MSc Economics & FinanceEmem Akpan

Emem, from Nigeria, is studying our MSc Economics & Finance. After spending time working in industry, Emem decided to pursue a career in economics and embarked upon a degree at Strathclyde. Here, she tells us about her experience...


What were you doing before the MSc?

Before enrolling at the University of Strathclyde, I attended Lagos State University in Nigeria, where I received my undergraduate degree in economics. When I was just starting in the working world, I had a job as an Executive Assistant in an engineering company. In that role I was in charge of managing the office of the most senior executive at the company. After working in the corporate world for three years, I decided to make the switch to the education industry. I worked there for about six years, during which time I taught, supervised staff, and managed an administrative department.

Hand drawing a graph

What made you take the programme? And why did you choose Strathclyde?

Despite the significant amount of time that had passed since I last attended school, I was determined to embark on the career path of my dreams because I wanted to make a meaningful contribution to my community and elevate my status as a woman in society. I decided to pursue economics in earnest after seeing that brain drain and youth unemployment were big concerns in my nation. I soon discovered that this multidisciplinary course offered good preparation for a future in public service and that it was the right choice for me.

I ultimately decided to enrol at Strathclyde because of its outstanding research and opportunities for experiential learning, which allow students to apply what they learn in the classroom to real-world scenarios. Not only did I read overwhelmingly positive reviews left by both current and former students, but I also discovered that it holds accreditation from AMBA, EQUIS, and AACSB, making it one of the most prestigious institutions of its kind in the United Kingdom. My lifetime desire of going to school in another country would not have been attainable if it weren't for the scholarship offered by the University. My confidence level has increased significantly as a result of the opportunities I've had to represent my department and serve as a student ambassador.

What has been your experience of the classes?

Learning through hands-on experience alongside world-renowned experts in the classroom. The instructors at Strathclyde will provide you with skills that are appreciated by businesses all around the world so that you may compete successfully in the international employment market. You will learn everything you need to know to evaluate management performance, report on accounting and finance-related financial concerns, create effective presentations, and analyse economic policies. The sessions are self-paced, and you may learn at your own pace.

The Professional Development for Economists class, taught by Professor Mairi Spowage, will familiarise you with real-world economic phenomena and provide you with the opportunity to hone the kinds of abilities that are essential in today's competitive workplace. The class would be very beneficial to anyone who is considering majoring in economics. Analysis of Economic Data, taught by Dr Lauren McInally, along with the programming language R, is another skill subject that has helped me in analyses skills. Other experts in the field, including my supervisor Dr Otto Lenhart, as well as Professor Julia Darby, have provided me with the academic support I needed to become a better listener. In addition, Dr Nikos Danias is the most incredible teacher I have ever had the pleasure of observing. He is an authority in the theory of microeconomics as well as the interpretation and analysis of accounting data. 

How does the course fit into your long-term goals for study or career in the future?

Both private businesses and public agencies are in desperate need of successful financial managers, economists, business analysts, investors, and crucial decision makers so that they can evaluate the benefits and drawbacks of various strategies for allocating scarce resources. My studies in economics and finance have equipped me with a wide variety of skills that are complementary to those that I already possessed thanks to the first degree I earned. I am certain that the high reputation the University of Strathclyde enjoys all over the world will be beneficial to the progression of my professional life. In addition to this, one of my goals is to earn a doctorate and then find work as a professor of economics and management at a university or another type of research organisation.

What is it like to be a student at Strathclyde and in the city of Glasgow?

I am delighted to be a part of such an excellent educational establishment, which also features such a warm and friendly community filled with helpful individuals. The Strathclyde campus is centrally located within Glasgow. Having recently arrived from the chaotic city of Lagos in Nigeria, the city appears tranquil and friendly in comparison. Driving to Edinburgh, which serves as the nation's capital, often takes between forty-five and sixty minutes. The availability of many modes of transportation such as buses and trains has contributed to a reduction in the amount of traffic congestion. You are free to leave the campus and take advantage of the pleasant weather Glasgow has to offer by going out to one of the many pubs, restaurants, shops, or clubs that surround it. The city itself is, on the whole, a quite secure place to be.

Students walking past exterior of Strathclyde Business School on Cathedral Street

What advice would you give to prospective students?

To begin, I want to express my gratitude to you for concluding that joining Strathclyde was the best option. If you are a new student, some honest advice I can give you is to get involved in the activities that the school offers; make an appointment with your lecturer if you are having trouble understanding what is being taught in class and talk to the administrator of the department whenever you are unsure of something. Second, put forth a lot of effort into your studies. Again, due to the high academic bar, you should put a lot of effort into your studies. Students who are not prepared to put in the required amount of work will not do well in their studies at Strathclyde. Investigate each of the resources that are available to you, such as those that can be discovered online, at the library of the university, at the sports facility, and at any other facilities that may be available. If at all possible, get involved in some sort of volunteer work. My current volunteer commitments include helping out at the University and Mary's Meals. In conclusion, due to the breadth of its curriculum, the MSc Economics & Finance is a terrific alternative for any student who is interested in furthering their education.