Stephanie Harris (nee Wickham) studied BSc Management Science, graduating in 2008 and MSc Management in 2009. She now works as an Associate Director and part of a Senior Management Team running and growing an SME, specialising in Construction Consultancy.
Take us back to your undergraduate days – why did you choose to study at Kent? Why did you choose your Undergraduate course?
I chose Kent because of its campus. I loved the idea of everything being in one place and moving between lecturers and seminars by walking across the green campus. I really liked the ethos of the Business School and that it had its own centre/heart and dedicated facilities. I chose my UG course because it was an applied business subject.
What did you hope to achieve through postgraduate study?
I actually hadn’t considered it until my third year. I was very aware I was graduating out into the world of work when there was a recession on and felt this didn’t bode well for job prospects. I also felt my degree was very niche and I wanted to increase the breadth of my knowledge.
What postgrad course did you go for and why?
I chose the MSc in Management purely because of the wide variety of modules. I loved the fact we studied modules such as tourism management as well as accounting, operations and international business.
Why did you stay on at Kent and not elsewhere?
Personally for me, this was purely a decision based on the fact I live locally and that I enjoyed the campus life so much I felt it wise to stay at the university I had such a great time at. Plus several of my close friends were still studying at Kent!
How did the experience between UG and PG differ?
I enjoyed the maturity that came with PG study. I personally felt more people were more deeply engaged in the course and I was lucky to have some excellent people to work with over the year. I also took a lot of what I had learned from my UG and was able to apply this at a higher / more advanced level.
Could you describe your career path since leaving Kent, and how your career has excelled from further study?
Since leaving Kent, I have taken on a career in construction, starting as a graduate bid writer (copywriter) for a main contractor before expanding into Marketing and HR Management 6 years later. A total of 12 years later, I am now an Associate Director and part of a Senior Management Team running and growing an SME, specialising in Construction Consultancy.
Finally, what advice would you give to Kent undergraduate students thinking of progressing on to postgraduate study at KBS? Particularly those from non-business backgrounds.
Go and converse with the team running the course and ask about the content. You need to want to engage with it to get the most out of it and this can only be found out through discussion with lecturers and course leaders. You may find that you have covered some of the subjects at UG if you have done business and that the generic Management MSc is too repetitive. You may find a specialist MSc a better option – these didn’t exist when I took mine and I certainly would have chosen to specialise if I had had the option.
We live in ever-changing times and the world needs innovative minds like yours. Stay on at Kent to pursue exciting areas in your field, engage with leading thinkers and learn how you can make a difference. With Master’s courses that give you an employability edge – there’s more to come on your Kent journey.