Remote learning Xiaoyu Zhang

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On 13 March, the President of Imperial College sent out an email announcing that the whole university will move most modules and exams remotely from the coming week. This was an unprecedented mass migration to remote working and studying for the whole Imperial society and I had so many question marks in my mind.

How can I stay connected to the Business School, my MSc Strategic Marketing programme and classmates? Can we efficiently finish the 12-page group coursework on time? Will this situation interrupt my job-hunting process?

I have been social-distancing at home since the duration of this remote learning period, and everything went better than I expected. I would like to share a few moments with you.

Interactive lectures via technology 

The modules of MSc Strategic Marketing have been quickly adapted to remote delivery. Thanks to utilising the latest technology, students who are studying from various countries can watch the lecture together. If you missed the lecture for unforeseen reasons, there are recorded sessions available on The Hub, our online learning platform.

Our first class after everything moved remotely was Marketing Decision Making taught by James Eteen through Zoom video conferencing.

I felt so emotional when I saw James saying “Hello, everyone. Welcome to our lecture.” Familiar prologue, same as ever. This lecture was recorded in the lecture room and James said, “It is my first time recording a lecture while facing an empty room.”

Despite the circumstances, the experience was amazing! It seemed like I was sitting in the first row and I could enjoy James’ lecture as usual.  My only regret is that there was no chance to say goodbye in-person and thank James in the last lecture.

We had another two Relationship Marketing lectures which were delivered by Dr Yu-Ting Lin from home. The virtual learning experience was made even more fun and interactive through live streaming in Zoom.

We can type in questions in the chat box and get answers and feedback very quickly. Another reason I love remote learning is that it saves a lot time as I don’t have to spend two hours every day commuting. I can make a coffee to reboot my energy and join the class at 8:45 am with vitality!

Remote lecture Yu-Ting Lin

Group coursework goes smoothly

One of the biggest concerns of remote study is group coursework. Our syndicate group has six members and we are in now in five different countries since the pandemic and campus closure.

We needed to submit a 12-page final report for the Marketing Decision Making module and I was worried about whether we would make it. Considering the situation that many students will go back to their home countries, the academic team decided to extend the submission deadline by one week. This gave us the time to all settle down in our home environments before reconnecting with each other.

We divided the tasks based on each team member’s strengths and willingness. We uploaded the article on Google Docs and arranged the online call through Skype to discuss and edit the report together. We also had some nice conversations which enabled me to understand the real-time situation of the pandemic in each country we're now based in. I’m very happy that everyone is safe and well. I love our team and hope we can reunite soon!

Remote learning syndicate group
Our group’s presentation before lockdown

Helpful Careers service is still here

Nowadays, I am busy applying for internships and jobs. I was very happy to find out that Imperial College Business School Careers is still running. Career workshops, 1:1 appointments and employer events are all still available on our Symplicity platform as usual.

On one occasion, I was I was notified of an interview for the following day. This is for an internship position that I am really interested in. To be better prepared, I booked a 1:1 appointment with Career Consultant, Megan Camacho, who gave me a series of useful tips for interviewing tailored to my background and situation. Also, Megan shared the contents of the workshop about 'how to convert an internship into full-time job'. I really appreciate her help in this special time.

The recruitment process hasn't stopped during this lockdown period. Some leading companies like Bloomberg and P&G hold online employer events which are shared with us as Imperial students.

Last Wednesday, I participated in the online P&G China sharing session, which was organised by Imperial’s APAC Careers team. Several guest speakers including senior recruiting managers and department managers shared in-depth insights of the working experience at P&G China which I find super useful for my career plan.

Remote learning careers event

This is a very tough moment and could be the biggest public health crisis of our generation. But as Yuvalnoah Harari mentioned in his latest article: This storm will pass. But the choices we make now could change our lives.

I appreciate all the support from Imperial College Business School, which has been a solid backup for us in this storm. I wish for everyone to stay at home and stay healthy. With all the virtual learning resources, we can make full use of our time and be better prepared for the future.

Remote learning animation

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Xiaoyu Zhang

About Xiaoyu Zhang

MSc Strategic Marketing
Xiaoyu studied Accounting at an international university in China. After graduation, she worked as a marketer in both the transport and e-commerce industry.

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