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Indira Shadrina Illianti



More about Indira

Completing a Masters degree has always been one of my top personal life goals, but it was not until later when I was able to decide what area I wanted to pursue it in. After finishing my undergraduate degree in Australia studying marketing and management, I landed my first job as a Market Associate in an online travel company in Bali. This was the perfect job for me as it is a combination of my two passions, travel and technology. I learnt so much about hospitality and the e-commerce industry and developed connections with clients from small independent hotels, hostels to international chain hotels.

After 2 and half years, I was craving for new experiences and challenges and was given the opportunity to join a hospitality software start-up where I worked remotely as a Market Manager, overseeing the Indonesian market. The role was highly focused on sales management and I went through the highest learning curve of my life. I was more drawn to learn how technology and internet has become a vital part of every aspects of businesses and how digitalised the world has become. These experiences inspired me to pursue a Masters degree in Digital Marketing, as I strongly believe this is the field I would want to be immersed in for my long-term career and it is what I am deeply passionate about. Besides, doing a Masters will make me become more competitive in the job market and surely help me to progress in my career development.

A Masters degree is a huge self-investment, both financially and time wise. The process of choosing which university to enrol in took me several months until I finally made up my decision. The top 5 factors I considered when choosing which university to go to were the reputation and accreditation of the university (teaching standards), the course layout offered, the location (whether it is a student friendly, green city), the student life (societies, accommodation) and employment opportunities and support.

Why Nottingham Business School?
Firstly, it was because of the excellent reputation (gold rating teaching excellence), having EQUIS & AACSB accreditation and winning University of The Year. It is also listed in the top 15 in UK universities for student satisfaction. Moreover, the option to choose global experience or business consultancy as the final project was very appealing to me. I find this more applicable to me as I can put my professional experiences into practice and learn about the local businesses here in Nottingham, rather than just completing a dissertation paper.

I also reached out to NTU alumni who did MSc Digital Marketing and asked his opinion on the course, the student life and life in Nottingham. This was very insightful and made me more certain of my decision to study at NBS. In addition, as I am studying Digital Marketing, it makes more sense to do it at a modern university.

Postgraduate community
Nottingham Business School is more international than I have ever imagined, and everyone comes from different backgrounds (academically and professionally) which makes class discussions more interesting as different perspectives and thought processes are shared. I think this is important in Masters level study, to be able to develop a broad mind-set and a more holistic way of thinking about how everything work. The lecturers and tutors are also very approachable and always within reach when you need help or advice.

The facilities are very modern and accommodating and there are two cafeterias within the NBS building with diverse international food as well as a café with the best pain au chocolate! I love how it is located at the centre of Nottingham, which makes it convenient for me and my colleagues to hang out after our workshops. Moreover, there are plenty of events throughout the year we can attend, such as guest speaker presentations from the industry, self-development workshops and career mentoring.

MSc Digital marketing course
The course I am doing is the full-time 1-year program MSc Digital Marketing. The first three modules we did provided us with great foundations into the contemporary marketing principles and practices. These are great transitions for students with no background or experience in marketing. For me, it was a great refresher to what I have learnt back in my undergraduate study.

I enjoy how the courses are planned out and how the projects are closely related to current global issues. For instance, one of our coursework projects was to do a reflective report to understand consumer behaviour through our own ethical consumption focusing on sustainable fashion. It was an exciting project as we were encouraged to be creative, to do a wardrobe audit, to photograph our wardrobe and favourite clothing pieces. The aim was to understand the underlying reasons on our behaviour, why we buy the things we buy and from the brands, we like. Not only that this experience developed my understanding on consumer behaviour, but it also made me more aware on one of the main global issue of fast fashion and how we, as marketers have the power to contribute in tackling this major issue.

Another great project we undertook was to re-develop a failed campaign undergone by big companies and turn it into a successful one with the help of digital technology. This helped us to learn from failures and allowed us to propose our own creative ideas. The layout of the courses provides us with strong understanding of concepts and theories, which we can then apply to real cases while encouraging us to be creative.

MSc Experience
In terms of the learning process, I felt like in undergraduate, I was taught to understand concepts and theories to be examined by the end of the module. Nevertheless, in Masters level, we are pushed to be much more critical, to able to challenge these concepts and theories with our own ideas and to have our own voice. Creativity is highly encouraged and are valued compared to back in undergraduate study.

In terms of student life, I do not feel that much difference compared to my undergraduate experience. However, I feel way more challenged this time and everything was more intense (as expected). This pushed me to manage my time better and as my time here is much shorter than my undergraduate year, I feel like I have to make the most out of my student life while I still can.

Skill development
I learnt many different skills during my time here. However, I feel that the main skills I have developed most throughout the past year would be critical thinking, time management and ability to work under pressure. In Masters level, we are expected to challenge ideas, be creative and critical towards anything we learn which have developed my critical thinking skills and built my confidence in voicing out my own perspectives. I finally understood that the concept of classrooms is for students to contribute ideas and knowledge to each other and as a learning space. Further, as the past year has been very intense and learning is fast paced since there are endless deadlines to meet and juggling this with social life, making time to explore the UK, running a society and a part time job pushed me to manage my time, knowing how to set priorities and handle the stress better. I believe these skills would prepare me to become a better professional when returning to the workforce.

Major project
I chose to do a consultancy project. Initially, I wanted to do Global Experience Project, but then thought consultancy project would be more beneficial for my career development as I would gain insights and knowledge from real company clients here in the UK. I hope to have a high learning curve from this experience, which I can bring forward to my future roles.

There are so many activities I was involved in within the past year and so many exciting ones I wish I could have taken part in. So many opportunities, so little time!

There was one full week dedicated towards our personal development, where we could attend talks from motivational speakers and another week dedicated towards global responsibility, which was to develop our understanding on the importance of business ethics and sustainability. I found these sessions to be highly valuable as I learnt how to develop a champion mind-set from Rosie, an inspiring female professional bodybuilder, the importance of being mindful, how to excel in public speaking, to learning how to design and implement business models based on artificial intelligence.

I have also co-started NTU’s first Indonesian Society under the Student Union. Through this, I learnt how to manage a society, events management and was responsible with handling the society’s social media engagement. This is one of the most rewarding experience as I can represent my culture and country here in Nottingham.

Other than that, I am also involved in NBS’ Postgraduate Telephone Campaign (part-time job), where I help the marketing team and act as a student ambassador to reach out to NBS student applicants through the phone and address any concerns or worries (regarding accommodation, student life, course) they face while applying to the University.

I always felt the academia in NBS to be very friendly, attentive and approachable. At the beginning of every module, we are always given their contact details and schedule when we can drop in and ask questions or address any concerns that we have regarding our assignments. In fact, we are always encouraged to reach out to them. There is also a

dedicated employability team where you can schedule appointments regarding any career related matters such as mock interview practice, advice on CV, etc.

Moreover, NBS assigns all students with one academic mentor throughout the year, who guides us towards making the best out of our postgraduate journey. In addition, to address any concerns that we have, whether it is accommodation issues, etc. They help make sure we are on the right path towards achieving our personal and professional goals and supporting us to pursue other interests and opportunities beyond just academic things such as doing volunteering outside university.

Nottingham city
Nottingham is a very vibrant and student-friendly city!

I remember my first day arriving at Nottingham and being so fascinated by how young and hip everyone in the city was. Apart from the excellent night-outs, there are even occasional student shopping nights at the main shopping centre, where the whole mall restricts its access only for students after 6pm, offering student discounts across stores. As NBS is situated in the city centre and having so many student accommodations in the area, almost everything that I need is accessible within walking distance. I love having the University just 5 minutes away, cinema 7 minutes away, and the contemporary art museum 15 minutes from my door.

Career aspirations
I started the course with just one main goal in mind, to develop skills that would help me to get a digital marketing position in a big multinational company after graduation. However, after doing this postgraduate study and attending coding courses, my career aspirations have broadened and unexpectedly sparked the entrepreneurship in me.

I aim to land a career in digital strategy and develop my skills in coding on the side and in a few years time hopefully start an organisation back home to teach minorities and children how to code in an exciting way. I am glad that I am constantly reminded to make time for continuous self-development and the importance of sustainability during my time here. NBS not only helped me to become a digital marketer, but to become a responsible global citizen as well.

Advice for prospective students
I would say to get rid of any hesitations and just go for it! You will be surprised at how much growth (academically, personally and professionally) you can achieve just within one year of your degree with the endless opportunities offered on campus. This will certainly be one of the most intense year of your life, but just enjoy the journey, be ready to network and make lifetime friends and enjoy the lovely UK weather.

I genuinely would re-live this postgraduate year experience if I could.

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