Name : Mariya Nedelcheva
Current job title : junior product manager at Avery Dennison
Year of graduation : 2013
Nationality : Bulgarian
Why did you choose this MSc?
“I’d done a general international business bachelor degree and was looking for a master which is more focused and will let me differentiate myself on the job market. I was also interested in a degree which connects marketing and project management, and with focus specifically on new technologies, new product development and working closely with R&D. RSM’s MSc in Management of Innovation provided all the necessary skills and courses to match my needs, and from a renowned school with an international environment.”
How would you describe the programme and RSM?
“For the start, there were specific, focused courses, such as project management, which taught me a lot of skills and concepts that I use in my job now. There were also the ‘bigger picture’ courses that challenge and develop your whole mindset and develop your concept and model thinking. I also really valued the small group discussions that we had during the courses which allowed for active participation and a lot of rich in-depth discussions with the professors during class, it wasn’t just a one-sided presentation from the lecturer. Of course, as an active member of the Study Club I also found it very beneficial that students are encouraged to participate in extracurricular activities.”
What was the biggest challenge in this master?
“As any master degree, the quality of education is heavily dependent on your self-preparation. The classes take a small part of the week and it is up to you to make the most of them by preparing well beforehand. In all classes, we were continuously challenged to be open-minded and find a way to combine the long-term innovation trends and the theory with the more practical skills and answers which are applicable today. For me this was a very practical challenge as it is what I need to do now as well in my daily work.”
What made the greatest impression?
“Perhaps the assignments which we had to do in collaboration with different companies. Knowing that you are contributing to solving real-world business problems gives more motivation to think beyond theory into application of the concepts you are studying.”
How did your studies at RSM shape your career?
“I acquired a lot of technically important knowledge as well as developed soft skills which I used already in the first year of my job. But most importantly, I see RSM as a place that truly opened my mindset and developed my thinking. RSM taught me to question assumptions and challenge myself to achieve more – which I believe are among the key purposes of having an education. I found my current employer at a career fair at the university, hence I would say RSM and its reputation were pivotal in me becoming a part of Avery Dennison.”
What are your future plans?
“To grow in the product manager role and with time take on more complex projects and product developments. Go more towards strategic marketing, roadmap building, and product line portfolio management.”