Pooja Malhotra

MSc Financial Analysis and Fund Management

With her sights set on a career as a financial analyst, Pooja saw an MSc at the University of Exeter Business School as the ideal way to deepen her knowledge and get a head start on gaining chartered status.

“Before coming to Exeter, I had spent some time working in my father’s Marine Infrastructure consultancy in India, helping him with the finance and investment part of the business. Additionally, I looked after general HR and administration tasks. I graduated with a commerce degree specialising in finance but the financial knowledge wasn’t enough to help my father as much as I wanted to. I saw the Masters as a way to specialise further and to set a solid foundation for building my financial career.

I selected the University of Exeter specifically, as the course also prepares us for level 1 and level 2 of the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) exams as an integral part of the Masters, which is a great addition not offered at every university. Compared to other institutions in the UK, Exeter is also ranked higher and the University is well known for the quality of its MSc programme.

The course is structured very pragmatically, so that we gain an understanding of both the theoretical concepts and the practical applications, which gives us an insight into real business scenarios. For example, we are learning how to prepare portfolios for customers and how to manage funds for different organisations, which is helping to deepen my knowledge and skills. I am also enjoying the opportunity to mix with people from different nationalities during our group projects and learning about the different thinking styles in various countries.

The Business School provides us with support at every step. The support from the programme administrator, and from my academic and personal tutors, has helped me a lot in terms of adjusting to a new and completely different environment. I live on campus and the accommodation is very comfortable. I also like that every minute detail is taken care of, for example if you need something to be fixed in your room, it’s sorted out very quickly. You don’t have to worry about it and you can focus on your studies and getting on with your work.

We have access to the very latest facilities, like the Thomson Reuters and Bloomberg financial databases, but for me the best thing about the course overall is the fact it prepares you so well for the CFA exams. The curriculum is designed such that we achieve about 70% of the CFA qualification while we’re still a student.

I could have chosen to study for these exams on my own, but it would have been much harder to do so. At Exeter I have all the support I need; I can ask my tutors if I have any questions, and I feel confident that what I am learning is tailored specifically to help me achieve the CFA qualification, alongside my Masters. That’s a great head start in terms of helping me to become a chartered financial analyst, which is my ultimate aspiration.”