Elli Salmon, 23, has a business studies BA from De Montford University and an MSc in strategic marketing from Cranfield Business School. She is now an operations project co-ordinator at e-business outfit Freeway Commerce.
Why did you decide to continue your studies?
To gain the skills that would qualify me to make marketing decisions.
How did you fund your postgraduate studies?
My grandfather is a great believer in education so he offered to fund it for me from some money he’d put by for the grandchildren when we were younger. I was incredibly grateful as I already had an undergraduate debt and I didn’t want any more.
What was the workload like?
I never used to believe the pep talk that tutors always give you before a course, when they say that you’ll be working 60 hours a week – but they were telling the truth! I had to be very organised. Preparing for exams and hitting coursework deadlines wasn’t so bad but doing the 18,000-word dissertation was a big challenge.
What was it like studying again?
I went straight into my postgraduate studies from undergraduate with only a brief break for summer, so I didn’t find the transition too hard. But some people found it quite challenging.
How was it different to undergraduate study?
You can get away with missing a couple of lectures as an undergraduate but not as a postgrad. We were also put in learning teams which we stayed in for the whole year. They were fantastic preparation for the workplace. We had some initial difficulties with a lot of dominant characters all wanting to have their say. But we ended up working well together.
Did you enjoy it?
Yes, I made some good friends – we did all sorts of things… tobogganing and bowling. It isn’t all work and no play. You enjoy your free time more because it’s so precious.
Advice to those considering taking a postgraduate course?
Make sure you enjoy the subject, you’re going to be paying a lot of money for the course. And try to get some relevant work experience, you’ll have a much easier time finding a job.