- Course: BSc Economics
- Year of graduation: 2018
Tell us about your degree - why did you choose it? What elements of the degree inspired you to study it?
I took Economics at A-Level and immediately fell in love with it. I was always one of those people who was more interested in real world events and what's going on around me rather than things that I couldn't exactly visualise. After taking it at AS level, I knew that it was the right choice for me. The most interesting aspect of Economics to me was looking at things from a macro level and how real world events shaped the government and economy. Being able to apply this to commodity markets such as oil and looking at how people's spending patterns changed helped me to understand more about the world as a whole.
What was the best part of your studies here? What did you enjoy the most?
Without a doubt it was the social life. I mean yeah the teaching facilities were great and I was able to obtain support whenever I needed it. But the opportunities I had to meet so many people and travel abroad really shaped me and helped me to meet people from all over the world. At the end of my first year I was part of an exchange programme at The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Having this opportunity allowed me to experience different cultures and pushed me out of my comfort zone. On top of this, coming back to start my second year was a lot more enjoyable as I had met people from Leeds who had also travelled with me.
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? In what way?
I was very keen to break into Investment Banking, and even though I looked at numerous different career paths within finance, I stuck to my goal and was offered a grad job in my final year. I think that Leeds definitely helped me to reach my goal, via societies such as Trading and Investment (LUUTIS), Business Society (LUBS), and networks such as the Nurturing Talent Mentoring Scheme which I joined in my first year, connecting me with a mentor from PwC who helped me with application, assessment centres, and final interviews.
How has your career progressed since leaving the Business School? Have there been any notable highlights?
I joined the graduate scheme at MUFG a month after graduation. In that time, I have significantly developed my network and have had the opportunity to work on some high profile cases as well as meet people from around the world.
Where are you currently working, and what is your role?
Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG)
Corporate & Investment Banking Analyst
What are your ambitions for the future?
At the moment, I'm taking everything as it comes. Essentially I want to excel in my career and make the most out of every opportunity given to me. Who knows, ambitions change all the time, but ultimately I want to be in a position where I'm happy and have the freedom to work abroad.
Do you think your experience and skills gained here will help you in your future career plans? In what way?
Without a doubt! Being pushed out of my comfort zone ultimately taught me how to interact in any scenario, and I think that is essential in life. Having the contacts that I have now around the world has allowed me to broaden my network and has also made me more humble in wanting to give something back. All of this combined moulds a person to be the best version of themselves.
What was your impression/experience of the facilities, the staff, your peers, the student union, the City of Leeds and the region itself? What would you recommend to future students?
I came in to university through an initial scheme called Reach for Excellence, and then transitioned onto another scheme called Access to Leeds. The purpose of this was to take kids from a disadvantaged background such as myself and give them the opportunities that we may otherwise not have had. Because of this, I already had a good impression of the university, having visited it multiple times before. The staff were friendly and always on hand to help, and the SU was always hosting events and ensuring we had a good time. Leeds itself is amazing, and even though I'm working in London now, you can always catch me every 2 weeks or so in Leeds on a Saturday night (considering I'm quite local). For future students, the main bit of advice I can give is to make the most of every opportunity. Don't think 'oh everyone will want to do that so I won't even bother'. Grab every opportunity with both hands and don't look back. The world is your oyster, and being part of such a global network can only be a good thing. Work hard and play harder.
What would you say is your defining memory of studying here? (eg friendships made, confidence in your abilities, or any single event that you will always remember?) And would you recommend the Business School to others
There's so many memories that I can't pick an individual one! I made a brilliant group of friends and we've travelled a lot of the world together as well. I'd definitely say that I became much more confident as a person, and I think a lot of that was down to realising that everyone's in the same boat as you so by being more confident, you're already distinguishing yourself. In terms of a single event, it's tricky. I think for me it was probably one of the events we had in the refectory one evening. I was on my placement year but came back for that one event and literally spent the whole night being greeted by people I hadn't seen in a while. That's when it set in for me how much I loved Leeds. I would without a doubt recommend the Business School to others and encourage everyone to make the most of the opportunities offered.