Peter Barry, 23, has both a BSc and an MSc in economics and finance – from University College, Dublin and Warwick Business School. He did a four-month internship and went travelling before joining US investment bank Bear Stearns.
Why did you decide to continue your studies?
I did economics and finance for my undergraduate degree and thought the MSc would be a great way to pursue that interest and improve my future career prospects and earnings.
How did you fund your postgraduate studies?
Part of the loan came from the Career Development Loans company and then, luckily, my father put up the rest.
What was the workload like?
There was a great deal to cover in a shorter amount of time. I used my nine-to-five time for lectures and studying and I tried to play sports or go to the gym in the evening and then do a bit of study after that. But I made the decision to give myself a night off each week where I’d meet up with friends.
What was it like studying again?
I’d just finished my undergraduate studies a few months before so there was no huge change. I knew what I was getting myself into.
How was it different to undergraduate study?
Apart from being a lot more intensive, the postgraduate course was a great opportunity to pursue my own academic interests. At the end of the year I had a much greater interest in finance than I’d had at the end of my undergraduate degree. It was also a lot more practical, which was a big plus for me.
Did you enjoy it?
I loved it. I lived at home when I was an undergraduate, so coming to a different country and meeting people from so many different cultures and countries from around the world was absolutely amazing.
Advice to those considering taking a postgraduate course
You need to manage your time very efficiently and be organised and goal-oriented. You’ll also need to be a lot more independent and a lot more motivated than you were as an undergraduate. But if you work hard, it’s all worth it.