Photos: Social Science Diploma From RSU Enables Further Studies in a Variety of Fields
Liene Vaivode is an active and cheerful graduate of the Rīga Stradiņš University (RSU) International Marketing and Advertising Bachelor’s study programme. 'I wanted to study in an interdisciplinary programme – I was looking for diversity, so there is both economics and mathematics, and a creative side,' Liene explains regarding her choice of study direction. 'This programme gave the ability to analyse, look at each phenomenon and process from a broader perspective, think for myself and go into detail.'
'The studies only seemed very complicated at the beginning, after which I acquired the skills to gather and analyse large amounts of information in a short period of time and the ability to write it down in a concise and clear way. By the way, this is considered by both employers and lecturers to be a skill characteristic of RSU students.'
During her studies, Liene was actively involved in the Student Union. 'It happened by accident,' Liene laughs. 'I came with a friend who really wanted to work in the union , and I got involved myself. Those were dynamic and exciting two and a half years. I was the student senator and head of foreign affairs and was involved in cooperation projects with other universities. We went on exchange trips to other countries and traveled to Belgium in 2018. I consider my involvement in the union to be very serious work, given how much resources it required. But it was also good practice, because it took a lot of learning and development to be properly involved. I appreciate the contacts I got – I met many prospective doctors, pharmacists, dentists, journalists, lawyers. I know that even after several years, I will have someone to turn to regarding different matters.'
After working in the RSU Student Union for a year, Liene became involved in the work of the Student Union of Latvia: 'It was a completely different world, because we worked with national-level issues: we developed policies, improved drafted laws, and met with ministers and members of the Saeima. It was exciting and challenging!'
In the next academic year, Liene will continue her studies in an master’s programme at RSU: 'I chose Health Management, because while studying and working with the Student Union, I realised that I am interested in the Latvian health care system. The diploma in marketing and advertising that I got does not stop me from continuing to acquire new knowledge in a variety of fields.'
What advice would Liene give to prospective students who are still looking for their study programme? 'I recommend getting as much information as possible about the study programme you plan to apply for and, if there are any questions or uncertainties, do not be afraid approach the head of the study programme, ask a graduate and, of course, come to the Open Day!'
Liene speaks about the brightest moments of her studies and leisure, working at the RSU Student Union and the Student Union of Latvia, using photos from her study years.
Liene with her Bachelor’s diploma on 30 June 2020 in the yard of the RSU central building. The graduation process was affected by the gathering restrictions imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 'I was glad that the graduation took place outdoors. The weather was wonderful and there was a festive atmosphere.'
Together with Kristīne Blumfelde-Rutka, the head of the International Marketing and Advertising study programme, at the 2020 graduation. Liene says: 'Kristīne is a very competent and knowledgeable lecturer who conducted study courses on international branding and marketing and was a great support for all students. She had enough patience, time and energy to take care of students, look for different opportunities to learn and experience something more, such as different placement opportunities.'
Student Union Council elections in Autumn 2018. Pictured: Liene gives a mandate to the new member of the Student Union Council.
Liene at the annual RSU freshmen seminar ZGI in 2019, telling freshmen what they need to know when starting their studies at RSU. 'I spoke on a variety of topics – I explained that the university has a rector, not a director, and spoke about how not to get lost on university premises and how to write e-mails,' she remembers.
February 2019, when Liene (left) won the annual Growth of the Year Award of the Student Union of Latvia. It is awarded for active work and rapid professional growth, while working at the RSU Student Union. 'It was a crazy year,' Liene remembers with a smile. 'I am glad that I managed to do a lot and that my work was appreciated.' This year, other current and former RSU representatives also won the Student Union of Latvia award in various categories (on the right): Kārlis Rācenis (Contribution to the Enhancement of Social Life – reduction of the number of duty hours for medical residents), Arkādijs Zvaigzne (Studentu lieta – taisna un cieta!– round table discussions on the improvement of the higher education funding system), Sandra Cipkina (Student of the Year and Project of the Year - RSU International Student Conference 2018), Ieva Bāgante (Young Researcher of the Year), Linda Skulme (Union of the Year – RSU Student Union), Mārtiņš Danefelds (Councillor of the Year), Ksenija Tarasova (Activist of the Year). The photo also shows other RSU representatives (Liene – 3rd from the right in the 2nd row).
At the 2019 RSU Academic Ball Liene (1st from the right in the 1st row) together with current and former student senators and the newly elected RSU Senate Chairman prof. Jānis Gardovskis.
The Future Studies Forum organised by the Student Union of Latvia in 2019 – an annual event that brings together players in the higher education sector (students, academic staff, university representatives) to talk about future perspectives. The theme for 2019 was Academic Society of Tomorrow. Pictured: Liene’s introductory presentation for the Teaching and Learning panel discussion. RSU shared its example of good practice in this forum – the activities of the Centre for Educational Growth.
In 2019, on a practical tour at the B Studio agency together with fellow students. 'We were divided into groups to create a photo shoot for the products. My group was assigned "Rūdolfa biezeņi" baby food that is produced in Latvia. We had to research and analyse the brand in advance, then create the setting take photos. Our work was then analysed and we received valuable suggestions and tips on how to create a professional photo shoot for a product.'
In 2019, as part of their studies, students visited Madara Cosmetics. 'We learned about eco-marketing and eco-friendly packaging, including an interesting thing like greenwashing – a way to fictitiously present a product as eco-friendly.'
Liene’s active lifestyle is unimaginable without travel. Pictured: Liene in 2019 on a trip to Zakopane in Poland.