Anh Thien Thanh Ho came from Vietnam to study Digital Marketing in Limerick Institute of Technology. It wasn’t all plain sailing but she worked hard and things are working out. She even had her first taste of beer!

In January 2019 when I applied for a Master’s in Marketing, the Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT) only had the Master of Business in Marketing & Management Strategy course. However, in July 2019 when I accidentally saw the information about the new course Master of Science in Digital Marketing on the LIT Facebook page, I decided to write an email to its International Office in order to request to amend the course.
I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Management but I was always attracted by creative marketing ideas. To satisfy my curiosity in social media and digital tools, I registered a short-term course in Digital Marketing in my country to enhance my knowledge. Besides that, I had one year’s experience working in the Sales & Marketing department of a global serviced apartment. For this reason, I was accepted by LIT to change the course.

Practical course
The course is practical, interesting and challenging and the lecturers are very enthusiastic. The class size is quite small as we are the first intake of students in this new course. There are only 11 students in my class so we have excellent interactions with each other as well as the lecturers.
We have no examinations during the course but various individual and group assignments which link closely to the industry. In the first semester, we had to work with a designated company named Treaty City Brewery to create a digital marketing strategy for their visitor experience in the heart of Limerick’s Medieval Quarter.

Stephen Cunneen (the man with a thumbs up), the owner and managing director of Treaty City Brewery, visited our class in September 2019 to discuss the objectives and the current issues of the company

First time drinking beer

My class visited Treaty City Brewery’s visitor experience in October. We learned about the brewing industry of Limerick and got free beer here. It was my first time drinking beer.

My group after finishing the presentation of the strategy for Treaty City Brewery in November. We made a short video about how to say ‘Cheers!’ in Brazil, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Nigeria

A tough time
Besides Treaty City Brewery, each student has to find another company to work for for the digital marketing consultancy project at the end of the course; otherwise, we have to write a dissertation of 20,000 words. I prefer doing the consultancy project because I already wrote a dissertation for my undergraduate programme. Besides that, working in a real project will help me to build up my working experience.
At the beginning, I had difficulty finding a local company as at that time I had been in Ireland for only one month. I had no networking in a new country. It is a big challenge to ask a company to provide their confidential information for your project if you don’t have a relationship with them.
When I tried to send emails and make phone calls to various companies in Limerick, I was really upset because what I got were the refusals or no response. My lecturer advised me to choose the dissertation instead of the project. It’s easier because I can choose any topics to write without finding a company. However, the bigger the challenge, the bigger opportunity. Therefore, I didn’t give up.

Where there’s a will, there’s a way
I still remember that it was October 10th 2019, a stormy day with a status orange wind warning in Limerick, when I called a Chinese restaurant in Limerick city centre. I was depressed after so many failures. I told myself if I continued to fail, I would do the dissertation. Fortunately, the owner of the restaurant agreed to meet me to discuss the project. I was on cloud nine. I went to the city centre to see him without caring about the danger of the strong wind.
Success at last
After all the effort, I was successful in persuading the restaurant owner to collaborate in my project. When I had a private meeting with my project supervisor, both of us got a surprise when we found out just how small the world is. The daughter of the restaurant owner is the best friend of my supervisor.
Furthermore, the son of the owner used to be an old classmate of my current classmate who did an undergraduate course at LIT and is now doing a postgraduate one. Thanks to the good relationship with the owner’s family, I got a job offer at the restaurant where I am doing my consultancy project. This wonderful opportunity not only supports me financially but also helps me understand the operation of the restaurant and its customers so I can design an appropriate digital marketing strategy.
Facing challenges
We will never know what will happen unless we try our best. Challenges sometimes are the hidden opportunities that God would like to give us. I have never regretted choosing to do the Msc in Digital Marketing at LIT. Studying in Ireland is one of the most beautiful pieces in my life.