Carolina Plexidas

Carolina PlexidasNationality: Greek and Spanish

Institute and subject studied for Undergraduate degree: University of the Arts London (LCC)
BA (Hons) Graphic and Media Design

Work experience/internship(s): Prior to Imperial, I worked as a Junior Account Executive at Splendid Communications in London managing accounts for Barclays, Yellow Tail and Greggs. I have also worked as a freelance Graphic Designer mainly developing brand identities.

Greatest academic, professional or personal awards/achievements: Getting accepted to one of the leading universities in the world to pursue my Master’s degree is definitely my top academic achievement. Followed by the visual brand identity I designed for a new luxury brand called Wéngko Molé and completion of a full marathon (walking) for Cancer Research.

Contact via LinkedIn

Programme

Why did you decide to study an MSc in Strategic Marketing and why specifically at Imperial College Business School?
During my undergraduate degree at the University of the Arts London, I was quickly fascinated by the power of branding and focused my projects on designing compelling visual brand identities for new and existing businesses. My passion for design and curiosity for digital marketing encouraged me to find a way of combining these closely related disciplines. During my working year in a communications agency it became apparent that although I was well equipped with the conceptual, visual and communicative skills I was lacking strategic, digital and analytical skills to pursue a career in marketing. Imperial College Business School’s exceptional reputation greatly factored into my decision to undertake the course. However, after attending the MSc programmes information session and meeting the students I deeply valued the interactive nature of the MSc Strategic Marketing programme and the emphasis it puts on innovation management and digital marketing, which are considered to be the most valuable skills in the marketing field today.

What makes the MSc Strategic Marketing at Imperial College Business School unique?
I believe it is a combination of the diverse cohort with their individual distinctive skills, the enthusiasm of the talented lecturers and the thorough and well structured modules that provide a balance between theory and practice. The MSc Strategic Marketing programme really places tremendous emphasis on digital media that I do not think is comparable with any other programme.

What aspects of the programme do you most enjoy?
Personally, I really enjoy working through real-life case studies and applying theoretical frameworks to uncover potential strategies or solutions to a company’s problem. There is this great belief at Imperial that you ‘learn by doing’, which becomes extremely useful when digesting the material taught in class and then putting it into practice. Some of the most interesting cases included Kodak’s decline in the film industry and learning about Zara’s exceptional value chain. Additionally, you are constantly fed with the latest news in the industry and digital media trends.

What has been the most challenging part of the programme?
From your very first day you are assigned to your syndicate groups (consisting of six members) with whom you work with for the entire semester and then rotate in the second semester. The most challenging part of the programme is learning your group members’ individual strengths and weaknesses quickly enough to find an efficient way of working to deliver the group coursework on time and at a high standard. I think the secret is to exploit each individual’s skills and motivate each other constantly through the good, and sometimes more stressful times of the programme.

What has been the most rewarding part of the programme?
There have been plenty of rewarding and memorable moments during the programme such as achieving great grades for a piece of coursework or something as small as feeling proud after delivering a good presentation. However, being elected as part of the Staff-Student Committee as the Social Activities Leader for my stream is definitely the most rewarding part so far. It has been a pleasure to organise events for my peers and extremely exciting to plan the end of year ball for the cohort which is yet to come.

Which has been your favourite module so far and why?
My favourite module so far has been the Digital Marketing one in the first semester. This module was taught by Daniel Rowles – an expert in the area of Digital Marketing and CEO of TargetInternet.com. It offered a thorough understanding of digital marketing strategies and useful tools that can facilitate communications and interactivity with consumers. This is vital in this fast paced world where we observe constant technological advances. Upon finishing the module, I decided to participate in the Google Challenge as I was intrigued by Paid Search and Google AdWords.

People

Which seminars, events or guest lectures at the school have been useful in developing your skills and knowledge?
The Marketing Bootcamp was extremely useful. This event was conducted by an insightful careers consultant Joseph Lui. He provided us with a comprehensive understanding of the current job market and most valuable skills. Personally this was extremely helpful to clarify job titles related to marketing, such as a brand manager’s roles and responsibilities.
Another incredible event was The Digital Marketing Festival organised by students on the programme. Experts from reputed organisations such as BBC, Google and Bloomberg to name a few had a discussion about media and the internet and how to successfully build brands in the digital world. Besides the interesting Q&A session that was held, this was a great opportunity to network afterwards.
How would you sum up the Business School faculty?
The faculty at the Business School are deeply invested in students’ lives and extremely approachable. Speaking from experience, a close student-faculty relationship exists and they deal with any problems in a professional manner.

Did you have a favourite professor/lecturer and why?
This is a tough question, but if I could only vote for one, I think it would be Dr. Andreas Eisingerich the Branding lecturer. I remember during his first class he mentioned that the material he was teaching us would ‘keep him up at night’. Regardless of the time of day or the duration of the lecture, he always managed to be enthusiastic and keep us all intrigued, making two hours feel like two minutes. He effectively communicated his passion for the subject, made the learning experience pleasurable and shared insightful advice based on his experience and learnings in the industry.

Imperial places a large emphasis on group work, what inspires you the most about working in this type of environment?
One of the biggest advantages of the programme is actually the people that you work with – with whom you eventually build powerful relationships. This type of environment is motivating as students come from all around the world. We all merge our unique skills and experiences and constantly learn from each other.

How would you describe your cohort at Imperial?
Multicultural in all senses. Imperial refers us to the “marketers of tomorrow” and I completely agree. From day one, the high-calibre students are eager to preform well and remain motivated throughout the year. Most of us come from completely different undergraduate degrees and have collected experiences from the world’s most reputable companies, ready to share our stories with others. The friendly environment makes it a place where mistakes are acceptable and whenever you need support everybody is willing to help you.

What clubs, societies or other activities have you been involved in at Imperial?
As mentioned already, I was elected as the Social Activities Leader for my stream. This has given me the opportunity to gain leadership skills but also learn how to manage big events for large groups of people. In addition, I joined the independent marketing magazine They Don’t Love You that was established by previous Master’s students of Imperial College Business School. My role includes posting valuable marketing insights on the websites and monitoring the social media platforms on a weekly basis.

Opportunities

What has been the greatest opportunity you have had at Imperial that you wouldn’t get anywhere else?
To meet these wonderful people and expand my network. I doubt I would have learnt the same without the unique students on the programme and the supportive lecturers – I honestly believe this is only possible at Imperial.

How have you benefited from the services provided by the Career and Professional Development Service?
The Career and Professional Development Service at Imperial is reputable for helping students figure out their career paths and guiding them in the right direction. Their one-to-one sessions are useful to polish CVs and get tips for next steps in the application process. They also provide frequent workshops such as LinkedIn profile advice, effective application advice, and networking workshops which are available to all students.

How have you benefited from being part of the wider Imperial College London community?
I feel honoured to be part of the Imperial College London community. My role in the Staff-Student Committee has given me the chance to build strong relationships with staff members, students on my programme but also leaders from other programmes. In a short period of time, Imperial College London has expanded my network immensely and enriched me both on a personal level and a professional level.

Do you think studying in a central location such as London is beneficial for networking and career opportunities? Please share any positive experiences you have had.
It definitely is! We are not only studying in London – we are located at the heart of South Kensington. Imperial College Business School constantly hosts networking events and invites industry experts from some of biggest companies in the world such as Google, P&G and Unilever. This presents a great opportunity for students to make connections, build enduring relationships and expand their sphere of influence. These are just a few of the infinite benefits of living in a cosmopolitan city like London.

Career

What are your future career goals and how have they been realised since being at Imperial?
Having worked in an agency already I would like to join the client side. My goal is to gain some more experience in building a successful branding strategy for a brand that I am truly passionate about.

Have you received any job offers since commencing your programme?
I decided to prioritise my coursework and build on my skills by participating in external projects such as the Google Challenge in the first two terms. I did not feel I was ready to apply to jobs before gaining more knowledge and developing my skills. However, job applications have become my top priority for this coming term, which is sadly the last one too.

What are your career aspirations upon completing the programme?
Upon completing the programme, I would like to secure a job in a company where I am able expand my skills in the field of digital marketing and branding and continue to feed my hunger for learning. The great thing about the programme is it opens many doors and unlocks hidden talent in areas you would have never imagined before.

Location

Whereabouts do you live in London and why did you choose to live there?
I live in a tranquil area called Little Venice. This picturesque location is home to waterside cafes and known for its canals and moored boats. Aside from being centrally located, it is a great place to come home to and relax after a long day.

What can a weekend in London look like for an MSc student?
The great thing about London is that you can find almost anything that suits your personal taste and hobbies. London has an endless list of cultural and historical sites such and the Big Ben, London Eye and Buckingham Palace. The city features plenty of parks and open spaces such as Regent’s Park, where you can enjoy a nice picnic with friends on a sunny day. Most importantly though, London is one of the best places in the world for parties and concerts. You can enjoy visiting established bands, new music trends or West End theatre shows. Lastly, it is also home to major museums and galleries such as the Natural History Museum (located next to Imperial) and Tate Modern.

In your opinion, tell us about the most exciting, undiscovered place in London.
I always look forward to the summer to visit one of the most incredible rooftops in East London called Netil 360. They host various events ranging from gigs and movie nights through to workshops and talks. You need to prepare yourself for a good workout to get up the stairs but once you reach the top, you will be greeted by a stunning view of the London skyline. The atmosphere is buzzy and youthful and it’s a great place to enjoy a drink on a sunny day.

If you had to move to London for the programme, what have been the benefits and challenges of moving to London? What advice would you give to someone in a similar position?
I would say the biggest challenge of moving to London is time management. The programme is only one year long and time flies by. Upon arriving everything seems overwhelming. You need to balance studying with making the most of the city’s perks. My biggest advice for someone moving to London is to make the most of your time, and manage it wisely throughout the year. For example, book events in advance to avoid disappointment. Be open minded and meet as many people as possible because a big part of your experience will be the people that you come across in this one very short year.

Tips

What advice would you give someone who was thinking about applying for the course?
If you are passionate about marketing, then make sure you communicate your enthusiasm and interest in your applications. Most importantly, reflect your strengths and what makes you a unique individual in the most genuine way possible. Be yourself!

Looking back to when you were applying for the programme, did you attend any online or on campus information sessions? Did you find these a useful part of the recruitment process? Would you recommend that prospective students attend these events?
I attended information sessions at Imperial prior to applying and would advise anybody interested in pursuing a programme at Imperial to invest their time in this. It is a great way to discover what the programme offers and to get an idea of what it feels like to study at Imperial College Business School. When I attended, I had the chance to speak with faculty, current students and alumni and received useful tips for my application.

Share with us a handy hint or trick which makes campus life that much easier!
Imperial College Business School gives you access to a plethora of benefits that have been created to support you with your career. Expand your networks beyond your cohort, be keen and attend the workshops offered, and most importantly enjoy your time during your Master’s. Always remember it is a learning experience for everybody so do not be afraid to challenge yourself. As a student at Imperial College Business School you are entitled to many benefits like printing facilities and gym membership discounts so discover these early on in the year and make the most of them. Personally, I think the best trick for the year is to book your meeting rooms in advance, so you have the piece of mind and can carry on working on your group projects in a calm and productive environment.