I wanted to do something completely different to banking and finance because my mother is an Economics professor, so I wanted to just to study anything else, but then when I was figuring out what I like I realised that I like maths but I still wanted to be a bit different so I chose to study BSc Banking and Finance. I chose banking because I still wanted an economics focus because it gives a better understanding of the economy. It’s like an applied economics degree.
My mother has inspired me to work as hard as I can. She’s a very inspirational lady. She teaches Economics at a University in the Czech Republic which she does at weekends because she owns five of her own companies and she is constantly working on them all. And they are not small! I still don’t know how she does of that and was still able to raise me support me. She was always there for me and I just don’t know how she has done that. I look up to her completely. It comes from my heart.
What I like about studying finance is that it can be quite challenging to learn all of the concepts but that they can be quite flexible, you can apply it to many things. You can think on your feet and you can apply theorems to completely new areas and see what happens.
I did my placement year at Lloyds Banking Group, I worked in retail credit risk management and I was working on modelling. It was an interesting experience and I really enjoyed it but I also found out that I don’t want to do it after I graduate. It was great to be there for a year and learn everything and I have learned so many transferable skills that I can’t even count and I feel that I am more confident as well because of that experience and that helped me to get my internship as well.
After my placement year I did an internship at Willis Towers Watson in their investments team. Investments is something that I’ve always wanted to try and I basically worked in a portfolio management team where we were taking care of clients’ funds as well as their other trusts. I was putting together funds of funds and I had to be really together and on top of the news going on in the world and look out for opportunities and projects. Investments is definitely something I’d like to go into. Willis Towers Watson have also offered me a position and I have accepted.
I have gained a lot of work experience at Essex. I became a Bloomberger in my first year and continued in my second year. One of the reasons I came to Essex, other than that I liked it more than other places, was because of the Bloomberg terminals as I had always wanted to learn how use them and I knew that if I became a Bloomberger I would put a burden on myself to teach myself. A Bloomberger is a student who is particularly proficient at using the Bloomberg financial data terminals to manipulate trade and commodities data and asses the financial portfolios of companies from around the world. We are paid by Essex Business School to run drop-in sessions on how to use the terminals for other students. So it was good motivation for me. I really enjoy talking to students and helping students in general. I really enjoy it and that’s why I do it and I will continue to do it this year.
I also work in the Finance Office for the Students Union and I have worked there since my first year. It’s good for my CV and it definitely helped me to get my placement and my internship. I really love that job, even my manager when I was applying for my placement he was super, super helpful. He didn’t tell me what he was about to do but he locked me in a room and told me to take my phone with me and then he called me and he was pretending to be someone who was offering me a telephone interview to prepare me. It was kind of funny!