opportunity to organise a number of global events to promote engagement amongst our alumni community. It was an incredible challenge, working across different time zones and communicating with people all over the world to organise events without ever leaving my desk!

Juggling the placement, my role as events assistant and meeting deadlines for my course was a massive challenge. But it taught me so much about time management, prioritisation and that I can achieve anything if I put my mind to it!

I’ve been really lucky to hold roles that were relevant to my studies. This includes the events role at RGU, before moving on to an events and hospitality role at 3 local distilleries where I worked with local service providers and businesses to create a Trade and VIP hospitality programme for visitors from all around the world.

Kirstin Bell, a Master of Business Administration student at RGU

Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, that role was made redundant. So I decided to do a short course in digital marketing to further expand my knowledge and skillset.

I am working in a digital marketing role at the moment. Despite holding this job, I felt this was the perfect time to fill some other knowledge gaps and build on existing experience to further my education and broaden my opportunities. That’s how I’ve now found myself (obviously) back at RGU studying for a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree. There really is no other University I would want to study this course at due to its credentials and opportunities and not to mention the Alumni discount (available for all postgraduate courses).

Advice to future students

I truly enjoyed both of my courses at RGU. I think staying in a familiar place with established connections and relationships with lecturers contributed to the success of my Master’s degree. It allowed for a smooth transition from undergraduate to postgraduate study.

If I had to give any advice to RGU undergraduate students/alumni looking to embark on their undergraduate to postgraduate journey at RGU:

  1. Do your research on the courses. There are so many to choose from and it is a big commitment so make sure it’s a course that you’re interested in.
  2. Speak to your current lecturers. If you want to pursue a Master’s in a similar subject area, then have a chat with them and listen to their advice. If you’re looking to switch to a completely different subject area, reach out to the teaching staff for that course with any questions you have, and they’ll be happy to help you.
  3. Don’t get comfortable. Stay ahead of the game with your assignments. Reach out to industry connections to get yourself known. Throw yourself into any work experience or opportunities that come your way. Putting yourself out of your comfort zone can be terrifying (trust me I’m currently doing it with the MBA course), but that’s when you start to grow, learn more about yourself and your capabilities, build confidence and build new relationships. All things that are part of the key to success (whatever that may be).

Kirstin Bell

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