Meet Sneha Karunakaran - My Time at Salford Business School as an International Student

Work placement

Sneha Karunakaran, MSc Digital Marketing student at Salford Business School, shares with us her Salford journey as an international student, as well as her top tips and advice for anyone thinking of joining us as an international student themselves.



Hi! I am Sneha, an international student from India, currently completing the final module towards a Master’s degree in Digital Marketing. In this blog, I share my experience as an international student and some tips and tricks that I learnt along the way to live a happy life in my new home away from home.  

As any other student would, I did my research before choosing the University of Salford for my master’s degree. I was fascinated by the quality of education and infrastructure that the universities in the UK have to provide as compared to any other universities in the world. There were numerous reasons for me to choose the University of Salford, the help and support for the international students for example. I found the scholarship scheme very rewarding and motivating to pursue my dreams with this University. 

MSc Digital Marketing 

Marketing is everywhere from AI-enabled billboards to the 2 seconds ad that plays before every youtube video. Having worked as a Customer Experience Manager in my previous organisation, leading projects to change customer behaviour from traditional to digital, I was more intrigued to learn everything about this ever-growing and in-demand skill set. The MSc in Digital Marketing is pretty straight forward, from theory to practice, the modules are covered in a way that the student does not miss out on what is expected and is moulded for the market outside. The course is divided into 5 modules, Digital Marketing and Data Analytics, Online and Offline Consumer Behavior, Integrated Marketing Communication, Search and Social Media Management and the final module which makes the University stand apart from its competitors is the Industry Collaboration Project. I chose to go ahead with a paid placement as part of my final module.

University can fly by, one minute you are fresh face visiting stalls on your freshers week grabbing freebies, next second you are throwing caps in the air as a graduate. Your time at the university as an international student is limited and therefore it is important to use the time at hand wisely. As a senior, to any international student who is looking for some guidance, here are my top 3 advice to keep in mind as a university fresher:

1. Attendance is important​:  As an international student, you are required to submit a Tier 4 attendance monitoring form every week to the Home Office. This is a mandatory requirement which if gone wrong can affect your stay in the UK. I understand, with the newly found independence it can be difficult to push yourself to the early morning lectures, but when you think about the fees you pay, you’d be a fool to waste it sleeping in your comfy bed.  
2. Societies: There is a society for just about everything, if you don’t find one, you are also allowed to create one. Getting involved with societies help you make new friends, socialise and not have a FOMO (fear-of-missing-out). I was an active member of the Salford Indian Society which in a way helped me to settle down, have a perfect balance between international exposure and a homely atmosphere. I am also the Social and Wellbeing Officer for the society for 2020. 
3. Take time to explore your city: It is very important to know the history behind the city you are going to spend the most important time of your life living in. The best thing about Salford is its proximity to Manchester. You could still enjoy the luxuries of Manchester by paying half the rent staying in Salford. It is also important to note that Salford by itself has so much to offer that you should not overshadow it by its popular neighbourhood. Media City, Lowry, Salford Museum and Art Gallery are a few places that Salford is famous for. 
The Job Market: By now you must have already gone through a lot of articles, mugged up the Quora suggestions of how difficult the job market is in the UK for international students. To be honest, given this pandemic it is getting difficult to find a job but that’s not just in the UK, you would still face a similar scene anywhere in the world. The responsibility of finding a job is on you and what actions you take to achieve your goal. I was really persistent and took help from the University Employability Hub to find my internship at Self Storage Tameside in the middle of a pandemic. I manage the companies two very important website - ​Storage Manchester​ and ​Cheap Storage Manchester​ under the supervision of my manager who was a Salford Business School graduate himself. 
I have learnt and matured so much in this past year, you will each have your own journey and trust me you will have a blast. The university is very accommodating, you will make friends for life here. So savour every moment because it goes way too fast! I had an amazing one, I hope you will too! Good luck.
For any further assistance, you can get in touch with me via my LinkedIn account.