Hello everyone! My name is Vera Hoelscher and I am a graduate of the MA Marketing 2009/2010 class. I would like to share some of my Royal Holloway experiences with the readers of this blog. What made this course so unique was how it combined a focus on consumer collectives and social media with critical marketing theories and ethics. This was supplemented with lectures held by special guests talking to us about topics such as completely turning around a major Russian airport from a marketing services perspective, or awareness of different cultural contexts in marketing.
Although students worked hard, there were plenty of opportunities to enjoy the lightness of being on our beautiful campus and in close by London. Such included culinary evenings with friends, Founder’s Dining Hall dinners, the legendary Summer Ball as well as partying in London. For me, one of the most important aspects of life at Royal Holloway was the friendships I found within its international student community.
The most strenuous and yet rewarding experience during my MA was working on my dissertation. In order to keep pushing through months of research, analysis and writing, the key was to choose a topic that I was truly dedicated to. Befitting the summer months of dissertation writing, I combined three previous research interests of mine – Generation Y, services marketing and luxury consumption – in my dissertation, which came to be titled Marketing Luxury Holidays to a Young German Leisure Class. The most exciting parts of this process were carrying out the primary research and seeing how my results formed findings that were beyond what I had anticipated.
Together with my supervisor, Dr Sameer Hosany, I was able to take this dissertation further and publish it as a conference paper at the Travel and Tourism Research Association Conference in Archamps, France in April this year. After my presentation, fellow academics congratulated me on my research and encouraged me to keep going. This experience was made yet more special by a Gala diner, which took place at the Cesar Ritz College. After a Swiss wine tasting session, we were served exquisite courses cooked by the students of the prestigious hotel school all while enjoying the view over Lac Leman.
A final high point of my master’s programme was being able to attend the graduation ceremony in July together with my fellow course mates, friends and family. It is hard to imagine a venue more festive than the University’s own chapel for such an occasion. What made the obligatory picture taking and cap tossing so memorable was being reunited with those Royal Holloway people, who have grown to be good friends.