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My life during Covid-19

Time flies so fast and it’s true! I am getting close to my final year in university life. When I talk about this year, I can say it wasn’t the best but also not exceptionally bad. At the end of the march Covid-19 pandemic began, so all the universities and educational institutions closed in Sri Lanka but our studies continued online. Conducting online classes gave us a great support for our lessons.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, we had to limit our work in order to maintain social distancing. All the events, activities and works were postponed. It was pretty hard to stay at home without friends and university studies.

However, now Covid-19 has been controlled in Sri Lanka. After ensuring the safety in universities for studies we held our exams and now everything is continuing as usual.

During those pandemic days, I followed some online courses via the internet to improve my knowledge since I had enough time after my normal university courses. I’ve spent most of my time at home. It was a great opportunity for me to spend good quality time with my parents and relatives after so many years.

These days I am preparing for my next academic exam that will be held in November. If there will not be any Covid-19 issues interfering, the exams will continue as usual. I really hope everything will be ok! I am getting close to the end of my university life, so I hope to collect as many memories from the time I have left as a student through being involved in as many activities as possible.

As I mentioned at the beginning, this year wasn’t the best but some good stuff always occurs. So, let’s see what happens in next few months and hope everything will be okay!

Ayesh is following a B.Sc. Marketing Management (special) degree program at the Department of Marketing Management Faculty of Management Studies and Commerce, University of Sri Jayewardenepura. His scholarship was granted through a partnership with the global research consultancy Sapio Research.

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Life is a river

That’s me! first from the right

This is the first blog-post from Chamari Jeewanthi Hapuarachchcige, who is following the B.Sc. Marketing Management degree program at the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka.

Life is a river. Why I’m saying that? Like the river passing through rocks, we also have to face lots of challenges in our lives. In my life, I have faced lots of challenges and probably I will have to face them in the future too. Because our lives are like a river traversing a valley and within this life journey we have to face problems it’s good to say, ESOMAR Foundation helped me face my life challenges well.

With this scholarship and with hard work, I could be able to get high academic results for my last semester with 4 A passes, one B plus pass and one C plus. End of the 3rd year my GPA was 3.25 which was a decline of my academic results compared with the previous year fact which happened due to the first semester results.

Now I am in my final student year at University of Sri Jayawardenepura following my academic studies with the support of my lecture panels and colleagues. I am preparing for the final year first semester examination which will begin in March and aiming to get high grades at all the exams.

Apart from the academic activities, I have actively participated in Vibes of Marketing -2020, event conducted by the Department of Marketing Management. I was a sub coordinator of the finance team where I coordinated 3 fundraising events: Back cover selling at university premise, Raffle draw, and Official vibes T-shirts. During my involvement in these events as coordinator, I had to face lots of challenges but finally we were able to deliver the event successfully. By taking part in these kind of events I am able to gain valuable experience which can eventually help me achieve my life goals.

Finally, I would like to thank again ESOMAR Foundation for offering me a this scholarship and offer great support on my academic activities as well as non-academic activities. Just like the river traversing a valley, I’ll achieve my life goals thanks to this support and my hard work.

Chamari Jeewanthi is following a B.Sc. Marketing Management (special) degree program at the Department of Marketing Management Faculty of Management Studies and Commerce, University of Sri Jayewardenepura. Chamari is the recipient of a scholarship funded through a partnership with global non-profit Women in Research (WIRe) and Unilever.

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Sri Lankan Vibes

That's me! Ayesh Maduranga Jayawardana
That’s me! Ayesh Maduranga Jayawardana

“Time is flying”, earlier I thought that it’s just another word but now I can realize it’s actually true. I am now in the first semester of my third year of university. Last year I achieved some of the goals I have planned. In the first university year, my GPA value was 2.77 but with some hard works and dedication, I was able to achieve a 3.43 GPA at the end of the second year.

At the end of the second year and beginning of the third, I had the opportunity to participate in several events organized by my department. INCEPTION, VIBES are some of them. VIBES is the biggest outdoor concert organized by a university in Sri Lanka.

These days I am trying to improve my communication skills. Striving to achieve this, because it’s very important for my future career. Together with my colleagues, I am planning our annual department trip, it is going to be a very interesting one. Last year it gave us lots of memories and we hope this one will be even more interesting because we know each other better than the previous year.

The third-year first-semester examination will begin in March so I have to prepare for it as well. These days I am giving more attention for studies because there are six subjects this semester for examination and I have to work hard for passing all of them. I would like to especially thank ESOMAR Foundation for offering me this Scholarship so I can freely focus on my studies.

me with some of my colleagues
me with some of my colleagues
VIBES - the biggest outdoor concert organized by a university in Sri Lanka
VIBES – the biggest outdoor concert organized by a university in Sri Lanka

I am in the middle of my university studies. In these two years left, I hope to develop my academic results and I also hope to participate in and coordinate as many events as I can. They help me become a practical marketer and I can learn so many things from these events. Our panel of lecturers gives immense support for doing all this. I would like to thank the ESOMAR Foundation and Sapio Research for the support offered to my education. It is a great help for my future and I can heavily focus on my main goals thanks to ESOMAR.

Ayesh is following a B.Sc. Marketing Management (special) degree program at the Department of Marketing Management Faculty of Management Studies and Commerce, University of Sri Jayewardenepura. His scholarship was granted through a partnership with the global research consultancy Sapio Research.

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We are always on the lookout for partners and sponsors. If you are an individual or an organisation looking to understand more about how you can support us, please find more information here or contact:  info@esomarfoundation.org

Celebrating the success achieved

There are not enough words to thank all the support received in these two and a half years from my family, friends and especially the ESOMAR Foundation and WIRe who generously gave me the support to study.

The last months were quite busy with activities, exams, hard work and the presentation of our final project which consisted of analyzing and delivering a marketing plan to a company that was dedicated to the production of cakes. The objective was to identify business opportunities and make improvements and recommendations to the business plan to increase profitability and brand awareness.

So we had to get involved from market research, creation of a new logo and a financial analysis that would allow the company to have a better offer than the competitors.  We also had to focus on the digital and social networking strategy which is a global trend.

My team and I the day of the final exam. The cake represented the learning through books and the cupcakes represented the importance of brand communication through social networks.

Time is going so fast that in the blink of an eye we were standing celebrating graduation day.

My friends and I during my graduation day in the gardens of the university.

All these months taught me that persistence and discipline are important factors for success. We don’t always have the encouragement and time that studies demand and it is so easy to give up on a goal because of fear or lack of trust, but that is where we must remember that not everyone has the same opportunities as us and that knowledge is the power we need to change things.

We must always surround ourselves with our family and positive people who encourage us to be better.

My mother and sister to whom I dedicate this triumph

The graduation day was one of the best days of my life because I not only managed to finish my studies but I was also awarded for academic excellence, something that I waited for a long time, and that I hope will inspire more students to achieve their goals.

Once again, I am very grateful to the foundation that believed in me and gave me the privilege of representing Guatemala.

How you can support in your country

If you are a market researcher, a national market research association, an NGO involved in research or a university interested in a scholarship in your country please contact us at info@esomarfoundation.org

Partners & Sponsors

We are always on the lookout for partners and sponsors. If you are an organisation looking to understand more about how you can support us, please find more information here or contact:  info@esomarfoundation.org 

My Year’s Trifactor!

Blog post from Innocent Rwamba Nyaga who is following the MS in market research at the University of Nairobi, Kenya. Innocent is the recipient of the ESOMAR Foundation / MSRA Scholarship sponsored by WIRe and Unilever.

As I’d mentioned in an article I’d written earlier this year, I was in the process of getting a definite thesis title. I finally settled on ‘The influence of social media on consumer buying behavior among MBA students at the University of Nairobi’. I chose this topic because I felt I was interacting with social media so often and I did not want a boring, exhausting project to handle. I am at the final stages of binding the project and getting ready for the December graduation. I am so elated I could scream (I have actually, a number of times)!! It has been a journey that’s worth sharing with my grandkids, God granting. I have learnt so much, most of which is patience and tunnel focus determination. Most days it was difficult to decide which was more important self, work or this project but I’m glad I pulled through.

On matters work, this year has been a tough one. From May 2018 the National Museums of Kenya (my employer) partnered with Google to digitize Kenya’s natural and cultural heritage housed in the institution. We digitized over 10,000 objects, created 16 virtual tours of our regional museums around the country, created over 100 digital stories based on the diverse cultures and beliefs of the Kenyan people and created 4 expeditions (Google expeditions) allowing visitors to virtually sample the various galleries highlighted using the Google virtual reality (VR) cardboard. All these and more you can find on https://artsandculture.google.com/project/kenyan-cultures and prepare to be blown away. This is an opportunity for all those that haven’t had a chance to visit my beautiful country, have a look-see!

 

The cherry on top is the unending favor, love, wisdom and joy attained from the Heavenly father! Prayers were (and still are) paramount for me to handle all the responsibilities placed on my lap. Many times, had it not been for this Spiritual dependence, I wouldn’t be here to pen the heights I’ve scaled. Even the way I received this scholarship was through His phenomenal, unexplainable ways that no one can comprehend but, that’s a story for another day. I am the first in my family to attain a master’s degree and I couldn’t be happier. I would like to say, Jesus is real, He’s alive and He has been my number one support system. That’s my year’s trifactor in a nutshell! On repeat all year round! What I feel now is immense relief and need some R&R in readiness for 2020!

Ciao! Innocent Nyaga

 

Back to School: My Senior Year has Finally Arrived!!!

My name is Esther Tot. I am 21 years old. I am a young Cambodian lady that received a scholarship awarded by the two amazing Data Research industries, ESOMAR Foundation and Women in Research Organization. These two organisations have helped me since my first day in university and now I am in my 4th year and they are always here supporting me throughout my education journey.

This is my follow-up story:

I can’t believe that I am in Year 4! the final year of university life. From my first to the third year I always wished I could graduate soon, but I’m finally in my year 4 and I can feel that it is going to be over soon, and I don’t want it to be over! I start feeling like I’m going to miss school, missing all my teachers, my friends, and school volunteer events and meeting new foreign friends, seminars, and especially all the fun exchange programs. Now I have just figured out that I never expected my uni-life to finish this soon. My aim is to apply to continue my master’s degree abroad wherever possible according to God’s plan.

I honestly have no idea what journey awaits me in this semester, but I am trying my best to prepare for it. Nonetheless, I have great news! I have passed all the subjects in the last semester of my 3rd year. I was so scared that I would fail Finance class but – thank God – I passed it all! I am so proud of myself that I continue to improve and survive this university life. They say, Life will move on even though you wanted it to or not, so I either move along through life or I get stuck in my pathetic pass. I quit my part-time teaching job as I needed more time to focus on my studies, especially on my Finance class. However, I am ready to step out of my comfort zone and try something new. I hope I could get one good career during my internship or when I will graduate. I always wanted to open up my own business, but I have no budget. I also want to work in the embassy and become an ambassador one day…

In conclusion, I would like to encourage all young ladies to be free to dream a big dream and work toward achieving it. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it. Remind yourself that you can! Because achievement can depend on your thought as your thought influence your action. Be brave, be confident, step out of your comfort zone and achieve your goal.

Lastly, I want especially to say thank you to ESOMAR Foundation and Women in Research! They are the amazing data & insight research industry organisations that are giving me the opportunity to change my whole life. This is the most amazing gift that I have ever received. It is a life-changing gift from heaven. These two organisations have helped change a lot of young citizens’ life and offer them a good education for a future career.

Partners & Sponsors

We are always on the lookout for partners and sponsors. If you are an individual or an organisation looking to understand more about how you can support us, please find more information here or contact:  info@esomarfoundation.org

           

New scholarships awarded in Sri Lanka

8 October 2019 – Amsterdam, NL – ESOMAR Foundation recently funded 2 new scholarships benefiting two deserving students entering into a market research-related field of study in Sri Lanka. Both students are enrolled at the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka.

Chamari Jeewanthi is the recipient of a scholarship funded through a partnership with global non-profit Women in Research (WIRe) and Unilever. Chamari is a third-year student of the B.Sc. Marketing Management degree offered by the Department of Marketing Management Faculty of Management Studies and Commerce, University of Sri Jayewardenepura.

Chamari J. Hapuarachchcig is the elder daughter in a family of five who experienced limited access to familial income support. Chamari’s aspiration is to be a market research analyst and she is keenly aware that, in order to reach her goal, she has to work hard on her education. This scholarship comes at the right moment for her, as she’s entered a period in her education where access to additional financial support will allow for career-making opportunities such as field research, internships, and other university activities.

Upon the announcement of her scholarship being funded, Chamari shared that, “First of all, I would like to say thanks for giving me this kind of opportunity… As a marketing management student, I have to spend a lot of money for my academic as well as non-academic activities… but my parents can’t afford it… I have to do my studies well because my target is to join the market research industry. To achieve this, I should have at least a Bachelor’s degree. That’s why I requested this scholarship, [it will help] me to become a contributing member of our society.

We are—more than ever—grateful to WIRe and Unilever for the continuous support of the ESOMAR Foundation scholarship programme” said ESOMAR Foundation President John Kearon.

The second recipient,  Ayesh Maduranga Jayawardana, is a young man coming from a family of four with a disadvantaged socio-economic background. Through the scholarship, Ayesh will have the opportunity to pursue his degree and a future career in market research.

Firstly, I would like to Thank ESOMAR Foundation for this Scholarship. Doing high education is not always easy. As a student, I had to face many challenges and the financial challenge was one of the biggest. With this Scholarship, I can get out of this problem and fully focus on my studies. It will help me obtain a degree with good grades and offer motivation for my goal, which is to become a good ethical marketer for society. I will help fellow students with their studies because I know the value of having support for my own studies.” said Ayesh.

Ayesh is following a B.Sc. Marketing Management (special) degree program at the same Department of Marketing Management Faculty of Management Studies and Commerce, entering his third year. His scholarship was granted through a partnership with the global research consultancy Sapio Research.

“We are proud to be able to give Chamari and Ayesh the opportunity to complete their studies and aspire to bright careers. Our best wishes to them in pursuing their studies!” concluded John Kearon.

How you can support

If you are a market researcher, a national market research association, an NGO involved in research or a university interested in a scholarship in your country please contact us at info@esomarfoundation.org

Partners & Sponsors

We are always on the lookout for partners and sponsors. If you are an organisation looking to understand more on how you can support us, please find more information here or contact:  info@esomarfoundation.org

My New English Teaching Internship

Blog-post from Esther Tot, who received the ESOMAR Foundation Scholarship to study at the English based Bachelor Degree program in International Business at the National University of Management (NUM) in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

It has been quite a while since I wrote my blog, due to a lot of circumstances that are going on in my life right now. What I’ve learned from life is that “The older you get, the more you know and learn and even life get tougher each time you get older”. During my vacation break I’ve spent my time on a part-time internship as a part-time English teacher in the evening from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm at the American Bridge International School (ABI). I have been teaching students aged between 13 to 20 years old, and I can say this is a new and different experience.

I like to push myself far and step out of my comfort zone and try something new and different which I never have done before. As people know me, I am a kind of an introvert person and so stepping into a teaching type of person is a whole new level of experience. I have learned to be more extrovert as teaching has required me to talk to people I have not known before, such as my students and my colleagues.  I have to be quite creative to teach to teenagers, cause I was once a teenager and I understand that we don’t like boring stuff, so I have to make learning fun. This is what I always wished it to be for me as well. School always makes students feel bored, scared, nervous and lazy, and I always wished school was more about making learning fun, boosting students’ enthusiasm and make them want to come to school to learn and study and be able to enjoy it as well. And this is my chance to try and make my students want to enjoy learning English.

However, besides my teaching internship, I try to spend most of my time focusing on my study. In this junior year, there are a lot of assignments, projects, presentations. It keeps on increasing, and there’s nothing to complain cause that’s how life is. By completing all those assignments and projects it is like self-learning and self-discipline. I can learn a lot through those works. Especially, cooperation with many different kind and type of people and teamwork despite the different perspectives and opinions and overview. We somehow still manage to cooperate together to achieve our goal, which will also apply later when we will graduate and go out to work in a company. Meanwhile, in each semester, we always have new teachers at least one or two per semester and sometimes all new five teachers. I enjoy meeting them and learn more through them because different persons and different mindsets are interesting. In this Year 3 and 2nd semester on Monday we have Financial Management class taught by Mr. Suy SokRaksmey, on Tuesday is Marketing Research class by Mr. Nikhil Mani, Wednesday is Business Law by Professor Robert Longo, Thursday taught by three different teachers: two foreigners and one Cambodian – Mr. Andrew – who teaches PowerPoint right now, Mr. David will teach Introduction to Technology, and Cambodian teacher will teach Excel, and lastly on Friday we have Cross-Cultural Management class by our Korean Professor, Mr. Chuck Chung.

In conclusion, I am looking forward to more adventures and journeys ahead of me for next year which is the very last year of my university. In my Year 4 class I would love to take on a new experience of internship in one of the embassies, companies, or organizations to fulfill one of our course. I am also feeling excited ahead for my graduation hopefully in 2021. I never forget where I come from and how I got here as it is all because of ESOMAR Foundation, National University of Management, and Women In Research Organization that have helped me achieve my educational dreams and give me a better knowledge and life, as well as become a better person. I will always be grateful for all the help, support and love that everyone has given me.

Partners & Sponsors

We are always on the lookout for partners and sponsors. If you are an individual or an organisation looking to understand more on how you can support us, please find more information here or contact:  info@esomarfoundation.org

           

Persevering until the end

This is the eighth blog-post from Paola Loy Villagran, the recipient of the ESOMAR Foundation scholarship in Guatemala sponsored by WIRe and Unilever.

My life in recent months has been quite busy. We are about to start the final phase of studies and I am pleased with the work I have done updating myself with topics about Digital Marketing, Finance, teamwork and others for business process improvement.

The Digital Marketing course was basically about the act of promoting and selling products and services online and through any electronic devices. It is a fact that our buying decisions are based on the reviews we read, the solutions feature and the prices that we find and compare between brands. That being the case, an online presence is necessary regardless of what you sell.

We can take many strategies but the most important ones to mention are SEM / SEO which help a brand appear in search results, social media, website intelligence, return on investment and E-mail Marketing among others.

Also, during these first months we had the opportunity to work with a foreign professor from Venezuela,  the class was totally interactive and very creative, since the theme of development was branding and creation of new products, even as part of the final project we had to make a video of ourselves as a personal branding exercise because at the end of the day each one of us plays a role in our work, in our family or in the student world, so whatever we do we must be excellent and committed so we have the best version of ourselves.

I can not stop mentioning my family during this process because they are the ones that encourage me to keep going until I finish my master´s degree. Especially my nephews with whom I had the opportunity of spending time in this Holy Week.

We had a very special moment admiring processions the last week.

My nephews and I, they are wearing traditional gowns in royal purple.

The color purple along with red, black, white and gold, has an important symbolic meaning as the color of royalty and suffering. They symbolize the suffering of Jesus Christ during the crucifixion.

For those, who have not read my words in previous posts, I am a huge fan of the traditions of my country, because although we have many problems politically and economically speaking I think the best attribute we have is our people, our faith and so many talented people who are trying to demonstrate the good things we have.

Proof of them I would like to talk about the incredible “masterpiece” carpet that students elaborated in Antigua Guatemala. Just looking at the colors, textures, and the meaning they sought to capture was impressive, with so many visual elements.

Most seen this week:

 

The carpet designs reflect traditions, biblical symbolism and scenes from nature.

 

How you can support in your country

If you are a market researcher, a national market research association, an NGO involved in research or a university interested in a scholarship in your country please contact us at info@esomarfoundation.org

Partners & Sponsors

We are always on the lookout for partners and sponsors. If you are an organisation looking to understand more on how you can support us, please find more information here or contact:  info@esomarfoundation.org 

 

 

READY, SET, GROW……..

Blog post from Innocent Rwamba Nyaga who is following the MS in market research at the University of Nairobi, Kenya. Innocent is the recipient of the ESOMAR Foundation / MSRA Scholarship sponsored by WIRe and Unilever.

To this day, I am amazed at how I landed (got awarded) this scholarship. Every time I try to explain the steps I took to interested parties, the unmerited favor that was poured out on me, words fail me. All I am is grateful and forever indebted to ESOMAR Foundation-WIRe. THANK YOU! You have UPGRADED my life to another notch, I might (if God so wishes) be a manager soon and all to a girl under 30 years (28 years to be exact). It is a great achievement but it has been work. I am so happy now for the panicky days, the unsure days, the joyous days, and the days I was so overwhelmed but I have now come out on top.

This year 2019, has been a busy year and it has started so well I cannot explain how excited and how expectant for the future I am. I am among some that might be receiving a promotion in a couple of weeks and I am so ready for the interview, I will ace it!! I should say that (if I haven’t mentioned before) my colleague and I (note we are only the two of us) are the pioneers of the marketing department in the National Museums of Kenya. There has never before been a marketing department so we have so much on our plates (very happy about this) to put systems in place that will inform the future bearers of this office on best practices. We are setting up anew and it’s exciting as it is a huge responsibility on our laps. It is true, to whom much is given, much is required!!

As for my studies, I finally decided on my thesis topic; how does social media influence consumer buying behavior? I am pleased to say that unlike many students ahead of me, I will be conducting a qualitative research study instead of a quantitative one. Sometimes I get in my head and put so much pressure on myself saying that such an undertaking isn’t an easy one, I wonder how I will make it happen with all the responsibilities I have to see through. But then I remember during my 1st year 2nd semester when I had 6 units, Monday to Saturday classes, a full time job and I made it happen. Then I’m encouraged that even this (school project), I shall see through to it and I will give it very my best! So, I’m not sure of much these days but I’m taking it one day at a time. My supervisor Prof Munyoki, has been my rock during times when systems in the University worked against me. He is a kind and humble man, I look forward to working with him to make my thesis a reality and a success!!

I would also like to state that my relationship with Jesus has been my strength, why I’m so happy, so expectant for the future. My faith in Jesus has been my armor, my hope, my joy. Simply put, MY EVERYTHING!!

I will keep you updated and hopefully someone out here will be encouraged to keep moving. That it might seem like you’re juggling a lot but a time will come when you look back and can’t imagine how you made it through the storm!!

Happy April everyone!!