Aoife Spillane

Aoife Spillane

About you

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

I did several internships including:

  • Deloitte – working for their public sector services.
  • Skydoo – IT Company as their Marketing and Communications intern. Developing and executing a six-month marketing plan.
  • Brainstorming – Luxury PR and communications firm. Mainly worked for the Richemont group, namely for Cartier, Piaget, IMC and Baume & Mercier.

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

Studying a business degree at an undergraduate level meant that I got an understanding for the complex business world but it also highlighted my interest for marketing and heightened my curiosity for the luxury industry. Imperial’s programme not only stood out to me for having excellent professors and a high teaching standard, but equally their established and extended network meant that I could further pursue and realise my career ambitions.

Programme

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

Being surrounded by like-minded ambitious and interesting people was really and truly my highlight. I have really made friends for life. I learnt so much about myself but also about how to work successfully with others. Having so many people from diverse backgrounds and nationalities meant that naturally everyone had different thought processes with lots of ideas – but bringing these all together betters your work and broadens the boundaries of what you believed possible. Additionally, as this often happens in the workplace most employers often seek such skills.

Which has been your favourite module so far and why?

The Marketing Plan Competition was my favourite. It is one of the last modules and your group must market a new product/service, bringing in all previous programme content. You really have a blank canvas and can therefore come up with anything and market it however you like. It was challenging but we all learnt so much and really reflected a real-life task in the workplace of a future marketer.

What has been the most challenging part of the programme?

Being President (FMCG, Retail and Luxury Careers Club), applying for jobs and doing programme work was very overwhelming at first but it really taught me to prioritse my tasks and manage my time better.

People

How do you describe your cohort at imperial?

Very international, ambitious, talented and smart.

Did you have a favourite professor/lecturer and why?

I don’t just have one that jumps at me but I have a few who really impressed me and with whom I enjoyed learning a lot: Dr Omar Merlo, Jaka Levstek and Dr Jan Ross.

Imperial places a large emphasis on group work; what did you like the most about working in this type of environment?

Group work really gets you to push the boundaries of what you thought was possible. Even though that sounds very cheesy, it’s true. What I mean by that is that you challenge everyone’s ideas which results in a mixture of ideas, but thoroughly and clearly thought out. Additionally, using everyone’s diverse skills and abilities really makes your project even better and goes beyond what you thought as an individual you could produce.

Opportunities

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

Hands down the Presidency of the FMCG, Retail and Luxury Careers Club. Solely running a large club and managing a team of six committee members was something I have never done but learnt the most from. This experience has really given me a real insight into the importance of soft skills and also helped me refine and develop mine to a much higher level.

How have you benefited from being part of the wider Imperial College London community?

Yes I have collaborated with other presidents from other clubs and also met many other leaders within the Business School, as a result.

Career

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

My career goal is to start a career in the retail consulting industry. Imperial has not only enabled me to widen my network but equally enlightened me on the current trends and challenges within the retail industry, helping me for job applications and deepening my understanding of the industry as a whole.

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

They were very helpful and patient with me, giving me advice in general and also for my CV and cover letter wise.

London location

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

Yes, you are at the doorstep of any events outside of Imperial, which are relevant for your career of interest to you. Equally, putting on events in the club meant that you could get people more easily being in central London.

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

I live in Earls Court, which is walking distance to Imperial and that is why I choose it.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time in London?

Working out, seeing friends and traveling.

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

When finding accommodation- start looking as early as possible. Also living costs- get a sense of how much everything is and manage your money.

Tips

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

Yes, I would recommend seeing, listening and finding out about anything you can on Imperial. Sometimes it’s a tiny detail that sells you. Especially, if you’ve received many Master’s offers it’s hard to choose , so make sure you can see yourself in the university, it’s very important!

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

Make sure it’s clear to you why you want to do the programme and what you believe it can bring to you. Then do your research to see if this is the case and as mentioned above talk to as many current students there as possible to get as many “real” insights as possible.

Aoife Spillane headshot

MSc Strategic Marketing 2017- 18

Nationality: Irish

Undergraduate Education: Bachelor of Business Studies and German, Trinity College Dublin

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