Spiros Mesomeris, 30, is a Cambridge graduate with a BA in economics; a masters in mathematical trading and finance from Cass Business School and a PhD researching equity markets. He works for Credit Suisse First Boston.
Why did you decide to continue your studies?
I always had an interest in research and I wanted to combine my interest in the financial markets with a more in-depth analysis. It was also to improve my job prospects.
How did you fund your postgraduate studies?
The business school funded both my MA and my PhD. I also taught some classes. Those two sources of income were sufficient to keep me out of debt.
What was the workload like?
It was fine, although hectic in the first term. Postgraduate study takes a lot of self-discipline. With the PhD, I knew I was going to have to spend months researching certain topics properly with the aim of publishing in good journals – which I managed to do.
What was it like studying again?
I didn’t find it hard as I had come straight out of undergraduate study. However, a lot of people who had come back to university from business found it more difficult.
How was it different to undergraduate study?
As part of my masters, I had to undertake a lot of group work and learn how to manage my time around the group meetings. Also, the masters had a much more practical approach.
Did you enjoy it?
Yes, it gave me exactly what I was looking for – a much greater understanding of the financial market. I also think my postgraduate study has helped my career. Although I went on to do my PhD, the vast majority of the people who graduated from the masters course the same year got very good jobs in the City afterwards.
Advice to those considering taking a postgraduate course
If you’re looking for a career change, in particular, you will have to do a lot of research beforehand. Attend open days and speak to the tutors who are responsible for each course. Ex-graduates may also attend these open days as well. Get as much information as you can before you make a decision.