Thanakorn Paophongnguam

MSc Financial Economics

Changing tack after his Bachelors degree – from Engineering to Economics – led Thanakorn to the University of Exeter Business School, to gain the broad-based grounding he needed to pursue a career in investment banking.

“During the second year of my undergraduate engineering studies, I realised I was much more suited towards quantitative subjects and began looking around for a Masters in Economics that I could go on to afterwards. Not having studied business-related subjects at all at undergraduate level, I was drawn to the course at Exeter for its broad focus on both finance and economics, and the fact that it covers all the basics you might need for an investment-related career. Exeter is one of the few universities in the UK offering this kind of course.

I am enjoying many aspects of my experience, particularly the chance to work, and make friends, with people from so many different countries. Of the 30 or so people on my modules, over ten nationalities are represented, so there is an interesting mix of different cultures and backgrounds. Many postgraduate students here have worked for several years before coming to study, so we are also able to share our thoughts on jobs and ideas for the future.

In terms of the teaching, I am enjoying Macroeconomics for the well-structured materials provided, and the high quality information delivered by Dr Jan Auerbach, who links interesting real-world examples to things we study in class.

So many of the other modules also have direct application to going into a financial career – from Portfolio Management, which is all about working as a fund manager; to Econometrics, where we’re learning how to use a new computer language, which will be useful for insurance investors. 

There is a lot on offer outside the course to help you prepare for your career too.  The events and workshops hosted by the Career Zone have been a great way to give me more commercial awareness, as well as helping to shape my goals. I had a mock interview with someone from PwC, who gave me lots of useful pointers; and I also attended a seminar event about being a Bond Trader, run by Mr Paul McCormick from Opening City Doors, who was a former trader at JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley – which was a fantastic insight into the industry.

Overall, I’m trying to get involved in as much as possible, so that I get the most from my time here – before returning to my home country of Thailand to pursue a career in investment banking. I feel that my experience at Exeter will go a long way towards helping me achieve my goals, and I am looking forward to putting what we are learning on the course into practice in my finance career.”