Cathal McGivern – On completing the MINT degree programme
A student’s perspective on completing the MINT degree programme at DCU Business School from recent graduate Cathal McGivern:
MInT – DCU
There’s no point telling you I have this fancy degree if I don’t go into depth about what I did, what I learned and what I hoped to achieve throughout the course. MInT is the nickname everyone gives it because of its lengthy title. Marketing, Innovation and Technology is at its core a marketing degree. However, it integrates new models of digital-marketing technology on top of learning social sciences, sciences, new technologies, and high tech products/industries so that we’re well-rounded marketers capable of understanding any product and working with any department, be it sciences or IT.
Innovation is our middle name
Being able to market, understand and promote a wide range of products using a wide range of digital and traditional tools is amazing, but being resourceful, adaptive, creative and entrepreneurial isn’t an easy thing to teach.
Anything can be learned, including creativity. Taking on entrepreneurial projects, we would create products, campaigns, websites and even design prototypes to challenge our creative mindset. Doing these projects in groups straight away shows us how a business starts/works, some of the difficulties we might have with people and the roles we fit into in these groups.
Sometimes we picked our ideal teams, other times we were put into groups. We’re put into a realistic business dynamic of doing projects with familiar faces and colleagues vs. doing business with people you don’t really know all that well.
Strong Marketing Foundations
Marketing has adapted and changed significantly in the last few years. Search engines, devices, algorithms and social media platforms are always changing. Lecturers keep the course fresh and regularly introduce new modules and topics to tackle things like big data and analytics, as well as legislation and ethics.
Many of the people on this course will be the first Gen Z people to enter the workforce. We’ve grown up with Internet and technology growing around us and have adapted to new technologies. As this generation of people is different, so too is this degree.
There’s always a lot of noise in Marketing, and our job is to get businesses to stand out from that noise. MInT integrates innovation to make you a more adaptable, creative and resourceful marketer. While technology gives you a solid background of highly sought after digital skills.
Personally, I’ve developed web design skills while working for IE Domain Registry (.ie) and combined it with social media, Google AdWords & analytics, SEO, photography and videography to help anyone with their key marketing needs. Your commitment to learning will always be important, and what areas you choose to develop further will be up to you.
A Broken System?
MInT and DCU do things differently. Part of my degree is a full-time minimum one year paid internship, with big multinationals and corporate companies like Deloitte and Microsoft, to small digital start-ups. I found somewhere in the middle working for IE Domain Registry, who maintain and manage the .ie domain namespace in Ireland.
On top of this, we get CEO-led seminars and guest lecturers to get a real insight. A dynamic degree that lets you explore different industries and become a cutting-edge high tech marketer.
Some of the modules I’ve done throughout my time at DCU include : Market Feasibility Studies, Marketing for High-tech Products and Services, Supply Chain Management, Biotechnology 1 & 2, Macro & Microeconomics, Communications, Modern Technology 1: Eng. Trans. Elect. Pwr. & Modern Technology 2: Elect. & Comms., Creativity & Discovery, Intro to Marketing, Management Accounting, Financial Accounting, The Changing Consumer (Consumer Behaviour), Product Development & Innovation Studies, Digital Marketing, Systems of a Knowledge-Based Society, Business & Professional Ethics and finally International Marketing. These are the modules in my first 2 years of MInT, each more distinct than the last.
We can develop a network, get a full year paid work experience, get government and college funding, and be put into realistic learning environments to adapt and grow. Opportunities to apply the skills learned are in abundance with over 150 clubs and societies. Even our lecturers would send us job opportunities throughout the year. This is what education should be…
MInT graduates enter careers as Brand Account Managers, Digital Account Executives, Direct Marketing Executives, Technology Consultants in the areas of Technology, Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals, Biotechnology, Software and IT. It’s an open door for an opportunity to a lot of industries wherever your interests develop.
Some can join dedicated graduate programs or go to work for the company they did an internship with, and others set out into the world, bright eyed and bushy tailed to get jobs in any one of the industries covered. The bachelor of science degree with a solid business/marketing foundation gives a lot of freedom.
Me, I’m only starting to see the world, and remote-working opens the door for me to continue to explore and grow myself. Who knows where and what anyone of us will end up doing. Tús maith leath na hoibre (a good start is half the work) and that’s exactly what MInT is.
Opportunity for Everyone
I got to college through the Access program, designed to help people from socio-economic disadvantaged backgrounds to go to college/university. The Irish school system also allows you to apply for grants for your first degree know as SUSI, where rates and fees for college are relative to your income. Neither of my parents work so it means I can be self-sufficient to afford to live away from home without substantial debt since I was 17 (and if you’re working all the time like me, zero debt).
In DCU there’s an active student union, who canvas and campaign for student facilities and amenities. Support is there if you ask and university and success aren’t just for those lucky enough to come from richer families. In fact, 93% of Access students who enter DCU complete third level education with 92% receiving first and second class honours, greater than the normal student body. It’s quite revealing what happens when you give ‘disadvantaged’ students the right opportunities.
I’m grateful for these privileges, I’ve been opened to new cultures, challenges and interests. Most of all its changed me as a person. I can go into new fields, new places and pursue anything without weight or stress on my shoulders.
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