Belfast Telegraph

Ulster Business School students receive excellence awards

Marketing and Business Studies students who achieved academic excellence while studying at the University of Ulster have been recognised at an awards ceremony.

The Department of Marketing, Entrepreneurship and Strategy’s Excellence Awards, sponsored by local companies, celebrates the hard work and dedication of students from Ulster’s class of 2012/2013.

At the annual Awards ceremony in the Jordanstown campus, Associate Head of Department, Dr Danielle McCartan-Quinn congratulated students on their success.

She said: “The annual Excellence Awards ceremony affords the Ulster Business School a rare opportunity to bring together our generous sponsors from industry, students, their families and colleagues who have encouraged and challenged these students to produce their best work throughout their course.

The event is a great networking opportunity and a really joyous occasion - providing a lasting testimony to the students of their outstanding academic achievement while at the Ulster Business School”.

The winning students were:

Marketing Institute of Ireland Award for Excellence

BSc (Hons) Marketing

Best Overall Final Year Student, Ciara McCoy, Suzanne Wray

Chartered Institute of Marketing Award for Excellence

BSc (Hons) Marketing

Best Student Performance in Global Marketing, Jamie Keenan

Property News Award for Excellence

BSc (Hons) Marketing

Best Overall Digital Marketing Student, Matthew McKee

Hastings Hotels Award for Excellence

BSc (Hons) Marketing

Best Overall Second Year Student, Christopher Shannon

Stakeholder Group Award for Excellence

BSc (Hons) Marketing

Best Overall First Year Student, Dylan Burke

Envision Management Consultants Award for Excellence

MSc Marketing

Best Dissertation, William Wilson

Wrightbus Award for Excellence

MSc Marketing

Best Overall Student, Susan Templeton

Moy Park Award for Excellence

PgD/MSc Agri-food Business Development

Best Overall Performance, Kelan McGivney

Rutledge Recruitment and Training Award for Excellence

BSc (Hons) Business Studies Part Time

Best Final Year Student, Miriam Silke

Chartered Accountants Ireland – Ulster Society Prize

BSc (Hons) Business Studies Full Time

Best overall Business Strategy Student, Gareth Sanders

First Trust Bank Prize

BSc (Hons) Business Studies Full Time

Highest mark in Accounting/Finance Specialism, Ryan Cooke

Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) Ireland Achievement of Excellence Award

BSc (Hons) Business Studies Full Time

Mark Forsythe, Rachel Giles

William James Wilson

I am from Holywood in Co. Down and the school I attended was Priory College Holywood.

Studying on the MSc Marketing degree as a part-time student while working full-time as a research analyst for a global market research company was a challenging but throughly enjoyable experience as I was able to immediately apply what I had learned in the classroom to a work situation.  Having graduated in December 2013, I have returned to the university to pursue a PhD based on my MSc Dissertation.

Christopher Shannon

I am from Ballymena, and attended Cullybackey College.

When choosing a degree course, Marketing stood out to me from the beginning. I always had an interest in business and all things creative so marketing looked like the best avenue for me to turn these interests into a career. Little did I know how much I would enjoy the Marketing degree program at Ulster. With all the other opportunities on offer; such as the Marketing Society which encourages integration between year groups and gives a great feeling community among students, there is no wonder that is has been ranked 3 in the UK for student satisfaction.

Currently on my placement year within the Marketing and Communications department of Power NI I have had the opportunity to put the theory into practice and it has been an absolutely amazing experience. Working on a range of projects from the production of our TV adverts to managing Power NI sponsorships, it really has be a fantastic opportunity and a joy to work for a company that really invests in and cares about its employees.

I am delighted to have received a second Marketing Excellence award at this year’s annual award ceremony. This great event brings together students, lecturers and industry experts to applaud the successes of both the students and staff from Ulster Business School.

Susan Templeton

Born and bred in Belfast, then lived in South Africa for 7 years and Harrogate, N  Yorkshire for 7 years and then returned to N Ireland, 19 years ago. I attended Richmond Lodge School and then Methody for my A levels.

After leaving School I did not have the opportunity to attend University. I chose a different route working in the Bank and lived in both Johannesburg and Harrogate. After a gap of 15 years I returned to Belfast. With no formal qualifications well paid jobs were hard to come by and I needed to do something to support my family. Having never considered myself academic I returned to study working full-time and studying part-time. I initially studied for a HNC in Business Studies at the Belfast Metropolitan College (BMC) to see how studying would fit into family life. BMC have an arrangement with University of Ulster, Jordanstown allowing students to transfer across to study a BSc in Business Studies so I continued on my journey of learning. This opened up many new subjects that were never taught or thought about when I was at School. After having a break from study for several years I decided to once again to improve my career prospects and employability and returned to UUJ to study a Masters in Marketing. To be totally honest I found it hard work, extremely time consuming although I can truly say hand on heart that I enjoyed every minute of the course. To have your mind stretched, to be given assignments that initially you thought impossible and watch them grow, develop and blossom, and to continually juggle the work Vs study Vs home life balance was really challenging, demanding yet rewarding.

Ciara McCoy

I'm from Maghera, Co.Derry and I attended St. Patrick's College, Maghera.

I graduated with a First Class BSc Hons degree in Marketing with a Diploma in Professional Practice following a placement with Tourism Ireland. During my placement year I was part of the team who achieved the All Ireland Digital Marketing Award.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed studying at the University of Ulster and I found my degree course extremely interesting. Graduating from the BSc Hons degree in Marketing has provided me with some exciting opportunities. I have since received an offer to study for a PhD to obtain my doctorate in the Psychology of Marketing. Further to this I have secured a full time job as a Marketing Coordinator for Agriimages and I am also studying part time for an Advanced Diploma in Management, which is accredited by the University of Ulster.

I am delighted to be awarded today with the Marketing Institute of Ireland Award for Excellence, receiving recognition for my hard work and commitment is extremely humbling.

Miriam Silke

Originally from Galway Miriam Silke is Chief Executive at the College of Psychiatrists, a position she has held since the College’s formation in 2009.  Previously she was Manager of the Irish College of Psychiatrists from 1994 to 2008 and Project Manager for the merger of the three organisations in Ireland that represented psychiatry into one body (the College of Psychiatrists of Ireland).  Prior to that she worked for the Royal College of Radiologists in the UK and Guinness Ireland.  She is married with two children who keep her very busy.  She has a BSc (Hons) in Business Studies from the University of Ulster as well as the Advanced Diploma in Management Practice from the University of Ulster.  She found the BSc (Hons) in Business Studies a well delivered, practical and useful education.  It taught up to date business practice and the blended learning format was very accessible for those in full-time employment.

Ryan Cooke

I attended Ballyclare High School from 2002 -2009 and from there I progressed to the University of Ulster to study Business Studies Full Time. The course was very challenging but at the same time enjoyable and rewarding. The highlight of my University experience was definitely my international industrial placement year . This dragged me out of my comfort zone and gave me the opportunity to work in and travel throughout the USA. It was this experience coupled with a very busy final year that led me to make the decision to travel for a year before entering the 'real world'. I am currently four months into a twelve month working holiday in Australia, taking up various posts along the way to help pay for my travels.  

Dylan Burke

My school was Strabane Academy and my home town is Strabane.
I was delighted when I received the news that I would be receiving the Stakeholder Prize in 2014 because I have had a wonderful experience in my first year on the BSc. (Hons) Marketing degree and its wonderful staff. They truly encourage you to be creative and use your imagination as well as helping you develop your knowledge and understanding of contemporary marketing and branding ideologies. I have always been a creative thinker from a very young age and constantly try to think of ways to do things differently. This has engaged my interest in the branding and promotional aspects of business and I can envision myself working somewhere in that role in the near future, possibly in the entertainment industry.

Jamie Keenan

I attended Rathmore Grammar School and my home town in Belfast.

The Marketing (BSc) course at the University of Ulster is second to none!  The faculty went above and beyond in terms of student support and the innovative modules in the degree equipped me with the knowledge and skills needed to secure a job in today's competitive market.  Since graduating last year I have gained employment as a marketing executive for ReSolve; a corporate recovery and business advisory firm in London.  Here I manage all of the company's marketing activities which are predominantly across online and digital media.  This has been a challenging but incredibly rewarding role as I have had the opportunity to realise my own ideas and oversee marketing campaigns from inception through to completion.  I'm looking forward to the months ahead with some exciting projects in the pipeline.

Kelan McGivney

My home town is Dublin. My undergrad degree was in Irish Law through the University of Wales, and my secondary education was at Portmarnock Community School in Dublin.

Come the time of the awards I will be working as a customer demand planner with The Silver Spoon Company, a trading division of British Sugar. For the past 8 months I have worked as a production planner with Bakkavor, a UK based food group. I found the course through the internet whilst searching for an opportunity to progress into the food industry, which has experienced growth in recent years, whilst other industries have declined.

Suzanne Wray

I went to Lurgan College and my hometown is Waringstown. 

I have recently graduated from the University of Ulster where I achieved a First Class Honours in BSc Marketing. I am a highly personable and efficient person with ability to work independently and in a team in a changing and multi-tasking environment. I am a highly motivated person and I am driven to make all activities I part take in successful. I have excellent communication skills and I am committed to attention to detail. In every project I part took in within University and now in work I try to not only bring new energy, fresh ideas and a different way of thinking, but also help fellow friends and work colleagues to achieve their full potential. I really enjoyed the entire marketing degree; the modules were really interesting and involved a great deal of independent research, which allowed me to use a wide range of skills requiring initiative and self-motivation. The Marketing Degree has also prepared me for the working world giving me an excellent opportunity to put theory, commercial and financial awareness into practice to see where potential opportunities and threats lie within the current economic business climate. After graduating I have achieved full time employment as an Events Coordinator with Hastings Europa Hotel.


Matthew McKee

My name is Matthew McKee (23) from Newry Co. Down.
The previous schools I have attended where St. Josephs Boys High School and the Southern Regional College.
The marketing course was fantastic. It helped me mature over the years and find a side of marketing I really love.
I am currently completing a marketing internship with a Belfast based company (Iris Colour) and will soon be moving onto a permanent marketing position with a different company based in Crossmaglen (RK Marketing).


Mark Forsythe

I am from Dungannon and I went to the Royal School Dungannon. I am a second year BSc Hons Business Studies Student at the University of Ulster Jordanstown and upon completion of this course I hope to enter into a Management position in the retail sector.  With this in mind, I am currently involved in the application process for a placement year and I have been in contact with a number of companies in this regard. I hope that this will help develop my skills set and build upon the knowledge that I have already gained in my first year and a half at university. So far I have found that the various modules of the Business Studies course are equipping me well for my chosen career path. The course has often required me to step out of my comfort zone, for instance in its encouragement of team exercises and assignments as well as presenting ideas and proposals in front of large groups of people, and this has helped to build my confidence.  Another aspect of the course which I am enjoying is the opportunity to learn many new skills and gain an insight into every area of business operations.  For example, throughout the first 3 semesters I have been introduced to the role of the Human Resources, Accounting and Marketing functions, and I believe this will be of great assistance when I come to decide which field I would like to concentrate on upon graduation. All in all, I have found the first part of this course, and university life in general, to be a challenging and thought provoking experience, and I am confident that with my continued hard work it will be able to provide me with a First Class degree and strong career opportunities.


Gareth Sanders

I attended Sullivan Upper School from 2002-2009, and my home town is Holywood. 

In July 2013 I graduated from the University of Ulster, Jordanstown achieving first class honours in the BSc (Hons) Business Studies programme, as well as obtaining a diploma in Professional Practice. Upon graduation I secured a position on the highly competitive MSc International Business course at Queens University Belfast, which began in September 2013 and will run until September 2014. Personally, I feel the combination of the two aforementioned degree programmes, in which I have been involved, will act as the ideal stepping stone in order to forger a career with a multi-national enterprise through their graduation scheme and beyond. Consequently, in December 2013 I was offered, and accepted, a place within Citi Groups Operations Academy in Belfast, as a Global Operations Analyst. The anticipated start date for this position is August 2014.

As previously alluded to the BSc (Hons) Business Studies course has equipped me with the necessary knowledge, skills and expertise to meet a number of my personal career goals. The course itself focuses on the role of the manager in a rapidly changing business environment, which is applicable today in light of the global financial crisis and subsequent downturn. Moreover, the programme provides students with the opportunity to engage with others, in a bid to enhance both personal and interpersonal skills, which are necessary to be successful in any business setting. Withal, the course is structured in such a way that students study a range of different modules, including finance, strategy, HRM, operations, law, economics and many more. Thus, opening various doors in terms of career opportunities. I could not speak more highly of the staff involved or the programme itself, and would recommend this course to any aspiring business men/women.


Rachel Giles

I am a second year Business Studies student, specialising in accountancy from just outside Ballymena. Before starting this course at University of Ulster Jordanstown, I attended Cambridge House Grammar School for 7 years. So far, I have really enjoyed the Business Studies course and I am currently on track for a high 2:1. My favourite modules so far have been Business Accounting, Introduction to Management, Law and I am now looking forward to studying taxation this semester. In order to help me specialise in Accounting, I am also studying towards the ATI level 5 diploma alongside my degree and partake in voluntary work experience 1 day per week in Eircom in Belfast. 

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