Hello, my name is Effie Katsa and I’m a Cranfield School of Management MSc Strategic Marketing student. In this blog post I’m going to share my experience and thoughts for the first term of the programme, my life as an off-campus student and give some recommendations for future Cranfield students.

My experience with Cranfield School of Management started when I decided that I want to extend my studies. After I finished my bachelor’s degree and I was seeking for a job I realised that marketing knowledge is really important for many job fields. I found out about Cranfield School of Management from my partner. He is a Cranfield alum and he was always telling me that his experience with Cranfield was one of the best of his life.

So I decided to take the chance and apply for MSc in Strategic Marketing. First of all I applied for the eligibility check; if you are unsure of your suitability for one of the Master’s programmes then the university admissions team are happy to review your details and give you feedback before you take the time to make a formal application. After about a week I got a feedback from the university to advise that I should go ahead and make an application. I believe that the eligibility check was really helpful in order to give me motivation to do my application and also to find out if I’m suitable for the specific program. I highly recommend for future applicants to give it a try. After I did the application for the programme and got the study offer, I accepted soon after and then I started to plan my move to England.

The first term of the MSc started at the end of September. In the first week we had the chance to meet the programme director and some of our module leaders, to get to know my course mates and break the ice between us and lastly to inform about what exactly we are going to experience from the beginning until the end of the term. During the orientation week everyone, the staff and the professors, were really helpful and made us feel at home. For me the highlight of the orientation week was the dinner that took place at Mitchell Hall, and both students and the professors were there. It was a great opportunity to get to know the professors a little bit better and socialize with my course mates who I hadn’t had the chance to meet during that week.

By the second week we had started our regular scheduled classes. The modules that we focused on in the first term were B2B and Key Account Management, Sales Management, Customer Relationships, Retailing and Omnichanel, and Big data, Insights and Analytics. In all modules we had weekly lectures and  often also had guest speakers from well-known companies who talked to us about marketing insights and their experience in industry. My personal favourite modules were customer relationships and retailing because of my past working experience in fashion retailing. During these modules I had the chance to get to know more about the industries and have a better view about how the market works.

At this point I would like to mention that I didn’t apply for accommodation on-campus. That means that I’m not the best person to tell you about any experience in regards to staying in Cranfield’s halls. However, I know that many of the Cranfield students are staying off-campus this year. I will share my experience of being an off-campus student and more specifically living in Milton Keynes. Milton Keynes is one of the two largest towns  close to Cranfield School of Management (the second one being Bedford). Milton Keynes is approximately 15 minutes away from Cranfield by car and 30-45 minutes by bus. It is really easy to visit Cranfield School of Management from Milton Keynes since there are regular bus schedules and there are many bus stops all around Milton Keynes.

The last thing that I want to share is some information about  life off-campus. As I was mentioning before, I’m living in Milton Keynes which is a town where you can enjoy many things. Since Cranfield is a small village with little activities that you can do, your best option for dining, shopping and entertainment, is visiting Milton Keynes. In central Milton Keynes you can find two shopping malls, MK Centre and Intu Milton Keynes. In these malls you can do shopping from groceries to clothing and technology. For entertainment Xscape is the best option since is a place you can find a cinema, bowling and pool tables. There is even an indoor skiing slope. Lastly, Milton Keynes central railway station has regular train schedules to and from London which takes 30 minutes to 1 hour, depending on which train you get. That is my experience so far with Cranfield School of Management. Right now the second term has just started and I’m looking forward to sharing my stories about it on my next blog post. Also I hope my recommendations were helpful for anyone who’s considering applying for Cranfield’s MSc in Strategic Marketing for the next academic year.

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