Disclaimer: I was offered an affiliate code for this review, but I have decided against using the scheme to ensure this is an honest reflection of my experience.
So after the general embarrassment of seeing myself on the social adverts for the MSc Digital Marketing and Data Analytics at York St John University, I decided that I would write down my honest review of the course so far! Disclosure – Grace who spoke to me on teams for the video couldn’t hear me, hence why I am so awkward on the video and seem like I am shouting like a Nana!
Background to studying my masters
I have tried to study for my masters so many times but found the schedules to be totally impractical around work and living in a remote area. I was accepted onto the executive masters in marketing at my local Russell Group university twice (once it never ran due to lack of interest and the second time my employer said they couldn’t afford it). So I ended up studying CIM qualifications via distance learning – I got through, but I found that I was provided with presentations from taught sessions which meant nothing without the narrative around them.
Thankfully things have progressed in the past ten years and with masters loans being generous, the power is in the learners’ hands more than ever. As I have shopped around, work in education and am currently procrastinating on the literature review I am supposed to be writing, I thought I would write my review of the course.
To give context, I was a marketing manager for ten years, when I was on my second maternity leave in 2018 we found out that our eldest son had some additional needs which meant that I stepped away from my full-time role in order to support my family. My job was a big part of my identity, I am exceptionally lucky to have a part-time strategic role that explores market insights, but my heart will always lie in engaging with customers. So when I have been quoted by the course to say that it has given me something other than being mum, I really mean it.
By the time I finish at the end of 2021, I will be in a position to enter the full-time workforce again and feel that I have used my time productively for myself as well as for my family.
Try before you buy
I dipped my toe into the masters by studying the short course which was co-branded with Mediaworks during the first lockdown. I found the content to be extremely user-friendly and interesting. I got a certificate of completion, so felt I’d accomplished something during lockdown one. Importantly for me, I found the mix of academic theory with practical examples of application a godsend and the lecturers friendly and knowledgeable.
I did umm and arr for quite a while, but when it came to a few days before enrolment I asked myself if I would regret not doing it and I absolutely would have, so I went for it. The admissions team were great – as I’ve managed admissions myself – I know what stress those final days before enrolment can be, but they never showed their frustration with my many questions!
Time and Money
These are probably the two biggest challenges when deciding to study a postgraduate course. Thankfully these decisions have probably never been easier – the course is completely flexible (with the obvious exception of your coursework deadlines!). You have the opportunity to explore the course content in your own time, the tutorials are recorded if you can’t access them in real-time you can access them afterwards and you can chat with your tutors via MS Teams! If you were a big fan of Microsoft Messenger back in the day, it is ideal!
You do get the opportunity to be part of a cohort via chats and live lectures on Teams and get to know familiar faces. A few of us have followed each other on LinkedIn and support each others posts.
I have also been exceptionally lucky and have a chat on the side with one of my peers and we cheer each other on, as well as support each other through our assignments.
I also discovered that Carly from momoftwolittlegirls.com is a fellow student, via tweets from her on my timeline! She has recently started a full-time role after 10 years away from the workforce thanks to her studies and her blogging success, that is one example of the diversity of the employment of the students. Some have even started straight after their undergrad and use publicly available data to shape their assignments.
Would I do it all again if I knew what I know now?
The answer to this would be without a doubt. It has to be the most flexible and responsive to customer needs MSc on the market. The insight you gain from Mediaworks is fascinating and current. If you’ve been thinking about masters for a while and worried about fitting everything in, I don’t think there will ever be a better opportunity than this one.