- Course: MSc Economics and Finance
- Year of graduation: 2015
- Nationality: Malawian
- Job title: Economist
- Company: Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, Malawi
Tell us about your degree - why did you choose it? What elements of the degree inspired you to study it?
It was after I finished my undergraduate degree and joined the Ministry of Finance when my interest in combination of economics and finance irrevocably grew. With working on macroeconomic issues and financial sector issues, it was impossible for me not to choose the course out of the several courses I came across. And I know and will always know that I made the best choice. I was so inspired by the course mix, such that everyday I could relate the lectures and seminars to my country realities on financial sector and macroeconomic variables.
What was the best part of your studies here?
I always smile when I remember the time well spent at LUBS. One of those moments whose flashes gladden my heart is constant interaction with various cultures through group discussions or one on one conversation. With such an environment, I couldn't help smiling always and that made my life easy. Even though the dissertation was be difficult at times, because of this environment and my supportive supervisor, I really enjoyed it. It was a peak of my studies.
What were your career aspirations when you arrived? Do you think the experience and skills you gained here will help/helped you in your future career plans?
Well, when I started, I had already been working in the Ministry of Finance. However, I had always and still see myself a financial analyst someday. I know that working on financial sector policy is a step towards this aspiration. The knowledge, skills and experiences that I acquired through the Msc Economics and Finance programme, built and charged me up for not only my current job but also my aspirations for the future.
How has your career progressed since leaving the Business School?Have there been any notable highlights?
I have noted that am more confident than before and really am much more trusted by my Ministry. Recently I led a team of fellow financial sector experts in formulating a Long Term Finance Policy for my country which I am yet to facilitate submission to a Committee of our Cabinet Ministers for approval.
Where are you currently working, and what is your role?
I am currently working with Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development as an Economist; coordinating the formulation of policies and legislation for the financial sector, conducting macroeconomic and financial sector analysis and research, monitoring development of the financial sector and advising Government on financial sector reforms.
What are your ambitions for the future?
I am looking forward to continuing on in academia through studying towards a PhD. This will be another step towards doing more on financial analysis and research. While am already contributing something towards the development of Malawi, I believe that by pursuing this ambition, I will make remarkable contributions to humanity. I also want to be one of the leading financial sector investors by taking advantage of the opportunities I already have and more importantly the knowledge I have acquired.
Do you think your experience and skills gained here will help you in your future career plans?
Definitely!! The experience and skills I have gained at the Business School are the major inputs into my career plan. My aspired career path needs confidence, high level analytical skills, critical thinking and a balanced mix of economics, business and finance and I am glad that these are the things I have acquired.
If you are not from the UK, how was the transition to a foreign country? Did the university offer support or services that you found helpful? Can you offer any advice?
Unlike most countries where I have been to, settling down in the UK was so easy. I attribute much of it to the International Students Office that makes all relevant information available to new incoming students. In additional to that, the School has a Postgraduate Manager who is readily available. I always appreciated his timely and wise assistance in preparation for my coming to the UK. To prospective students, my message is that Leeds Uni is the least place to worry about in terms of transitioning and settling down because sufficient help is readily available.
What was your impression/experience of the facilities, the staff, your peers, the student union, the City of Leeds and the region itself?
So fabulous. I noted a perfect synchronization among various groups and institutions. I really found everybody; the staff members, my peers and the union so helpful. I liked so much, how much more willing staff members were to provide assistance. The City of Leeds being just a walking distance simplified my life in terms of shopping and fascinating places to visit after classes. It is just impossible for students not to enjoy the rich culture that Leeds offers, its geographical position and its excellent facilities.
What would you say is your defining memory of studying here?
There is so much to remember about the University of Leeds. I met great and wonderful friends, most which I am and will continue to be in touch with. We created a page through which we are still communicating with one another. Memories of the conferences we had with external researchers and financial sector experts and the parties we had with classmates and other peers are still fresh in my mind. I remember the dinner that was organised by the Business School in honour of us after we had finished our first semester exams. It was so refreshing and it was a wonderful interactive session with lecturers and fellow students.
I believe in the choices I make and Leeds University Business School was one of those choices. I always tell people about and recommend the Business School.