Katie McGuinness, MSc in Digital Marketing talks about her time at DCU Business School where she completed a BA Business and is now studying for her Masters.
I studied Business Studies for my undergrad, specialising in Marketing in my final year. I really enjoyed that part of my final year so I knew then that I wanted to progress with marketing from a career point of view. That’s why I chose to go ahead with the masters in digital marketing.
My undergrad gave me the basis of traditional marketing which has helped with the masters. Not everyone doing the masters has come from a marketing background so it’s not essential for this course but I find it helps me having that knowledge of traditional marketing as well. So it was an easy decision for me to go into the Digital Marketing masters.
How does the experience differ this year from your undergraduate degree?
It is actually very different – I didn’t think it would be as different. My final year of the undergrad was really intense compared to first and second year. In those years you had more free time, could work part-time and still keep on top of your studies, and get everything done before the exams. In your final year you need to study and keep on top of assignments the whole way through.
But now doing the masters feels like working full time, and on weekends! It’s good though – I’m learning loads. Class sizes are much smaller so you get to know everyone on your course pretty well. As a result, you get more time with lecturers and more guidance from them. The masters year includes loads of practical work which is very rewarding – we’re working with actual client companies which is great experience.
Tell us about your experience doing MSc in Digital Marketing.
I knew it would be really hands-on and that’s what drew me to it in the first place. We work with a real client for each module – eg. In our advertising module we manage Google Adwords for a charity. We are working on real business issues for clients and implementing fixes on their websites so it’s really good experience to be getting so involved with real companies. If you work with a good client you can get some really good feedback, and it’s nice to feel you’ve done a good job for them.
A lot of what we’re learning in the masters, we’re then getting the opportunity straight away to put it into practice in real business scenarios – eg. SEO, Adwords etc. We have also had the opportunity to build websites – first we did a brochureware website and at the moment we’re building an e-commerce site for a client. So there’s a lot of technical know-how involved too.
You can choose to do a practicum, or a dissertation for your final assignment. I decided to do the practicum. So we’re assigned to a client who gives us a proposal of what they want done over 4 of 5 months. One of the best parts is that we’re getting real hands-on experience working with real companies on actual marketing issues.
It’s a great course – it is intense and it’s certainly not easy – but it is rewarding too.
Is there a specific module or a direction within the masters that you find particularly interesting or that you’d like to pursue further?
I actually really liked HTML and CSS in websites, and I would have liked to have had more time to spend on this, so that’s definitely an area that I plan to look into further myself. I like the idea that you can build something and see it come together through programming. I’m also really enjoying SEO at the moment – I’m working with a really nice client who’s really helpful and accommodating, so that’s making the project quite enjoyable too!
I also really like content writing – I’m currently writing a lot for a Colombian airline, which is one of our client assignments. I have three personas and have to write six articles to appeal to each persona group.
If you were to do it all again would you change anything or would you recommend DCU Business School?
I definitely do recommend DCU and I think if I was doing all again, I would still do the same courses.
DCU is a really nice college with a very friendly feel about the place. It’s a small enough campus so you’ll always see someone you know. There are lots of really good societies as well that you can get involved in and there’s always something going on.
Originally I thought about doing another course but I’m so glad now I did Business as my undergrad – there is a lot of cross over between the two but the Business degree is broader and gives you a good feel for the different areas in business and where you can specialise.
Graduates from the MSc in Digital Marketing will have highly-developed competencies in data-driven decision-making and communicating for marketing using social media, online advertising, and other digital and mobile technologies.