Kagan, from Germany was the class representative on our MSc International Banking & Finance course. Here he tells us about his experience...
Choosing the right course
Prior to my MSc in International Banking & Finance, I worked in the financial services (in particular, financial advisory and internal audit department) of an internationally operating automobile company in Germany for one year.
My academic background in undergraduate studies is business administration at the University of Augsburg in Germany. During my undergraduate degree, I focused more on finance, especially in the banking sector. This is why I decided to do an internship at a multinational French bank (Credit Agricole, CreditPlus Bank AG, in Stuttgart). In addition to that, I studied abroad for one and a half years as a special visiting student at the Middle East Technical University in Turkey. During this time, I also worked part time for a start-up company, where I was responsible for the pricing of the products and helped in the financial advisory department.
This increased my interest in the international finance sector and I wanted to know how financial institutions are connected with each other. Therefore, I started to look for English taught MSc programmes in Finance and/or Banking. After the decision to study in the UK, I looked at the rankings of the MSc programmes. I noticed that the University of Strathclyde Business School is always listed in the top rankings within the UK. Especially, the Department of Accounting & Finance had achieved considerable ranks in the past five years.
I familiarised myself with the MSc International Banking & Finance course and saw how well it was structured, and the promising course content sounded appealing to me. And I was not disappointed: The course is challenging and gives a wide insight into the internationally connected financial sector. The first term gives you a profound knowledge that is necessary for the following two terms. From quantitative methods over the usage of the most recent data streaming platforms such as Bloomberg and Thomson Reuters DataStream (now Refinitiv), I learned a lot about the finance industry. The well structed course gives both professionals and students from different subject backgrounds the perfect opportunity to develop a broad knowledge of what role banks play in the financial sector. The specialisation in risk management and financial management strengthened my knowledge of the banking sector and taught me the newest policies and regulations of the authorities (ECB, BoE etc.). The knowledge from the previous two terms helped me for the final two research projects. The newly learned skills can be directly applied in the final projects.
Both lecturers and tutors are very friendly, well experienced and helpful when you do not know how to solve the tutorial questions.
The lectures are very interesting and provided me and my fellow students with the newest state of research. I remember for example in the first term when few fellow students and I discussed the potential of the Facebook’s digital currency Libra with our International Financial Markets & Banking lecturer for hours after the lecture. The lecturers even provided us with additional sources/material for our individual interests/strengths, and double checked our own findings and gave prompt feedbacks.
The course is recommended for everyone who is interested in finance. You will learn the latest developments in derivatives or in other financial securities in this course. Anyone who plans to work in the finance sector is strongly encouraged to do this course.
Although the current pandemic was an unpredictable and difficult event for the whole University, the quick change to the online exam procedures was managed superbly by the University administration. I can say for sure, that the high quality of the study/research was maintained during the whole pandemic and that there was no loss of the academic environment.
The University also has a great Student Union community and a lot of societies. My friends that are interested in derivatives for example joined the Portfolio Management Society and traded with options there under real world conditions. Me and other friends joined the Futsal Society and played indoor football. The big library and the newly opened gym offer the best opportunities for a study-life balance. The University is located in the city centre of Glasgow and everyday shopping can be easily done.
Besides the student life, Scotland offers a lot of great places to visit. The impressive Highlands for hiking, Edinburgh Zoo, Glasgow Green, the breath-taking football matches between Celtic and Rangers, and so on.
All in all, I can say I understand now why the University of Strathclyde, especially Strathclyde Business School, is ranked that highly in the UK and I can also comprehend why the student satisfaction is one of highest in Scotland and the UK.