Ladies and Gentlemen: let me continue where I left on last week, let me introduce you MarijaMarash, who is also the brand ambassador for International Business Programme in XAMK Kouvola working together with Swan. Marija is originally from a small country called Albania. She is also a freshman from IB16.
Q: How long have you lived in Kouvola?
Marija: I have lived here for five months.
Q: What made you choose this field of study? And why Kouvola?
Marija: I was raised in a family of entrepreneurs and being raised in that family made me have the same desires and wishes for the future. I wanted to follow the steps of my father since he was always a role model to me. Also, my sister is an entrepreneur and I learned a lot from her. And the reason why I chose Kouvola is because Finland has the best universities in the world and I wanted to come to Kouvola because it is a small and quiet place. It is easy here to learn and be concentrated on your studies.
Q: What are your future plans / goals?
Marija: I do not want to have the typical life of a person that works her whole life for others without having recognition for it and does not have time for her family. I would like to have my own company and also I would like to love my work and do it because I love it not because I have to do it.
Q: If you could describe our campus briefly, how would you describe it?
Marija: It is a friendly campus and has international environment. I really like the fact that the lecturers are also really friendly with the students and always ready to help. I would say that this campus is like a second house to me since I spend most of my time here.
Q: What are the key responsibilities of a brand ambassador?
Marija: In my opinion a brand ambassador has always to be active, they have to know what is going on and they have to be updated with the latest news.
For example: usually you find me walking around the campus checking the new activities and also trying to be part of them. Every time I see something interesting I try to capture a picture. I always try high light the positive sides of the brand that I am representing.
Q: Do you prefer to work independently or in a team?
Marija: For me it depends. There are some things that a person cannot do alone or it is more fun and easier to do it with someone else. There are also some other things that are easier to do by your own. So, for me it is a combination of both.
Q: Have you had any formal training in brand management or marketing?
Marija: When I used to live in Albania I worked since I was 16 years old and the last job included a lot of marketing work. So yes, I guess I had a little formal training and experience before becoming the brand ambassador.
Q: What aspect of being a brand ambassador makes you the happiest?
Marija: I really like to show people the things that I love so they can also be part of it. I love Finland and I love Kouvola so being a brand ambassador gives me the possibility to show people how good it is here. I am a really social person, but everyone knows when coming in a new place it means that you have to start from beginning and it is a little hard for everyone to create friendships, but since I am a brand ambassador I do not have a problem with that. One of the reasons that I wanted to come here is to know as many people as possible and to know their cultures. Being a Brand Ambassador is helping me a lot with it.
Q: What are the downsides of being a brand ambassador?
Marija: As I mentioned before I have to be really active and sometimes there are days that I do not have inspiration to write or post anything. Despite this fact I still have to do it. Also maybe sometimes people will not like the thing that I posted, they can criticize and of course I have to be understandable.
Q: How would you market this to students on social media? What online tools do you use, and which are the most effective?
Marija: By showing them the real life of the students in XAMK. Live videos, a lot of pictures, different activities that take place here and my own thoughts about it. Also, sometimes the life of a student outside the campus. I usually use Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and sometimes Tumblr. The most effective ones are Facebook and Instagram.
Q: Describe yourself in 4 words:
Marija: I would say definitely friendly since it is easy for me to be friends with everyone, adaptable because I get used to different environments quickly, maybe a little sentimental and definitely non-judgmental.
Q: Do you have a support team that you can turn to when facing problems/difficulties while representing this brand?
Marija: The first person that pops up in my mind is my lecturer Hugh Clack. He was actually the one that recommended me to be a brand ambassador and I am sure that every time I will have a problem or difficulty he will be there to advise me and help me to find a solution. Also, my other lecturer Sara Czabai.
Q: Would you recommend this to others? Why yes/no?
Marija: A big YES. This is a great opportunity to learn and practice at the same time. You gain a lot of experience by doing something that is really fun and also you get to be part of different activities.