BSc Banking and Finance student Gus Wilkinson

Gus Wilkinson

Why did you choose Leeds University Business School?

I chose to study at Leeds University Business School for a host of reasons. Overall, I think that it was the opportunities on offer outside of the degree course that really attracted me to Leeds.

Being involved on campus was something that I really wanted to do whilst at university and the huge variety of opportunities at the Business School enabled me to fulfil that ambition.

As well as that, the career support and guidance offered really made me feel that the Business School really cares about your post-university experience and career goals.

What do you enjoy most about your studies?

I really appreciate that the course has enabled me to enhance specific skills required for a career in the financial sector. I have found my Financial Accounting, Corporate Finance and Credit and Financial Analysis modules particularly useful when applying for internship opportunities. 

I also really enjoy that I have been able to select modules in pursuit of other interests. In first year, I completed the Intermediate Mandarin Discovery Module, having studied Mandarin previously. I really liked being able to do this whilst at the same time completing a degree course which was completely different. 

In second year, I elected to study various Economics modules which I always wanted to do at university. Overall, I would say it is the customisation of my degree course that I like most.

Have you taken up any of the extra opportunities available to you? What was your experience of these?

In my first year, I was a member of both the LUBS Society and the Leeds University Trading and Investment Society, which were a lot of fun. 

Currently, I am a Student Ambassador and have represented the University at numerous Offer Holder Days. I have really enjoyed working with various parts of the University as well as with prospective students. It’s a great way to meet new people and learn new things about the University. 

I am also a Peer Assisted Study Scheme (PASS) Leader wherein I lead sessions with first year students on a variety of topics. I find it very rewarding to help my peers, and the PASS sessions enable me to do just that. 

Furthermore, the PASS scheme has enhanced some of my core competencies, such as presenting, communication and leadership skills, which are sought after by recruiters. I would definitely recommend applying to both opportunities to future students.

Do you have any noteworthy achievements from your study at the Business School that you can tell us about?

In December 2020, I won the PASS Leader of the Year Award. It was fantastic to be recognised for the work I had put into the sessions by my PASS group and the wider Business School. Having had excellent PASS leaders when I was in first year, I felt that it was important for me to deliver meaningful sessions to my group. 

Joined by a fellow PASS Leader, we have led sessions on Spring Week applications, CV and cover letter advice as well as general tips to succeed in first year.

How has your experience been with the facilities, the staff, your peers and the student union?

I have found the facilities at Leeds second-to-none. Not only is there more than enough space in lecture halls and the library, but also the Bloomberg Suite, a fully equipped financial trading room, has really enhanced my learning. My completion of the Bloomberg Market Concepts Course in my first year really aided my understanding of the course content and helped me achieve a First Class in my Foundations of Finance module.

My experience with the staff at the Business School has always been positive. I find that they are always willing to go the extra mile, no matter what the concern may be. I have had some lecturers who are willing to sacrifice their own time to ensure you understand the course content and do the very best that you can. Whether it is general university life or guidance on career ambitions, the staff are always happy to help.

I think there’s a relaxed atmosphere at Leeds yet there is still a focus on academic success. For me, it’s the perfect environment because I can have a lot of fun whilst also following my academic ambitions.

What do you think of Leeds and the surrounding region? Where is your favourite place to go in the area?

Leeds is a city that offers everything you could want whilst not being too massive. Being from London, it was very important for me to go to a university that had all the services that I would have back at home.

I really like the fact that there’s a huge range of options to choose from when going out.

Additionally, I really like the fact that Leeds has good transport links to all over the country, so I can travel home when I want. As an avid football fan, it is great to still be able to travel to games too. If I am not headed to a game, I love watching football at the University Union bar. Other than football, I enjoy running, so Hyde Park is a great place to try and beat my personal best.

What are your career aspirations? Do you think the experience and skills you will gain from your degree course will help you in your future career plans?

In the future I would like to work within the Investment Management industry. The experiences I’ve gained and the skills that I’ve developed will help me massively in achieving my career goal. 

Specifically, I think that the statistics modules and finance modules will allow me to flourish within this competitive industry. The commercial awareness that I have developed as a result of my degree course was a huge help when applying for summer internship roles. 

I was able to secure a 10-week summer internship within Asset Management and various parts of my course certainly aided me in the application process. My course has really bolstered my analytical and critical thinking skills whilst also increased my communication and teamwork skills.

Would you recommend the Business School to others who are considering studying here?

I would definitely recommend the Business School to others. Primarily, I think that it offers a productive environment where help is readily available and you are pushed to achieve your best. 

I think that if you want to go to a business school that really values you as an individual, as opposed to just another student, then Leeds University Business School is an excellent place to come. 

I’ve found that the opportunities outside of my degree course have enabled me to reach goals that I set myself when starting university. I think that the BSc Banking and Finance course really sets you up for a career within financial services, with all the necessary skills needed to flourish in the industry.