I thought that four years is a long period of time - however, now that I am at the end of my undergraduate experience, it seems like everything passed in a heartbeat.
I remember vividly how I was receiving brochures from the University, how I crafted with a lot of care my scholarship application for the Social Responsibility Scholarship and how I moved in my halls of residencies. Meeting my roommate was a relief - we clicked together really well. Then, off I went to find my friends in different societies. I gained confidence in my leadership abilities while fulfilling different board positions (an activity that I recommend, especially in your first year when the exam results do not significantly press you). What also made me understand better my strengths and weaknesses was a Spring Insight for Morgan Stanley, an opportunity that I am happy I could experience early in my professional path. Wanting an adventure, I fundraised to go in a volunteering exchange in Salvador, Brazil. This experience truly changed my perspective regarding my life in general, making me aware of how lucky I am and how. I understood that through my knowledge of marketing and management, I could truly help people in need.
After six weeks of fun, travelling and helping people in need, I have returned directly to University. Classes became more challenging, and combining societies with a part-time job for the University (that I have absolutely loved and wrote about it in more detail), job hunting for a placement position was not easy. For the first half of the year, I felt slightly frustrated because I have received rejection after rejection while my colleagues started to receive offers. Needless did I know that these rejections were redirections and, in fact, my perfect position was "waiting" for me at the end of my second semester when I landed a placement job for RCI Bank (part of group Renault). Another highlight of my second year was winning an award at the University of Manchester Volunteer of the year awards.
The first months of my placement experience were full of learning. I gained professional and personal skills, network with many like-minded people, and had increased responsibility and tasks to fulfil. But, then, the pandemic hit, and I had to work from home and adapt to the new "norm". And after twelve months of hard work, I had the chance to return home, recharge my batteries. I started some part-time summer internships that made me understand what aspect of marketing I have enjoyed the most - and what courses should I select in my final year of studies to round up my knowledge.
Finally, the last year of my degree was the hardest. Working full-time, preparing a final year consultancy project, being one of the co-presidents of RebrandMe society and fulfilling the tasks as Reslife Advisor were activities that helped me fill my time. I never felt lonely. Although I was miles away from my family and friends, I tried to be productive and manage my time as good as possible. And although staying in front of my computer was sometimes not really comfortable, I learned to take care of myself while practicing sports, eating healthy, and meeting my friends when the restrictions were lifted. I managed to land the job of my dreams for eBay, finish a nine months collaboration for the Careers Service and was shortlisted for the "Exceptional Improvement to University Experience" Award at the University of Manchester Students' Union Awards.
My trajectory at University was extremely challenging - adapting to a new language and culture was not easy. Making friends and trying to navigate a new city made me understand myself better as a person. After the first year, I tried to gain new skills in order to be able to change my professional goals. That was the best decision that I have made in my four years of University. Finally, giving back to the community and working in different societies made me feel fulfilled.
If I would have the chance to start again, I will still choose the University of Manchester. I am thankful from the bottom of my heart for the education that I have received, the memories that I have made and the growth that I have achieved. But for now... goodbye, University of Manchester. #PurplePride