As our final year students look back over the last four years of study, they have been sharing their stories with us about how their undergraduate years have shaped them as people and showed them experiences they never thought possible. Sian Williamson, BSc (Hons) Business Management and Marketing graduate, explains how her studies have opened the doors to a career she is ambitious to kickstart.
Sian began: “Business Management and Marketing is an open and exciting course for any budding business student, with great learning opportunities.
“Harper has many benefits as a university to study business. There are strong connections and networks with hundreds of businesses, both agricultural and non-agricultural, that have been built from the long-lasting legacy of the alumni, making these firms keen employers of Harper students. Harper is great for future employment prospects.
“Likewise Harper has many opportunities beyond your course that are at arm's reach. As they say, you get out what you put in, so make the most of the four years you have at undergraduate level! Self motivation and hard work are also two key characteristics that will help you achieve.”
Of the course itself, Sian commented: “The campus environment is a home away from home. The business courses themselves were much more coursework based which suited my personal preference to learning style, it allowed me to apply my knowledge and learning from research into a more practical development of education.
“Alongside my core studies, I also took additional courses in Commercial Sales and Digital Marketing. Both I believe to have to help me gain and further my skills in these areas especially as these two are of high importance in the modern sales and marketing world.
“Additionally, I was the business course representative across all of my years of study and elected onto the Students’ Union RAG team in my second year. As the press and publicity officer, it was a great learning experience that allowed me to practice key skills for marketing and PR, as well as developing further skills in event management, brand development and customer service.”
Sian was able to put her studies into practise during her placement year working for Mornflake. Working within the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) market of breakfast cereals, Sian worked globally, creating international exhibitions in Dubai, Paris and the UK. In doing so, she created a large network, able to speak to professionals about brand and analysis, which later went on to inform her dissertation project.
Supported by the Harper Adams Club Final year scholarship, Sian worked on her Honours Research Project (HRP) to discover whether nutritional claims such as added protein, placed on the front of breakfast cereals packets, influence millennials purchasing behaviour.
Sian commented on her work: “The purpose of this research was to gain a focused understanding of the factors that influence millennials purchasing decisions of breakfast cereal, as this was of interest and key knowledge from my placement year.
“Doing so allowed me to understand consumers' actions and interests in the product. I analysed the influence of front of pack nutritional claims such as “Added Protein” and “Full of Fibre” in comparison to other influencing factors, to determine if there is an opportunity for food marketers to emphasise their nutritional functions when designing packaging or developing new products to entice more millennial consumers to purchase.”
Having now completed her final year, Sian is looking to continue on her path into the FMCG sector and market and sell products to consumers. With her ambition to achieve, Sian’s insider knowledge will surely help her to find a career path that will lead her to success.
Inspired by Sian’s story and ready to begin your journey to achieve a degree that matters? Join us at our Clearing Open Days, August 14 and August 17, to find out more about our courses, campus and exciting opportunities. Alternatively, call our helpful Admissions team on 01952 815000 to speak through your options today.