Charlotte Willems

Charlotte Willems

Studying MSc Strategic Marketing

Why did you choose to study MSc Strategic Marketing and why specifically at Imperial College Business School?

The MSc Strategic Marketing programme at Imperial College Business School appealed to me because it has such a diverse and inclusive study programme. Topics such as Brand Management, Management Strategy, Innovation and Finance give you a broad foundation of knowledge, which you can then deepen by choosing some topics as your focus areas for projects. This also gives you a very broad portfolio for when you start applying for jobs. It gives you experience in many fields, giving you a better understanding of what you are good at or want to do, and you can showcase this to potential employers.

I also personally took into consideration the high worldwide ranking of the School. Choosing Imperial College Business School means studying at one of the best universities in the world.

What was the most important thing/learning point you took with you from the Business School?

If you want something, go for it. Reach out to others and share your plans or ambitions. There are so many people willing to support you going in the right direction, and it will open your mind to many new opportunities of which you probably had not thought of before.

What was the most surprising thing about the programme?

The best surprise about the programme to me was the combination of practice and theory throughout the year. Most courses do not only offer a theoretic view on the topic, but will also offer an opportunity to bring your knowledge into practice. The team of students you do most projects with also help you learn about yourself, your strengths, and your way of working in the professional world where you collaborate with peers.

How do you view your experience of studying at Imperial since you left?

I have been impressed by the activities and opportunities open to alumni. There are many talks, panels, meet-ups, and even lectures you can go to as an Imperial alumnus. It is easy to contact someone of the university as well as your fellow students, and it is an honour to be part of the Imperial family where I feel we will always be welcome.

How did you find living in London?

Living in London is the best! There is something for every one and for every mood: you can go dancing, go to the park, go shopping, up your cultural knowledge, go to the pub, and eat the best food from all around the world.

How has the programme changed you?

The programme has shown me the importance and fun of working with others. Instead of working only with people you know or who are ‘like yourself’, the programme shows you the benefits and fun of working with people you did not know before or who come from a very different background.

Can you recall a favourite memory from your time on the programme?

The graduation ceremony is one of the best times of the year – it is great to see your friends and fellow students back, and hear everyone’s amazing stories which go from studying to working at start-ups, global companies, and moving around the world.

Career & professional development

How has the Business School helped develop your career? 

During the programme we did various projects on different topics which helped me realise where my strengths, weaknesses and preferences lay. Having these experiences helped me a lot in the application process as I could give practical examples of situations in which I gained certain knowledge or skills.

What did you take away from your learning experience that has been most applicable to your current role?

The Marketing Analytics and Digital Marketing courses taught me the way people use the internet, what theories are behind this, and the various ways you can analyse this customer data. To me this is very useful knowledge as both the theoretic and practical side of these courses are so apparent in real life and can predict future behaviour as well.

What is your current role like?

As a Brand Specialist at Amazon you have one or more brands in your portfolio you take care of. You think of short and long-term growth strategies for these brands, based on data analysis and market insights.

The alumni network

In what way is remaining connected to your alumni network important to you?

This is important from both a personal and professional point of view. It is interesting and nice to stay in touch with your fellow students, but it also opens up a lot of new doors to many different fields and even countries in the world.

What value do you get out of your connections with the Business School and your fellow alumni?

The alumni network is a good way to keep an eye on what fellow students and Imperial alumni are doing, and to realise what else is out there. It gives you a good view of opportunities outside of the environment you are currently in.

Advice for future students

What advice would you give to a prospective student considering studying the same Business School programme as you?

If you want to pursue a study that gives you a broad but super high quality foundation in the Strategic Marketing field, this MSc is a good option. The variety of backgrounds of both students and the lecturers make the programme interesting, and gives you lots of different perspectives on various topics. Once you start, make sure you enjoy every second and put energy in every course you take during the programme as the year will go by before you even realise it.

MSc Strategic Marketing 2017

Nationality: Dutch

Undergraduate education: BBA Hotel Management, Hotel Management School Maastricht

Job prior to Imperial College Business School: Internship as Junior Restaurant Manager at Banyan Tree Hangzhou Luxury Hotel in Hangzhou, China, and Internship in Brand Strategy at AholdDelhaize (Albert Heijn), Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Job after studying at Imperial College Business School: Brand Specialist, Amazon UK within the Amazon Graduate Programme