Programme: PhD Student at Imperial College London
Previous education: MSc International Business Economics, City University London
Past employment: Marketing Analyst at Mary Kay Inc.
Favourite place in London: Greenwich
Marine is from Russia and studied an MSc in International Business Economics at City University London. Her past experience includes working as a Pricing Analyst at a pharmaceutical distributor and as a Marketing Analyst at a global cosmetics company.
Experience and achievements before Imperial
Why did you decide to study the Doctoral programme at Imperial College Business School?
It is a top Business School, well known for its top quality faculty and research. The programme structure is different from many other business schools because during the first year at Imperial we study the Master’s of Research (MRes), which is focused on developing strong foundations before continuing to the PhD programme. This also gives us additional time to discover opportunities and find the right paths for our research. Another thing that makes Imperial unique is the overall atmosphere and the people, who are always encouraging and ready to help or give advice.
Tell us about your greatest achievements?
I believe that my greatest achievements are yet to come! So far I can say that I am proud of completing my both my BSc and MSc programmes with distinction.
What work experience do you have and how did this prepare you for the programme?
Prior to starting the PhD programme I worked as a Pricing Analyst at a pharmaceutical distributor, then as a Marketing Analyst at a global cosmetics company. This work experience helped me to improve my analytical, presentation and software skills, and to develop my research interest in business management and internationalisation.
Studying a Doctoral programme at the Business School
What aspect of the Doctoral programme has been most rewarding so far?
In my opinion the programme structure itself is very helpful for students. The first year of the MRes offers exposure to different disciplines, allows us to develop essential skills and we have a chance to meet the faculty before starting to work on our own research. This helps us to understand our specific research interests better and come up with good research ideas, also to choose a supervisor if you did not have a chance to do that in advance.
What aspects of the Doctoral programme have been the most challenging?
The Doctoral programme itself is challenging, but this is how it is supposed to be. Time management is essential in my opinion, as there are always many things going on at the same time, such as conference deadlines, programme-specific deadlines, teaching, tutoring, training, courses, and so on. There is always too little time and so that can create a lot of pressure. However, once you start getting used to the workload you become better at managing your time.
Being part of the Business School community
Which seminars, events or guest lectures have been especially useful?
Each department has seminars approximately every week, where researchers from various universities and business schools present their work. I find these seminars extremely useful, as they give us an insight to research processes, presentation skills, methodologies and so on. We also have a chance to critically evaluate other people’s work and ask questions, and often to meet the presenter later for advice about our own research. In addition, our department organises paper development workshops, where faculty and students can present their work in progress in front of members of the department and seek feedback and advice, which is a unique opportunity if you aim to submit a paper for a conference or to a journal. Even just attending the workshops is helpful, as you can see the problems that other researchers face and learn from them.
How would you describe the community at Imperial College Business School?
The community at Imperial is very diverse, but what unites us is a passion for knowledge and a desire to have an impact and make the world a better place for everyone. A lot of Imperial students and alumni have novel, useful ideas that they are working on alongside their studies, and many of them have already developed their ventures. For me, the community at Imperial is bright, open-minded, motivated and independent, yet also united, and I am proud to be a part of this community.
Thinking to the future
What are your future career goals?
Like the majority of PhD students, I would love to pursue a career in academia and continue focusing on research. I believe that a PhD at Imperial College will offer me great opportunities when I graduate and enter the job market, as Imperial is well-known for its research and influence, and is prestigious among business schools. Furthermore, Imperial gives me a unique opportunity to work with highly respected academics in my field, learning from them while seeking feedback and advice, which helps me to improve my own skills and knowledge.
Living and studying in London
What are the benefits of studying in London?
London is a great place to study because it has gathered together top academics and professionals, and attracts a lot of talented people from abroad, which makes networking easier and more valuable.
Whereabouts do you live in London and why did you choose to live there?
I live near Kensington Olympia, and there are several reasons why I love that area. Firstly, it is very well located, close to all the shops and restaurants at Kensington High Street and within walking distance from Westfield shopping centre. I am also quite close to Imperial College London – it takes slightly more than half an hour to walk there. The area itself is very pleasant, quiet, clean and safe.
What can a weekend in London look like for a PhD student?
Most of the weekends look like any other weekday, which means working. Although if it’s a weekend, you might choose to work at home, or in a coffee shop instead of the office for a change. But it is not as bad as it might sound. You still can meet friends for lunch or dinner, go to cinema in the evening, or just have a nice walk in a park to relax for a couple of hours.
What have been the benefits and challenges of moving to London?
In my opinion, the biggest challenge is to find a good accommodation. If you are not familiar with the city, I would recommend staying at one of the student accommodation blocks offered by Imperial. I personally found it very easy to adapt when I first moved to London, as I like the mild weather, the big city lifestyle and the multicultural environment. One of the best things about London is that there is never a lack of museums, galleries, theatres, musicals, and any other kind of entertainment. There is always something new and exciting to discover.