Why Investment & Finance at Strathclyde?
Before starting my MSc, I had just finished my Bachelor's degree in Business and Management from Oxford Brookes University. My father was the most influential in encouraging me to take the MSc Investment & Finance program. Besides that, I find that the knowledge gained from the course is essential for my life and on trend during this pandemic. I chose Strathclyde specifically because one of my relatives studied here, and I thought it would be easier for me to adjust if I have someone that I could rely on. Strathclyde has a good reputation in this field, and this is also my first time studying in Scotland, so a new experience for me!
My experience here at Strathclyde has been good so far, despite the pandemic and not being able to go to campus. The lecturers are all very responsive, and I do not need to worry that my questions won’t be answered. They are up-to-date with current trends in the market, which allows me to expand my knowledge beyond the theoretical. The range of content covered in the classes is massive, but all of it is useful for people like me who don't come from an accounting and finance background.
The lecturers also provide various academic and non-academic studies (news articles, books and sometimes movies), which allow me to know what is going on with the materials I’ve been studying. Tutors are also very helpful and approachable. They allow us to arrange Zoom meetings to go over the material we aren’t sure of, and to help us prepare for exams.
To be honest, I find the online learning environment very hard for me, but Strathclyde provides me with great support. The lecturers sometimes assign us to breakout rooms during a lecture, which allows us to get to know more people in the class. In addition, the lecturers have drop-in sessions, which is great for us to raise questions despite the long distance study.
Skills that I have acquired include the basics of financial modelling with Excel (an optional module), technical knowledge on the real markets of equity (through Amplify seminar), and derivatives (through Volcube website for my assignment). The modules also taught me how to know the real value of a stock and compare this with the market’s price.
So far, the whole course has been a great pleasure for me. In particular, I found that learning how to use the Bloomberg Terminal was a great experience. I feel like I am a real trader or financial analyst somehow.
Looking ahead & words of advice
Looking to the future, my aspiration is to work in either consultancy, investment banking or venture capital. I find that the materials being delivered in class are very useful to develop my knowledge (from theoretical to technical aspects) for those career paths. The lecturers continuously encourage me to adapt what is going on in the real market into my assignments or exams, which is important for preparing me to answer potential interview questions.
From my experience, my advice to new students is not to be afraid to try new things, especially during your Master's journey. It is totally fine for you to jump from one area to another. Strathclyde especially allows you to start studying from the most basic knowledge. You are not alone, some of your friends are just like you. If you find it difficult, it is okay to feel that, but do not give up, reach out to someone for help. Don’t forget to do your best and God will do the rest.