Alexandra Mulrennan

Country of origin: Ireland

Head of Communications, ROADS Group

Before studying for the MSc in Management at Lancaster University I read English Literature and History of Art and Architecture at Trinity College Dublin. I was unsure of exactly what I wanted to do. My undergraduate degree was in arts and presented no direct career path, so I decided to undertake a Master’s degree that would offer a good business foundation but would also be varied. The MSc in Management definitely provided these, and offered me a strong platform from which to enter the workplace, as business – independent of industry or sector – is inextricably linked with management, whether that be managing projects, deadlines, or people.

I am now the Head of Communications for a luxury lifestyle brand called ROADS based in Dublin, which consists of a fragrance house, an art publishing house and a film production company. ROADS was founded in 2013, which makes my role really interesting as we are constantly developing new projects and I have the opportunity to influence them. I began work as a Marketing Intern at ROADS in October 2015, not long after finishing at Lancaster. I was soon offered the role of Marketing Assistant, where the emphasis was very much on digital marketing. I therefore engaged in a lot of social media and web content management, and liaised with bloggers and other influencers in the sector as a means of brand promotion. Recently, I was promoted to Head of Communications, which is a much more strategy-based role in that I am now responsible for overseeing general marketing, which ranges from event management to P.R. and to developing collateral, such as magazines and catalogues. The nature of the role means that I ‘wear a lot of different hats’, which is exciting as I constantly have to develop new projects and negotiate new territories.

To summarise my experience at Lancaster – ‘fun’ immediately springs to mind. I lived in Graduate College where, if you go to the socials, it is virtually impossible not to form a large group of friends. I think meeting the people I did made my time in Lancaster a fantastic experience. We ended up doing so much together. The countryside around the University is stunning, and I have many memories of going for walks along the woodland trail and around the University, heading off on nights out in town, enjoying barbeques and visiting the Lake District and places like Durham and York. The course and the University will give back to you as much as you put into them. There are so many different nationalities and cultures all studying in one environment, therefore it creates an experience like no other.

The qualification looks great on my CV, but I think the course benefited me most in terms of confidence. The MSc in Management equipped me with the all-important business lingo that I could use in interviews and in my role, and it acted as a good intermediary between my undergraduate degree and the workplace. I also think the summer client project which I did with Bentley Motors was particularly important in securing my job with ROADS, as Bentley was a blue-chip luxury brand and gave me great content to speak about during my interview.