Azhar Salikhova

Azhar Salikhova

"I researched a lot of universities before deciding that Leeds University Business School was where I wanted to be. I saw that it had a broad range of subjects and the flexibility to choose dissertational or non-dissertational routes. I chose the Master of Science in Banking and Finance because there were similarities to my bachelor degree but with a more extensive range of modules which looked very interesting. Even though I already had a degree, almost everything that I studied was new to me.

Before I went to the Business School, I worked for two years in a local Kazakh bank, who offered me academic leave to go to the University and graduate with a Masters degree. When I returned to my job, I was given a higher position and an increased salary which was very rewarding. I now work in the International Department at Joint-Stock Company Bank Center Credit as a Senior Specialist of Correspondent Relations and Export Finance Division. I am a relationship manager, working with foreign banks to source financing for corporate clients through bilateral and syndicated loans.

In the future I would like to lead a team project within the organisation and ultimately my dream is to become the company’s Chief Financial Officer.

While at the Business School, I enjoyed the whole environment, and it was fun and challenging to study with students from different countries, cultures and levels of knowledge. The environment of the Business School is very professional and comfortable and it is helpful that all of the lectures, seminars and information are in one place. The staff are very hospitable and the facilities are great – everything a student needs.

I was very optimistic and ambitious when I arrived and from the start I involved myself in all career-related events. I was inspired by all the information and knowledge I received while studying. My degree has made me feel far more confident and because of it I find it a lot easier to understand things at work quickly. Having a degree from a British university is very valuable as there are so few specialists in my country, and I also feel that my general experience of being a student at the Business School will help me in my career and my life. The International Student Office did a great job of organising various student trips to interesting parts of the UK. I visited Newcastle, Scarborough and Whitby as well as acting as a student representative. Being a representative, I was able to visit lots of different places in Leeds, including nightclubs, restaurants, cafes, museums, squares and parks amongst other places.

It was at the Business School that I met my partner, made many friends and gained the self-confidence to excel in my abilities and skills. I am so grateful for my time at the School; it was a truly unforgettable experience."