Johannes Holzinger
MSc Strategic Marketing

BA International Management, FH Joanneum University of Applied Sciences

About you

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

Prior to studying MSc Strategic Marketing I had already gained valuable work experience in different positions, all of which were marketing related. I volunteered at the Austrian Economic Chambers in Ireland to promote Austrian businesses abroad, worked for the Austrian Music Export (which aims to accelerate the careers of Austrian musicians and bands beyond national borders) and had the chance to work for L’Oréal as a Product Management intern in the Professional Products department for one year.

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

I made my decision to study an MSc Strategic Marketing at Imperial College Business School based not only on the School and the programme’s excellent reputation but also on the strong ties Imperial enjoys with different industries, as well as the impeccable Careers service.


What aspects of the programme do you most enjoy the most?

One thing I particularly enjoy about the programme is the multiculturalism of the cohort. There is so much to learn from all the different cultures and I can say I personally grew from being exposed to people from other countries and seeing how things can be dealt with differently. Moreover, I really enjoy the programme’s undeniable hands-on approach. The learnings from every module are applied immediately in a variety of group and individual assignments, which helps me to grasp the information more easily and in a real-world context. 

Which has been your favourite module so far and why?

My favourite module has been Marketing Decision Making, part of which was an impressively executed simulation that put my team and I into the shoes of a company’s marketing department, competing against other companies/teams in our cohort. The simulation allowed us to apply the things we had learned in prior modules in a very realistic setting and see how our decisions (e.g. whether or not to launch new product or which segments to target) would impact our performance. The experience was incredibly immersive and demonstrated the value of approaching important marketing decisions strategically by trying to anticipate our competitors’ actions.

What has been the most rewarding part of the programme?

The most rewarding part of the programme was having access to impressive companies (e.g. Google, Facebook, Procter & Gamble and LVMH to name a few), which is something I never took for granted and which demonstrated the fantastic reputation Imperial College Business School Alumni enjoy.

What has been the most challenging part of the programme? 

The most challenging – and yet very rewarding – part of the programme was being put into random groups for our assignments, which meant working with people from very different cultures with very different approaches. Ultimately, this allowed us to challenge our own beliefs and approaches to problem solving, and adopt a broader, more flexible view which would prepare us for our future roles.


How would you describe your cohort at Imperial?

The cohort of MSc Strategic Marketing is very dynamic, energetic, and fun, just like you would imagine marketers to be. Each individual student has an interesting story to tell and it is nothing short of inspiring to work with such multi-faceted, talented people!

Did you have a favourite professor/lecturer and why?

My favourite lecturer was James Eteen, who guided us through the modules Strategic Market Management and Marketing Decision Making. What I appreciated most about James was his ability to explain complex relationships and concepts in a very practice-oriented fashion that made it easy to understand them, as well as the passion he brought into his classes.


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

At Imperial, I’m involved as the Social Leader of my programme and as a Student Ambassador. As Social Leader I’m in charge of facilitating social gatherings among my colleagues, while as a Student Ambassador I act as a link between the College and prospective students through social media and open house events.

Have you had opportunities to work/socialise with students across programmes within the Business School?

In my role as Social Leader, I had the pleasure of organising events together with other programme’s social leaders, to foster networking among Business School students of different programmes. One time we hosted a boat party with 250 participants!

How have you benefited from the Business School’s connection to the Imperial College London community?

What is great about being part of Imperial is having access to an extensive network of Alumni which is an invaluable resource for career opportunities. It was through this network that I met some alumni who not only gave me guidance but also helped me take my first step into the industry I am interested in.


What are your future career goals and how have they been realised since being at Imperial?

After graduation I would like to pursue a career as brand strategist in advertising. My programme equipped me with the necessary skillset and it was through the alumni network that I made some great connections in the advertising industry.

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

Throughout my journey at Imperial I had regular one-to-one coaching with the Business School’s own Careers consultants. These consultations covered the assessment of my career options and guidance on how to proceed, as well as things like how to optimise my CV and cover letters.

London Location

Do you think studying in a central location such as London is beneficial for networking and career opportunities? 

Studying in London means being where it’s happening. All of the major companies have an office here, so securing a job at a great firm suddenly becomes possible. Imperial enjoys connections with a number of highly reputable firms in different sectors who pay visits to the campus on a regular basis.

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

I’m staying in Stockwell, which is South of the River Thames and very close to some up-and-coming, hip neighbourhoods like Clapham and Brixton. The rent here is more affordable than in the areas surrounding Kensington while it still takes me only 25 minutes to get door to door from my accommodation to campus.

When you’re not studying, what do you enjoy doing?

I’m a passionate musician and when I’m not playing the piano or singing, I am most likely to be found cooking or enjoying the city’s perks with friends.

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

The most challenging part when it comes to moving to London is finding a room and navigating through the countless number of possibilities. Facebook and Spareroom have been the most useful resources! I would start by first settling for 3 or so neighbourhoods I could imagine myself living in. This way, one can narrow down the search significantly. In general, I find London to be a very welcoming city that makes it very easy to feel at home in no time.


Looking back to when you were applying for the programme, did you attend any online webinars or on-campus information sessions?

I did not attend any events, but I was lucky enough to have a Student Ambassador for the programme show me around campus while I was in London for a week. This contributed significantly to my final decision of applying for MSc Strategic Marketing.

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

Be authentic! I think Imperial College Business School takes pride in having a rich blend of different, multi-faceted people in its programmes. When writing your application, try to think of skills and talents outside of the “professional” scope that might help you differentiate yourself from others. For instance, in my application, I put an emphasis on my love for music – something that is not directly related to marketing but, nevertheless, demonstrated the creative streak a marketer should have.

MSc Strategic Marketing

BA International Management, FH Joanneum University of Applied Sciences