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Mikael Angesjo

Mikael Angesjo, MA Marketing Management

Head of Membership, Swedish Chamber of Commerce for the United Kingdom

MA Marketing Management, 2010

What made you choose Middlesex University?

I thought Middlesex was a modern institution and this appealed to me. I liked the fresh approach I got from the university.

The first criteria I was looking for was an MA programme in Marketing. A lot of universities offer MSc programmes in Marketing but not an MA. The fact Middlesex was located in London and had an international mix of students were also important factors. I was particularly motivated by the opportunity to study alongside students from India and Asia given the success these countries are currently enjoying in the business world.

What attracted you to your course and made you apply?

I wanted an MA course in Marketing with a focus also on management. My BA was in marketing so being able to go into greater depth in this area was appealing.

What aspects of your course did you enjoy most?

I particularly enjoyed the creative aspect of the course. As an example, the course provided the option to enrol in a Creative Communication course which is highly recommended as it provided real life examples that I have been able to apply in my current profession.

My MA also allowed me to learn how to create marketing strategies from scratch and applying accurate marketing mixes, both of which are really important when going into any marketing role.

What is your fondest memory of life at Middlesex?

My fondest memory of social life at Middlesex was a residential trip to Liverpool. It was great fun and helped to get to know my fellow students, some which have become close friends of mine.

What one piece of advice would you give to a prospective student interested in studying at Middlesex?

The intensive MA course at Middlesex is relatively short, especially compared to my BA studies in the US, so you have to make sure you take full advantage of the lecturers you have access to and what is on offer. Middlesex provides a lot in return for your investment in a higher education, make the most of it.

How did your course and time at Middlesex help you to get where you are professionally today?

Youth unemployment is high both in the UK and rest of Europe, thus in today's labour market you are required to have reached a certain academic level to be competitive. Under the circumstances we face today, a Master's play not just a crucial but defining role in getting a satisfying job.

With Middlesex's modern approach, working closer to real life, many of the case studies offered were applicable and have helped me professionally. Some older British institutions have not adapted effectively and therefore find themselves to be further away from real life situations.

What made you choose the industry you work in and what are its pros and cons?

I left Sweden at an early age to live abroad and being away from your home country makes you become more patriotic and proud of your roots. My job enables me to represent, promote and strengthen its ties with the UK and its business community. 

As the 3rd largest foreign chamber in the UK, the Swedish Chamber of Commerce also provides me with a chance to work with over 400 member companies from over 50 different industries. The opportunity to collaborate and learn about so many different sectors is something not many are fortunate enough to do, perhaps not even in their whole professional careers.

The main con associated with working for a not-for-profit organisation is the financial constraint you are constantly under. You can have an outstanding marketing idea but you don't always have the financial resources to implement it.

How did you get your foot on the career ladder post university?

I conducted a wide job search and made sure I put the required time and effort into presenting myself in the appropriate manner. Attention to detail and an open mind are crucial in my opinion. Middlesex was very supportive and really helped me with ideas and suggestions on how to improve my CV and approach businesses.

Having worked part-time while at university, I could also demonstrate professional skills and experiences, besides academic qualifications; something that is absolutely crucial in today's job market.

What has been your defining career break or highlight to date?

Actually this happened before I started working in many ways – as I decided to live abroad before I even finished high school. Spending time living overseas provides not only international experience but arguably even more importantly, it builds character. If you come from a relatively small country and you constantly stay in your comfort zone, there will then always be limitations to what you can achieve.

What does the future hold for you?

One goal is to one day return to the field of sports marketing. I used to work for adidas and with a past as a professional athlete I have a lot of passion for this industry. It would be interesting to implement new innovative marketing tools and strategies within the sportswear industry, on a global level.

What are the top three career tips you would give to current students and recent graduates?

Make sure you get work experience – it is absolutely crucial. Today academic qualifications just aren't enough. I had this discussion with the Swedish Minister of Education just the other week. There has to be a mixture of the two. Due to the current job climate, employers have such a selection to choose from when assessing applications that without both academic and professional experience, you will fall short.

Don't be afraid of taking a specialist degree and going into a niche area if it interests you. Specialist skills can help you to stand out from the growing crowd. Dare to trust your gut feeling.

I lived quite close to university, in halls, and this was really convenient. It meant I was at lectures on time, spent less time travelling and got more sense of the Middlesex community. My last tip would definitely be to live as close to campus as possible.

What one piece of advice would you give to the 17/18 year old you?

Don't be afraid to follow your instinct. I knew from an early age that it was marketing that interested me more than anything but I didn't trust my instinct. If I had, I would have started specialising in this area sooner.

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