Liz Willcock
MSc Strategic Marketing 2019

About you

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

Prior to Imperial College Business School, I worked as a Strategy Consulting Associate at AlphaSights. I worked on hundreds of projects across tech, FMCG, and energy, and after hours spent labouring away on due diligences, I found that the recipe to success was often the quality of a company’s marketing, brand strategy, and ability to target their customers. As an aspiring entrepreneur I decided marketing was a skill I needed to become an expert in, which led me to the MSc Strategic Marketing programme at Imperial.

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

I’m obsessed with a podcast by NPR called “How I Built this”- a series that interviews entrepreneurs and breaks down how they started their companies. As I was listening to the episodes from the founders of Lyft, Glossier and Squarespace (among others), I kept thinking what great businesses boil down to, is innovation and exceptional marketing. I was already working in (and slowly falling in love with) London, and decided Imperial was the best place to study both.

Did you receive a scholarship? If yes, what were the benefits of receiving this?

I received an Academic Excellence Scholarship that paid for a large portion of my tuition. The scholarship at Imperial has helped me take full advantage of the opportunities that the Business School and London has to offer. It has allowed me to pursue my interest in entrepreneurship in the health and wellness space and immerse myself at events such as the Welltodo Summit, and networking panels I wouldn’t have otherwise been able to attend.

Programme

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

The teaching staff on the MSc Strategic Management programme have been incredible at using traditional theory, and yet, keeping the subject matter innovative and topical. We still learn 'Porter's Five Forces', but we are also examining Mountain Dew’s Superbowl ads, and the success of Chipotle.

Which has been your favourite module so far and why?

I really enjoyed the Relationship Management module with Professor Andreas Eisengerich because it taught us how to build brands people love, respect, and trust. I think most entrepreneurs and marketers can figure out how to build a brand, but Professor Eisengerich used case studies and a carefully constructed strategy to teach us how to build brands customers admire.

What has been the most rewarding part of the programme?

In the Spring I participated in the Proctor & Gamble (P&G) pitch competition alongside four of my classmates. We put into practice all of our lessons from lectures and created a toothbrush for special needs children in order to address the difficulties my teammate Shaans’ sister with down syndrome faces every day. We devised a campaign to educate and support parents with special needs children and would have managed to grow the toothbrush segment sales by 7%. This was 2% more than what P&G had asked of us. The competition allowed me to see just how practical our Master’s skills were, and ultimately our team won and was accelerated to final round interviews at P&G.

People

Did you have a favourite professor/lecturer and why?

Dr Omar Merlo, the Academic Director of MSc Strategic Marketing teaches Brand Strategy, and his module is a keystone to the programme. He is also hilarious and has the propensity to laugh at his own jokes regardless if anyone else thinks they are funny (although, rest assured Dr Merlo - 96% of the time we do).

Career

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

Upon graduation, I hope to work in the health and wellness sector and specialise in organic community building strategy before starting my own company. My professors at Imperial have encouraged me to dream big and develop strategies that build strong relationships with customers that enable them as people. I am currently working with two professors at the Business School in order to build a business plan for my future company. My studies at Imperial have given me the confidence to pursue my dream of starting a business that integrates the things I am most passionate about - community, body positivity and wellness.

Have you received any job offers since commencing your programme?

After winning the Proctor & Gamble case competition at Imperial College Business School, I am currently in final rounds for a Marketing role at P&G.

London Location

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

Living in London has allowed me to attend a number of lectures and talks in my area of interest that are of an unparalleled quality. In the last year alone, I have been to events with, and spoken with the founders of Pip & Nut, Planet Organic, All Plants, Frame Gym, Nush Foods, Eat Natural, Livia’s Kitchen, and Riverford Farms. Having access to these events and entrepreneurs has significantly enriched my Business School experience and helped me build my network. I’ve found that a 15-minute conversation with a founder in your field of interest, is worth far more than hours spent in the library. Living in London has allowed me to have these conversations, meet my role models and receive invaluable mentorship.

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

I live in Chelsea/Fulham and I chose to move here from my previous home in East London because I think there is something sacred about being able to walk to work or school.

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

I enjoy being active and take advantage of all of London’s beautiful ways to exercise - be it spinning, yoga, or late-night walks on the Thames. I also love writing. I have a personal blog, and on any free afternoon I’m most likely found typing away at a café in East London.

Tips

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

Imperial is not for the lazy or faint hearted - make sure you are ready to seize every opportunity possible, put yourself out there and meet new people, and push yourself to succeed. If you’re willing to put in the energy and time, London and Imperial College Business School has a wealth of experience you can tap into. If you’re willing to make the leap I’m quite certain the hard work will pay off.

Role
MSc Strategic Marketing
Nationality
Canada
Undergraduate education :

BA English Language and Literature (Honours), McGill University

Job after Imperial College Business School :

Assistant Brand Manager in Beauty, Olay (Proctor & Gamble)