Programme: MSc Finance (2015)
Current role: Manager, Leveraged Finance, M&G Investments
After graduating from The University of Leeds with a bachelor’s degree in economics, I worked in the back-office department of an investment bank for a couple of years. I wanted to move into a more challenging, revenue-generating, front-office role. I thought that the best way to achieve this was to go back to university and study for an MSc to gain the required skills, having never studied any finance-related subjects during my undergraduate degree. In addition, as it’s incredibly difficult to move from a back-office role into a front office role, completing an MSc would reset my profile and allow me to apply for entry-level positions, such as internships.
I chose to study at the Business School (formerly Cass) as it is one of the most reputable schools in the UK. Its location was also a deciding factor, as it is in the City of London. Plus, the MSc in Finance is geared towards corporate finance, which is what I wanted to learn.
The teaching on the programme was very good with a practical focus, applicable towards real-life situations. Many of the lecturers had previous experience of working in banking and finance, so they were able to blend theory with their professional experience.
The cohort is very international. You meet a lot of new people from different backgrounds and cultures, which is very interesting, and I still keep in touch with some of them.
One of the highlights of the programme was being able to choose electives that enabled me to explore the areas I was interested in, such as the module on private equity and leveraged finance. That module in particular had a really big impact on my career. It was hugely enjoyable and opened my eyes to a completely new world that I didn’t know anything about previously.
Around that time, an internship came up in the leveraged finance department of Natixis, a French corporate and investment bank, which I applied for and was able to get using the knowledge that I had acquired from the module. It gave me a great start to my career in that I could begin straight after graduating.
My experience was hugely positive. I had a goal when I started the programme – I knew what I wanted to learn and what I wanted to achieve, and through the course I was able to achieve my goal.
The Business School broadened my knowledge and widened my view of the finance world. It exceeded my expectations and has enabled me to apply what I have learned directly to my job. I’ve been able to use those skills to gain work experience in sell-side institutions, such as Natixis and Lloyds. More recently, I have moved into the buy-side and work in the Leveraged Finance team at M&G Investments, one of the largest investors in leveraged loans in Europe. The MSc has had a huge impact on my professional life and is certainly one of the best things that I think I could have done.