Stefan is studying for a Master’s in International Marketing and currently completing a Business Consultancy in Practice (BCiP) for a events management platform which switched to focusing on digital and virtual events during the pandemic.
Stefan did his own research to find a client to approach for this project and eventually secured one via a family connection.
QMU students conducting BCiP projects are encouraged to research and approach clients themselves, as they would in a real-world situation, but with support from the University if needed.
Your project brief
Tell us a bit more about your BCiP brief...
My brief, agreed with the client, was to conduct an evaluation of their website’s performance and develop a roadmap of actions to increase traffic (thereby generating more leads).
I set myself a deadline of July to complete the project and conducted regular phone calls with my contact at the company to update on progress and tweak my proposal based on the client’s needs and feedback.
Your experience of the project
What were your biggest highlights whilst working on the project?
When I first got started, I was quite anxious and uncertain about what I would be able to do – it was self-doubt from working on something new and being responsible to a client. But once I got started on the project, I realized “I can do this”.
You start to understand yourself better and realise just how many skills you have and what knowledge you’ve acquired.
You gain confidence from realizing just what you are, in fact, capable of.
What were the main challenges of the project?
For me one of the main challenges was overcoming self-doubt. At the start of the project I was anxious about communicating with the client sometimes, feeling like “I’m just a student, they’ll be too busy to talk to me, etc.”
My tutor, Marc, helped me realise that what I was working on was worth their time and that I was bringing them value, so I should feel confident in reaching out to them.
Another area that was challenging was just knowing where to start, I had a set of criteria in my mind that I wanted to build, but it took a while just to know how to organize my project from scratch.
What have you learned most from doing this project?
I realized that by doing the project, working through my tasks, I was learning so many new skills and gaining knowledge because having the responsibility to a client meant I had to be resourceful and find out how to do things that I previously had not known how to do.
For example, I learned how to do detailed website analytics and more in-depth tracking and analysis than what I previously had experience of.
One of the things I’m proud of was how I developed my communications skills in a corporate setting. I am a confident communicator in general, and I don’t find it hard to strike up conversation, but in a corporate working environment with many hierarchies it is a very different way of communicating. I was in a job before starting at QMU, but not in this sort of corporate environment.
I learned to be more assertive and set boundaries in order to have clear goals for my project and keep to my imposed time-schedule, I was communicating with many different departments, and this was great for my workplace confidence.
Has this project helped you decide on a future career path?
Before I started the project I already knew I wanted to work in marketing, but it wasn’t so focused. Now I think I will look at concentrating more on digital marketing, website-related work, learning more about SEO / analytics.
I’m pretty open to career choices, but definitely want to work in Marketing.
What advice would you share with anyone thinking about applying for this PG course?
I would say “lean into it”. Use the project to learn more about yourself, explore your feelings and emotions as you approach the task. That’s how you will learn more about yourself and your strengths and capabilities.
If you can, just go for it, because there’s nothing you can lose. Even if it goes wrong, you will soak up a lot of experience – you build yourself up a bit.
I was anxious and felt overwhelmed at first, but as I worked through the project, I really discovered how much knowledge I had and that I had the resource and skill to develop myself and learn more.
You will get over the initial anxiety!
What support did you have during the project?
Every student is assigned a supervisor. Both Marc (Robertson, MSc International Management and Leadership Programme Leader) and Richard (Bent, Senior Lecturer in the Queen Margaret Business School) were super helpful for me.
I also made friends with a couple of other international students who were completing a BCiP project too so it was helpful to share that experience with them through regular catch ups even though I couldn’t meet in person with others from my cohort (COVID restrictions).
"One of the things I’m proud of was how I developed my communications skills in a corporate setting... I learned to be more assertive and set boundaries in order to have clear goals for my project and keep to my imposed time-schedule."
[Story published in July 2021]