Originally from Ukraine, Anastasiia was in the final year of her Undergraduate Degree in Economics when war broke out in her home country. Along with thousands of her fellow countrymen, she left Ukraine as part of a temporary relocation scheme which ultimately brought her to Northern Ireland in April 2022, where she was matched with a host family in Ballynahinch.
Settling into the Northern Irish way of life, Anastasiia picked up her studies again and went on to complete the final semester of her undergraduate degree online.
Speaking about her experience Anastasiia said
“I didn’t know anyone in the UK or Ireland but I was matched with a lovely host family from Ballynahinch, and they have become my second family, we are really close. They have been so supportive and encouraging of my academic ambitions – I don’t think I would have made it this far without them.”
As part of her undergraduate degree in Economics, Anastasiia took marketing modules which she thoroughly enjoyed. She realised that there could be an opportunity to combine her passion for statistics with her love for marketing.
“I feel like my degree in Economics has given me a deep understanding in the area of statistics and data analysis and while I am highly analytical and a data lover, I have a creative streek too. I absolutely loved the marketing modules that I studied as part of my undergraduate degree, they were so interesting. There are so many layers to marketing, from social media, to website design, to advertising - I loved it all. It felt like a very natural next move was to undertake a Masters in Marketing.”
However, nerves began to take hold. Anastasiia was a long way from home and part of an education system she did not understand:
“Here I was in a new and different country, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to manage it but I got a lot of support from my host family and so I decided to go for it!”
And so, with support and encouragement from her host family, Anastasiia started researching different Masters programmes in Marketing and found information about Ulster University.
“What stood out to me, was Ulster’s course is specifically designed to equip the learner for real world situations. I thought it was great that I would be able to gain practical skills as well as theoretical knowledge.”
Anastasiia applied and began her Masters in Marketing at Ulster University in September 2022. From the very beginning she said she felt right at home on the campus.
“It’s about a 40minute bus journey for me but the Belfast campus is right in the city centre and very conveniently located.”
Speaking on the course itself, Anastasiia said,
“I really loved all the interactive seminars and the chance to work on collaborative projects. A definite highlight for me was our trip to Germany as part of one of the modules. We travelled to Kempten University of Applied Science and worked with students from Kempten and also Lapland University of Applied Sciences, applying design principles to develop innovative solutions for a real-world case company. It was an amazing experience and really helped to develop my creative problem-solving abilities, as we were challenged to think outside the box and come up with different practical solutions.”
Despite loving her time at Ulster, Anastasiia did face challenges along the way:
“The main challenge for me was adapting to a different education system, which is the same problem for many international students who are dealing with a lot of new things at once. However, my professors were very supportive and always ready to assist or provide guidance when I faced any difficulties which helped a lot. I was lucky to make friends with my classmates from day one, we quickly formed a study group and I think that helped make the transition less overwhelming and more enjoyable – it is great having people to reach out to.”
Looking to the future, Anastasiia plans on staying in Northern Ireland because of the positive experiences she has had at Ulster University, with her host family and the friends she has made along the way. She is actively applying for Graduate Marketing jobs.
“I want to pursue my career in marketing, and I am actively looking for graduate jobs with a focus on Search Engine Optimisation because I am interested in working with data sets and would love to leverage my analytical skills to enhance digital marketing campaigns.”
Speaking on her experience at Ulster University, as an international student Anastasiia said:
“Overall, my time at Ulster was amazing and I would highly recommend the Master’s in Marketing at Ulster University to anyone who is considering studying Marketing. The course provided me with a great foundation to move forward, it focused on industry trends not just theoretical knowledge which I know will be really valuable as I take the next step and begin my career. I couldn’t have asked for a better grounding.”
If you are interested in finding out more about the Masters course Anastasiia is graduating from please visit: Marketing MSc at Ulster University 2024/25 entry - Full-time Postgraduate Study in Belfast