Thanh Huyen Nong
What was your number one reason to pick the UK?
The UK has a strong reputation for education and training. Therefore, I believe that studying in the UK can provide the best support for my future and it is an established fact that the UK is internationally recognized as the great centre of finance. As I set up my career in investment and finance, the UK promises me valuable studying experience. I can not only learn from the course but can also challenge myself in a radical way to think outside the box. Last but not least, one personal reason is that I wanted to visit some gorgeous places where the Harry Potter film was made. I used to dream that one day I would see the beautiful scenery in that film. And the UK didn't disappoint me. I fell in love with the magnificent, romantic scenery of the UK. Every single season here has its own unique beauty and it makes the UK truly an ideal place for me to live and study.
Why did you choose this course and institution?
I decided to study at the University of Stirling for a number of reasons. The University of Stirling is internationally famous for high quality teaching and the high finance ranking was very attractive for me. Secondly, I'm currently studying to become a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®) Charter Holder and the University of Stirling is a CFA® Program Partner with a great record of success in the UK CFA® Global Research Challenge, all of which made me even more interested in studying here. The university is also located in an old city in the heart of Scotland. It's a great place for me to travel around Scotland and discover more about the history of Scotland and to enjoy the peaceful life in the countryside. Last but not least, the tuition fees and living costs in Stirling are more affordable than other cities, which is another reason to choose this University.
How easy was it to settle into life at the university?
I used to worry about how I would be able to study in a multicultural environment since I'm an introverted person. But everything changes; people here are very nice and friendly. The university has international student societies to ensure international students feel welcome and supported. Having been a part of these societies, I have had the chance to make many lovely friends which make a good impression on me. Moreover, there are many clubs and societies at the university that I can take part in. I registered to be a member of the dancing club and from there I met some brilliant friends and I no longer feel alone when I study far away from home. Even though the University of Stirling is located in the peaceful countryside, there are many activities at the university which always welcome all students and means you never feel bored. I go swimming and go to classes at the sport centre every day and I never feel inactive since there are so many interesting things to engage in.
Tell us a little about the course?
I'm currently studying MSc Finance at the University of Stirling. This course offers me knowledge about theories of finance and about skills required in practice. I had the chance to learn about financial reporting, corporate finance, and techniques of quantitative analysis, derivatives, merger and acquisitions, portfolio management, international finance and financial statement analysis. In the summer, I will have to submit a dissertation which develops my ideas and shows my understanding about what I have learned. Throughout the course, I have also had the chance to take part in some practical training such as the Amplify Trading Boot Camp which focused on enhancing the employability of graduates. This MSc course is of great help to me as it provides me practical knowledge and this covers material on all three levels of the CFA® exams.
Recommendation for students from Vietnam: 5 things you should prepare before coming to the UK?
My advice is that you should consider not only the ranking of the university but also the living environment that fits your style.
- Good language skills: It's important to try hard to prepare your language skills as best as you can before coming to the UK. I used to struggle with my presentations due to my pronunciation. It will be easier for students to settle into life at the university and make friend with other friends with good English skills.
- Acceptable cooking skills: As you live far from home, and you have to take care of yourself, it's essential to learn how to cook some Vietnamese food in case you are not used to food in the UK. Cooking at home is also a good idea to save money rather than eating out because living costs in the UK are more expensive than in my home country.
- Good understanding about cross culture: As you are studying in the UK, you will meet international students from different cultures. In order to avoid culture conflicts, knowledge about cross culture is really helpful.
- Good networking with the Vietnamese Student Society: I received great support from the Vietnamese student community in Stirling. They gave me helpful advice and guidance for my studies here. Experience from senior students helped me throughout my time studying in the UK.
- Good health: As there are many new and exciting things that you will want to take part in, it is important to prepare a strong body and good physical health in order to fulfil what you want to do.
What's next after you've completed your UK education?
I plan to complete the CFA® program, after which I will earn my FRM certificate. With these qualifications, I will look for job in an investment bank and set up my career in the area of finance. After a period of five or seven years, I hope to start my own business offering financial services in Vietnam.