- Course: BSc Economics (Int)
- Nationality: Italian
How did you hear about Leeds University Business School and why did you choose to study here?
The Leeds University Business School is a great institution that manages to differentiate itself from the other business schools in the North of England. Firstly, it gathers staff and students from all over the world, creating a thriving international community where you can experience a multitude of cultures and meet people of virtually every nationality. Being an EU student this was a great incentive to come here. Secondly, it is located in a vibrant city for both business and social life. West Yorkshire represents indeed a flourishing economic region in the UK, especially thanks to its high degree of entrepreneurship. At the same time, Leeds is a city where you can never get bored, thanks to the variety of events it offers every day. From live music to gourmet food, Leeds has it all.
What is the best part of your studies? What are you enjoying the most?
The best part of my studies is definitely the freedom to choose the subject areas I want to focus on, as well as being able to develop a close relationship with the teaching staff. Indeed, there is often the possibility to be involved in extracurricular initiatives (research projects, evening guest lectures, lunchtime seminars) and get to know the professors, their area of research and deepen your interest for the subject.
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 what way?
My goals and career aspirations have constantly developed since my first year, when I did not know anything about the graduate world. Since then, I have eventually discovered I have an interest in corporate finance and, after doing a summer internship in the KPMG’s financial advisory team, I would like to develop a career in the area.
The course has definitely helped me to develop the skills and abilities necessary to succeed in the future. The ability of working independently and organising my own tasks successfully, as well as the analytical skills developed through the various research and more mathematical modules, have probably been the most useful ones.
Have you taken up any of the extra opportunities available to you and what was your experience of these eg. PASS scheme, work placement, study abroad, being an ambassador, student societies etc.? Any highlights?
Nurturing Talent Mentor Scheme
From my second year, I have been part of the Nurturing Talent Mentor Scheme. Through this programme, I received a mentor from my chosen career area of interest. I was then paired with a manager from KPMG, who illustrated his work, introduced me to some of his colleagues and even set up an exclusive networking event in his office with other KPMG employees’ mentees. My mentor also supported me to apply to a summer insight week within the firm, a week spent meeting and shadowing KPMG consultants, which led me to be selected for the summer internship I completed in July 2018.
In 2018, I spent the entire academic year at the University of Mannheim, one of Germany’s best business schools. This was a great opportunity to discover another subject area, taking mainly Accounting and Finance modules, while being able to explore by taking advantage of Mannheim’s position in the heart of Europe. Here, I also greatly improved my German, which I began studying in my first year as a discovery module. Before starting my studies in Mannheim, I was also awarded a scholarship to complete a summer course at the University of Bayreuth, in northern Bavaria, where I followed a month-long intensive course of German.
In my second year I decided to become a student ambassador to give back that great experience I had while visiting the university the year before I joined. This was also an outstanding opportunity to improve my ability to communicate with people (something always really appreciated in interviews) and to get to know the prospective students in my course.
At the end of my second year, I completed a summer insight programme at KPMG. I spent five days networking with consultants and shadowing them. At the end I had the chance to be interviewed to secure a place in the summer vacation and I was successful in securing the placement. This summer I was then able to work there as an intern and put into practice the skills I developed whilst at university, working in the financial advisory practice in the financial modelling team. Here, I worked on a real-life project, helping a large telecom organisation develop a financial model to calculate their revenues.
Ice Hockey Society, Consulting Society, Trading and Investment Society and LUBS Society
One of the best features of studying in Leeds is the number of societies available. I personally took part in sports and career-related societies and have also been involved in a few committees (especially in the consulting society, where I am the president). Here, I met many of my now best friends, with whom I live or at least I am still in contact with. I would recommend to always be part of student societies and clubs, as it is a great opportunity to get involved in the University life.
What is your impression/experience of the facilities, the staff, your peers, the student union, the City of Leeds and the Yorkshire region?
Leeds is a great place for studying. There is a really good community feeling on campus, even though it is located in the centre of such a large city. Everyone is always ready to help and point you to the right direction. I was also particularly impressed by the nature surrounding Leeds, as the city is in the middle of three of the most beautiful parks in England, which makes going for a hike, or simply a walk, a great experience.
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?
Coming to the UK from Italy required a bit of adjustment, but the University offers a lot of support for getting settled in, including many activities where I got to know my course mates, as well as activities and events (e.g. Global Café, Get Out Get Active) where I met many other international students who later became some of my best friends. Especially the strong international profile of the Business School ensured that I could meet many other students also new to the UK, with whom I then managed my transition in this fantastic culture. If you are coming to study in Leeds, I would definitely recommend you take advantage of all the opportunities given by the University and by the student clubs to socialise and meet people.