Andrew Spatafora

Programme: MSc Strategic Marketing

Nationality: American

Undergraduate Education: Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting, Emerson College

MSc Strategic Marketing 2018

About you

What work experience/internships did you have before beginning with Imperial College Business School?

I have always striven to have a multi-faceted career. Immediately following my undergraduate degree, I spent time working in TV/film casting and also studied improvisation, which I highly recommend to anyone who hopes to be successful in business. Prior to Imperial, I worked as the social media manager at a marketing firm in Chicago and then worked as an account manager at a technology firm (GrubHub). I also worked with colleagues to establish a non-profit organisation, Code Your Chances, and launched our first coding workshop in Chennai, India.

Why did you decide to study MSc Strategic Marketing at Imperial College Business School?

I appreciated the thoroughness of Imperial’s application process and the fact that there was an interview involved. Not only did Imperial offer a rigorous programme, but also one of the most diverse gatherings of students compared to any of the other universities I explored. Having the opportunity to meet, learn from, and befriend students from over 49 countries is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that should be taken advantage of.


What aspects of the programme do you most enjoy, and find most rewarding?

I enjoyed the range of modules/electives offered. From data analytics to branding, every single student was challenged and forced outside of their comfort zone at some point throughout the programme.

Which has been your favourite module so far and why?

The summer term specifically allows students to apply the skills learned from the previous two terms. Integrated Marketing Communications, the Marketing Plan Competition and the Consulting Project challenge your understanding of materials learned and can be incredibly rewarding projects to work on. A little advice, be sure to choose a driven and academically diverse group of individuals to work on these projects with!

What has been the most challenging part of the programme?

One of the most rewarding and challenging parts of the programme was the amount of time spent working in syndicate groups. The success of any undertaking relies on one’s ability to collaborate, respect, and learn from the skills and work of others. From writing reports and creating video content to developing an entire marketing plan, individuals are forced to compromise and rely on their team members’ strengths to ensure successful end products.


How do you describe your cohort at imperial?

Ambitious, diverse, bright, and passionate future business partners.


What has been the greatest opportunity you have had at Imperial?

I was lucky enough to be elected the Chair of the MSc Strategic Marketing programme which meant that I represented my programme on the Student Staff Committee and the Dean’s Student Advisory Council. I was able to develop close relationships with the programme team and have impactful conversations with my peers, who were able to influence changes within the programme and the Business School. Feedback provided to the programme team was taken seriously and utilised to make the Strategic Marketing programme more effective and efficient.

What clubs, societies or other activities have you been involved in at Imperial? Do you hold a student leadership position?

I highly recommend applying to be a member of the Student Staff Committee, which is comprised of four positions: Committee Chair, Academic Leader, Career Leader, and Social Leader. This is a fantastic way to meet new people starting on day one, work with the programme team to resolve immediate or long-term issues and establish yourself as a leader within the programme and Business School.


Have you received any job offers since commencing your programme?

My time at Imperial has ignited my interest in entrepreneurship. My syndicate group and I developed a product for the Marketing Plan Competition, which occurs during the summer term, and we ended up winning the competition. This recognition from the professor, guest judges, and the cohort not only provided the team with confidence in ourselves but also in the product. We are actively pursuing the development of a prototype with Imperial’s Enterprise Lab and I fully intend to continue to explore the possibility of having this product on the market in the near future.

How did the services from Careers help in your professional development/securing employment?

The Careers team is a tool that should be taken advantage of the day you step foot on campus. These individuals will help you structure your CV, draft cover letters, explore best potential careers paths, and put you in contact with individuals at specific companies.

London location

Where do you live in London and why did you choose to live there?

I decided to live in Battersea at the GradPad Griffon Studios student accommodation. Because I was moving from the US and had limited prior knowledge of London’s housing market, I wanted my transition to be smooth and simple. This accommodation has been a perfect fit for me! I am roughly 30 minutes from campus, have access to Clapham Junction, which will get you anywhere you need to go in London, and I was able to meet other MSc Strategic Marketing students living at GradPad who have become good friends.

What have been the benefits and challenges of moving to London? What advice would you give to someone in a similar position?

Most Imperial students are in the exact same position and have moved from their home country to London. My advice is to strike up conversation with anyone and everyone. If you feel comfortable in a situation, find the most uncomfortable looking person and start talking to them. Be open to new experiences, ideas, foods, and opinions. London is one of the most diverse cities I have visited and it is the perfect place to expand your mind and perspective on the world. The year will fly by and so do not let it end without realising how special it really is.


What advice would you give someone who is thinking about applying for the programme

Think through the reasons why you want to spend a year earning an MSc Strategic Marketing and make sure they are strong, rational reasons. Think about whether or not you are committed to working really hard, not just for your own benefit, but also for the benefit of others. Think through how you can go above and beyond what is being asked of you and if this experience will bring a new richness to your life. Be honest in your application and with yourself about pursuing this Master’s and why you want to attend Imperial.

Programme: MSc Strategic Marketing

Nationality: American

Undergraduate Education: Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting, Emerson College