It was my greatest desire to pursue a postgraduate programme in finance in a world-class university. This I believed was going to help lay a firm foundation for a soaring career. After a careful look at a number of finance related MSc. programmes in different universities, I chose the University of Stirling’s MSc. in Investment Analysis. My reasons were two. First, the modules are ones that would provide me with a deeper understanding of the critical and emerging issues in finance and investment. Second, the MSc. in Investment Analysis is a programme partner of the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute, one of the world’s leading bodies of finance and investment professionals. An icing on the cake was when I received one of the University’s prestigious Karen Napier Scholarships to pursue the programme.
Upon arrival at the University, I was convinced from the outset that my huge expectations would be met. This was due to the beautiful landscape that embraced me, which I knew was going to be very conducive for academic work. The academic and sporting facilities are state-of-the-art, and this made the learning experience a very enjoyable one. On top of that, the high quality academics assisted us throughout our journey with their brilliant delivery of lectures and seminars, and were always happy to address any concerns we had. The non-academic staff members were also very friendly and supportive.
Without any fear of equivocation, I would say the MSc Investment Analysis programme is top-notch. It is therefore not surprising that the programme continues to attract students from all over the globe. By virtue of its international appeal, I got the opportunity to meet, interact with, and learn from students of different backgrounds, orientations and cultures. This has helped in broadening my horizon and given me varied perspectives on many issues in and out of the classroom.
My selection as part of a five member team to represent the University in the 2014 CFA Global Research Challenge was a major highlight of my stay at the University of Stirling. The experience I acquired from that endeavour in relation to company analysis, valuation, investment report writing and presentation skills are invaluable. Although my team mates and I did not win the ultimate trophy, I still take pride in the fact that we made it to the UK Finals. By this, we maintained the University’s enviable record of being the University to make it to the UK finals the most times–six out of the seven years the competition has run so far. This I believe is a reflection of the high quality of not only the MSc Investment Analysis programme, but the University at large.
Another remarkable experience was my participation in a one-week trading boot camp organised by the Stirling Management School in collaboration with Amplify Trading. I got the opportunity to trade different financial asset classes based on live information and at live prices. This initiative by the Stirling Management School is one that I find very admirable and highly commendable, and is a demonstration of the School’s drive to provide a good blend of theory and practical in the training of its students.
My association with some lecturers and postgraduate research students gave me a lot of motivation and inspiration to climb up the academic ladder. This culminated in me securing a fully funded PhD studentship at Heriot Watt University. Thus, the University of Stirling has served as a springboard for me to realise my dream of pursuing a PhD, and I know I can continue to rely on its ideals throughout my life’s journey.
Indeed, studying at the University of Stirling provides a true manifestation of the words of John Ruskin, a prominent English Writer and Social Thinker, that, “Education is the leading of human souls to what is best, and making what is best out of them”. I would highly recommend it to anyone with a desire to achieve excellence in their career. However, my advice to all current and future students is that, do not only pass through the University, but more importantly, let the University pass through you.