Master’s students achieve their career dreams.

Posted on 4th April 2017

The employability of Master’s students studying at the University of Chester has been demonstrated through the successful recruitment of several candidates to key full-time roles in their chosen career paths.

Back row left to right: Zuzana Mihalikova and Alex McConnell. Front: Rebecca Small; Amna Karim and Angel Barry.
Back row left to right: Zuzana Mihalikova and Alex McConnell. Front: Rebecca Small; Amna Karim and Angel Barry.

Alex McConnell is currently half way through his work-based MA and has been recruited as Finance and Operations Manager by Chika Russell, Chief Executive Officer of Chika’s (, whose award-winning, London-based company was recently offered growth funding by all five of the BBC’s Dragon’s Den entrepreneurs. Alex, who graduated in 2016 with a degree in English Literature and Journalism, is currently completing his initial 20-week salaried placement with Urenco UK, secured by the University as part of his MA within the University’s nationally-renowned department of Work Based Integrated Studies (WBIS). 

The ink was possibly still drying on Rebecca Small’s dissertation on Re-Branding, as part of her Chester Business Master’s Degree at the University, when she was snapped up by leading global marketing company Armstrong ( Based in Chester, Co-Founder Daniel Owen was immediately impressed by Rebecca’s performance at interview and the synergy between her final MA assignment and the work which Armstrong undertake for their global clients. 

As part of her studies, she has been taught by Paul McKie, Senior Lecturer in Business and Management in the Centre for Work Related Studies. Rebecca graduated from Chester in 2015 with a BA (Hons) in Event Management and Marketing.

Daniel said: “Armstrong work with global industrial brands, handling their corporate branding, positioning and international marketing. Paul McKie has a great feeling for Armstrong and what we do, so for him to recommend one of his Master’s students, we were positive they would carry the attributes we would look for. 

“We first met Rebecca in early 2017 and we were instantly impressed with her presence, delivery and articulation of corporate rebranding and restructuring. Marketing is a driven by new trends and technologies, so it is paramount that we have a new line of marketers ready to take Armstrong to the next level. 

“Since joining Armstrong, Rebecca has strengthened the client services team, working for our Client Services Manager, we have been very impressed in her dedication and ability. She is a wonderful addition to the team and a credit to the University of Chester. We look forward to Rebecca growing even stronger and look forward to a greater working relationship with the University.”

Angel Barry, who graduated with a BA (Hons) in Business Studies, 2016, has joined the UK operations of the renowned Muller brand at its UK base in Telford. Her springboard into employment proved to be the one-year Business Masters Programme she chose to undertake at the University’s Business School. The Business School team helped secure her an interview for an Account Executive with Muller, which will also benefit from her in-house Master’s Degree projects. 

Commercial Director of Muller, Bill Mathieson, said: “We are developing a strong partnership with Chester in supplying us with high quality entry level graduates. The placement approach allows us to assess the graduates capability, attitude, desire to succeed and cultural fit with Muller values. This clearly works both ways in allowing the student to assess if Muller is a business where they might want to develop their career. We want to attract high quality talent who are inspired by Muller’s passion for developing people via our training academy and on-the-job coaching culture.   

“The partnership with the University of Chester means we can work with the programme team to identify potential candidates with both the intellectual and personal qualities that we are looking for at Muller.”

Zuzana Mihalikova is also progressing through her one-year Master’s within the Centre for Work Related Studies, which she started in October 2016. Zuzana, who graduated with a BA (Hons) in Events Management and Tourism (2016) recently succeeded over strong competition to land a full-time role within the Marketing team at Chester-based EA Technology.

Hazel Surguy-Price, Marketing Manager at EA Technology, said: Zuzana hit the ground running when she started at EA Technology in January. We have been impressed with Zuzana’s attitude and her ability to pick up new ways of working, all whilst also completing her Masters. We have no doubt that Zuzana will grow to be a successful marketer within the company.

Paul McKie, Deputy Programme Leader, said: “It is testament to the energy and academic achievement of these Master’s students that they’ve been able to secure not only salaried 20-week work placements, but also full time jobs, while undertaking this fee-neutral WBIS Programme. It is also helping local companies benefit from the University’s postgraduate students that otherwise may have moved outside the region to start their full-time careers.”