From South to North through the lens of Annagul

Meet Annagul, an undergraduate student at Heriot-Watt University from Turkmenistan, studying MA (Hons) International Business Management with Marketing. Anna, who will be graduating in June, has a passion for photography and her skills gained our attention when she won the School of Social Science’s monthly Instagram competition #ScenesofSoSS. The competition encourages students, staff and alumni to share their favourite experiences of Heriot-Watt University and it gives us the chance to celebrate the talent that exists amongst the University community. At the end of the year, the winner from each month of the competition will feature in our official calendar.

We spoke with Anna for this #LoveWattYouDo blog and she explained how both her bachelor degree and hobby are helping to prepare her for the career she wants. Using her Business Management and venturing skills, she has already set up photography walking tours around Edinburgh, and is now in the process of launching an exhibition to display her grandfather’s sculptors to the public of Edinburgh.

We also took the opportunity to ask some questions about her studies, her life as a Heriot-Watt University student and her passion in the arts sector, read on to find out more.

I will never get tired of repeating that Edinburgh is such a fantastic city which inspires me a lot.

What drove your decision to study a degree in Business Management with Marketing? Did you have a specific career in mind?

To be honest, when I finished my foundation course I had no idea what I wanted to do, and everything was so different and new for me. I remember the time when all my friends were buzzing about marketing degree at the Heriot-Watt, saying that it will open many doors for our career, as it is an integral and in-demand job for many big companies. And that’s actually true and I believe that all the skills that I learned while studying marketing can help me in any business-related career since I comprehend the importance of marketing communications and customer relations in the business world today.

What was it about Heriot-Watt that made you want to study here?

Heriot-Watt has high reputation level and has been ranked in the top thirty of UK Universities. This is one of the biggest advantages that attracted me and my parents and made me want to study here. Furthermore, it is located in such a historical and cultural city: The best place to study, live and explore.

Can you tell us about a course that you’ve particularly enjoyed?

It is quite hard to answer this question, as I really enjoyed all of my courses. In particular, I liked doing Business Venturing course in the second year. That was a time when I met my Uni friends, as we were doing a group project which helped us to develop an understanding of the entrepreneurial process and demonstrate the ability to work effectively as part of a team. It was very interesting, and we had so much fun working together.

Can you tell us what got you interested in photography? Why is Edinburgh a great city to take snaps of? What made you get involved in #ScenesofSoSS?

I love everything related to art and photography! This passion comes from my family members, as they are all creative people (For example, my granddad is a very famous artist and sculptor in Central Asia and my grandmother is a senior lecturer of art). Edinburgh is such an amazing, beautiful city and so photogenic. Every corner, every street, every building here is a real treat to photograph. In the last semester, when I was attending the Digital Marketing lectures, the lecturer told us about #ScenesofSoSS competition and I really wanted to get involved in, as it is my obsession to take pictures, edit them and then show to my people how I see the world. It is like a story of my life but in pictures presenting my emotions and feelings towards Edinburgh.

Beyond your studies, how would you describe your experience of being a student in Edinburgh and at Heriot-Watt? What kind of things have you been able to get involved with, both at the uni and in the city?

I will never get tired of repeating that Edinburgh is such a fantastic city which inspires me a lot. Honestly, I instantly fell in love with this city when I first saw it. As an international student when I arrived here 4.5 years ago I never thought that I will be able to succeed both as a good student and an amateur photographer. However, today I am so proud of myself to be a graduate of the Heriot-Watt University so soon. Also, my small victory as a photographer realised when my photo was used as the main image on Jenner’s (House of Fraser) website page and now one of my photo’s will be featured in SoSS 2019 printed calendar too. What an exciting news!

PC Annuagul’s Instagram: @from_south_to_north

What is your ambition for after you graduate? Do you think your degree will help you achieve it?

Right now, I am in the process of finding an interesting job related to business and marketing in order to fully reveal my abilities and develop new skills. I really want to devote myself to work and art as it is the best way for self-fulfilment. I also plan to expand my photography blog on Instagram and create more photoshoots this summer. So, if anyone would like to engage and become a model for my photo sessions, please feel free to DM me on Instagram (@from_south_to_north).
I definitely agree that my degree will help me both in finding a dream job or creating own business related to art and photography. Additionally, I always use my Digital Marketing skills in order to improve my social media accounts, whether I engage with my people or post a lot of Edinburgh pictures.

You can see more of her artistic photos and book yourself in for a unique photography tour around the city of Edinburgh by checking out her Instagram profile – @from_south_to_north.

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