Frank has a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from the University of Groningen in International Relations. Frank joined our Summer School whilst working at the Department of Economic Affairs in the Netherlands in order to enhance his marketing skills.
The Summer School experience
Why did you decide to study your Summer School course and why specifically did you choose to study with Imperial College Business School?
I have been working for around two years for the Department of Economic Affairs in the Netherlands on a Graduate Training Programme. At the end of the Graduate Programme I recently secured a permanent role in the Foreign Affairs area of the department which implements policy. Part of this involves working together with Dutch companies who want to enter the foreign market in order to support them with things such as promotion. The Strategic Marketing course is perfect for helping me to enhance my marketing skills and knowledge which I will then be able to apply to my job.
What makes your Summer School unique?
The professors who teach on the programme are very inspiring and get the whole group engaged. They ask the class critical questions and expect interaction, it is not a case of reading off slides. They are very knowledgeable on the areas they are talking about and their passion comes across in their teaching.
What aspects of the course did you most enjoy?
We went on a trip to the Museum of Brands which was really interesting. We saw how companies have adapted their brands over the years to reflect the change in society and attitudes. It has also been great to have fantastic guest speakers on the course so that we can see the practical side to what we are learning in the lectures.
What is the most challenging part of the course?
The group presentation we had to deliver near the end of the course was challenging as it was important to come up with original and creative ideas in a relatively short space of time. However, it was very enjoyable to work as part of such a creative team with so many different ideas.
Imperial places a large emphasis on group work, what inspires you the most about working in this type of environment?
The group work was a great experience as I got to work with students from all over the world which is important in business. For example, in our group presentation we had to come up with ideas for a rebrand of an existing global company. Therefore it was important to have expertise from all over the world, as what works in China does not necessarily work as well in Europe and vice versa.
How would you describe your cohort at Imperial?
My class was a great mix of people who are currently at university and also those who have already started their career and been working for a couple of years. This means that we can all learn from each other, as those who are studying can teach us the most up-to-date theories and concepts, where as we can share our business experience with them.
What parts of the social programme do you most enjoy?
I went on the trip to see the musical, Book of Mormon, which was awesome. It was one of the best entertainment experiences I have had and I would definitely recommend anyone to see it!
A wealth of opportunities
What has been the greatest opportunity during your summer at Imperial that you don’t think you would get anywhere else?
One of the guest speakers was very inspiring, he is working at Barclays in the data analytics area of social media. He went into detail about how they are developing new products and the new technology available. You would never normally have the opportunity to speak to someone like this and it is Imperial’s strong reputation which means they get such great speakers.
What are your future career goals and how do you think your time at Imperial will help you achieve these?
My current focus is with my role at the Dutch government and the skills and experience I have had on this Summer School will prove invaluable when working on projects there. Looking forward, it has been a great opportunity to see what other sectors I could look at moving into in the future and I have now started to develop the knowledge I would need to work in these roles.
Living in London
Where are you staying in London and why did you choose to stay there?
I stayed at Wilson House which is an Imperial College Hall of Residence which was a perfect location, very close to the university but also very easy to get to everywhere in central London.
What can a weekend in London look like for a Summer School student?
There is so much to see and do in London. I have been to a lot of shows and visited Camden Town which I love. I also visited the Olympic Park for the Anniversary Games as I am very into sport. You could spend three weeks here sightseeing and only see a very small bit. South Kensington, where Imperial College is based, is an excellent location with a lot to see, such as the museums.
What is the most exciting thing you’ve done in London?
I think going to the shows, especially Book of Mormon, was the most exciting thing.
As an international student, what are the highlights to staying in London?
There is so much going on in the city, you have got a fantastic range and diversity in restaurants, shops and sights to see. There is plenty going on in London during the summer.
Advice for future students
What advice would you give someone who is thinking about applying for the Summer School?
I would say make sure you are willing to engage in the course so that you get the most out of it. Also, do a bit of preparation beforehand if you are not from a Marketing degree background. The content of the course does cover the basics but it is easier to know what everyone is talking about if you have done a bit of research!
Share with us a handy hint or trick that made settling into Summer School that much easier!
Arrive a few days before the course starts so that you can get to know the area and make some friends before the studying begins.