February 2017: Starting the second semester


It is February now and the exam period is finally over. Although I had an amazing Christmas back home, I spent the weeks afterwards in the library to study. My friend Camille and I decided to be each other’s motivator and arranged ‘study dates’ where we encouraged each other to reach a level of daily progress before we were allowed to go home.

Three of my exams were essay based, which was very unusual for me. So far, all my exams were either multiple choice or based on several questions where you had to give short answers or definitions. Writing full essays and combining theory with criticism and practical examples is a very different approach to testing knowledge. Although preparing for these exams is harder, I enjoyed being able to include my own conclusions as well as criticism in the exam.

After the exam period, I tried to relax for a little bit and went hiking in the Peak District and Lake District with friends. I also tried out Fencing and participated in an event organised by the Energy and Industry Club where we visited the Graphene Institute. We were given a very interesting presentation about the evolution of Graphene and the institute itself, followed by a conversation about future usage possibilities. To celebrate the end of exams with my friends from the course, we went for a fancy dinner in a restaurant called The Refuge and watched the performance of Swan Lake by the Moscow City Ballet afterwards.

The second semester has only just started but there is already a lot going on. We were allowed to choose our units based on our own interests and what we would like to focus our dissertation on. I have always been very interested in technologies and how companies can use them for their communication internally and externally. Therefore, I chose two technology related courses – ‘E-Commerce’ and ‘Digital Technologies, Development and Emerging Markets’ – as well as one unit called ‘Integrated Marketing Communications and Advertising’.

The last two weeks have been very interesting and it is nice to gain more in-depth knowledge about areas that you are personally interested in. I am excited for the upcoming semester and the projects ahead. We are currently inventing an online business for one of our group projects and I am looking forward to combining creative ideas with the theory we learn during the course. Another project is about creating an integrated communications campaign based on the conditions of a real marketing competition and my third project is a quantitative research paper.

We have only just received our dissertation topics and supervisors and will spend the next few weeks doing some brainstorming about the topic, trying to figure out specific research questions and what kind of research we want to perform. My to-do list is growing daily and there are some exciting things coming up over the next few months, so I hope you keep following my blog!


Laboratory in the Graphene Institute


Stanage Edge in the Peak District


Wray Castle in the Lake District


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Sandra Linner

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