First degree: Commerce, Bombay
Year of graduation: 1997
Postgraduate degree: MSc Finance and Investment, Durham Business School
Year of postgraduate degree: 2005
Occupation: Equities sales – emerging markets at Man Financial
Why did you decide to continue your studies?
After working for almost seven years, I realised that the only thing slightly blocking my career was my education. Having only a commerce degree limited my exposure. In 2003 I decided the time had come to do a financial degree, and applied to study at Durham. I resigned from my previous job, and came to England to do my master’s.
How did you fund your postgraduate studies?
I had some savings after working. I funded about 65 per cent from an education loan in India, while about 35 per cent came from my own savings.
What was the workload like?
The workload was pretty low in a sense. We had a dissertation to do and assignments, but if you can manage your time properly it’s not a problem.
What was it like studying again?
It was difficult. After a break of almost seven years, getting back into a study environment was tough. But my relevant experience helped me out in understanding much of the course. If I had had no background in finance, going into postgraduate study would have been difficult. So it helped, having a financial background. My base of understanding was pretty strong, and it helped me to grasp the concepts. With the relevant experience, even a tough course becomes easier.
How was it different from undergraduate study?
It was entirely different. In the UK, postgraduate [master's] courses are usually a one-year process, compared with three years’ undergraduate study in India. I found it more multicultural than at undergraduate level. For postgraduate courses many people try to go abroad, to get the additional benefit of meeting people from different countries. Interacting with them gives you a different experience altogether.
Did you enjoy it?
Very much. I have good memories, and I met a good set of people from different backgrounds. I really enjoyed the course, and Durham is a beautiful city in which to study. I chose Durham because it provided me with the kind of subjects I was looking for. The course widened my existing knowledge, and laid the foundations for my career.
Advice to those considering taking a postgraduate course:
If you are an international student, don’t come to the UK to take the course with the sole intention of getting a job here – that can lead to disappointment later on. I joined Man in India, and the company transferred me here to establish the emerging-markets sales desk. However, if your motive is to maximise your understanding of the "ifs and buts" of finance, then you’ll find the course could make you very happy.