“Windows of opportunity open and close, it’s time to capture yours”

Bayes Business School’s student speaker on the determination and enthusiasm that saw him earn a job during Covid-19.

Bayes Business School (formerly Cass)'s Graduation student speaker has urged his fellow graduates to be brave and bold when heading into the world of work.

Michael Stanik, BSc (Hons) in Business Management, addressed Bayes graduates at the Barbican Centre about capturing the window of opportunity.

In his first year of study, Michael sent around 150 job applications without success and decided to take matters into his own hands. Between the first and second lockdowns, he approached businesses directly and was offered the chance to intern at ITI Capital, a Prime Brokerage in the City. This followed 47 rejections from similar businesses. Michael used his time at University to move up through the company before becoming the Head of Business Development by early 2021.

“I have a long-term plan, and this experience was a crucial first step. The bigger picture fuelled my determination; to be bold and so I went more direct,” said Michael, who learned skills including sales, account management and business development during the role.

“One of the reasons I chose to study at Bayes was because I knew I would have time to pursue opportunities outside of the classroom. The pandemic made conditions challenging but it gave me a chance to stand out as someone who was doing something that others weren’t.

“It was a steep learning process, I gained insight about laws and regulations behind various aspects like company structures, due diligence and hiring processes, where I was able to contribute to writing company processes focused on improving efficiency and was given the independence to work with high net worth and institutional clients.”

Michael Stanik in graduation robes

Michael said the possibility of marrying his learning at Bayes in the workplace was invaluable, picking up key skills before leaving the company to focus on his dissertation and future projects.

“I picked asset management as a module at Bayes, while in the brokerage we were launching an exchange-traded fund of our own. I got a practical grounding before I was able to propose the idea of a business development department in February 2021, which focused on company efficiency across sales, marketing, account management, compliance and operations departments.

“By March 2022 I had learned as much as I could and stepped away to focus on my dissertation, which focused on how customer fatigue affects subscription models.

"I wanted to take a strategic step back ahead of my next job, and want to impact the world at scale, which cannot be done without solid foundations – Bayes has served an important role in that.

“The leaders before us were never certain that their plans would work but they were prepared and so are we. They too, were never fully ready. There is no limit to your potential. Nothing is impossible”.

Dr Li Cunningham, Senior Lecturer in Management and Course Director of the Bayes BSc in Business Management cluster, said Michael’s success and ambition was symptomatic of the enterprising nature of Bayes students.

“Michael’s achievements show the power of tenacity and resilience to recover from setbacks, while demonstrating a hunger to take learning and development beyond the classroom,” she said.

“The BSc in Business Management programmes at Bayes give students a broad understanding into the mechanics of how organisations work, covering practical, vocational, creative and entrepreneurial disciplines – the very skills Michael demonstrated throughout his time here and the qualities that employers are actively seeking.”

Read more about the BSc in Management programme at Bayes Business School.

Find an undergraduate degree programme at Bayes Business School.

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