Chiara - University of Porto, FEP School of Economics & Management
MSc Financial Analysis and Fund Management (QTEM)
Current job: HR Reporting Anlayst, COFCO International Ltd, Portugal
Exchange University: University of Porto, FEP School of Economics & Management, Portugal
QTEM internship: Research Assistant, University of Exeter Business School, UK
“I would definitely recommend QTEM to anyone who is interested in intercultural exchange and learning beyond the limitations of your degree. QTEM gives you the chance to go to another university and select the modules that you want, allowing you to add additional specialisation to your Masters degree and also experience being a student at another university, in another country.
For my QTEM exchange semester I wanted to specialise in Business Intelligence and Big Data modules in addition to the Economics modules that I already completed in Exeter. It was for this reason that I selected the Faculty of Economics of the University of Porto as my first choice, because they offer a Masters degree in Data Analytics and I was quite interested in the lectures they offered. In the end, I chose classes in Data Analysis, Data Mining, Data Bases and Programming, and Numeric Methods.
After my exchange in Porto, I was very lucky to gain an internship back in Exeter with one of my former professors, who offered me an internship as a research assistant for him. This was a great time for me because it brought me closer to research and gave me an idea of what the work of a researcher looks like. My tasks including focussing on the data-related part of the research project: I spent the first few weeks data cleaning and then I started creating general summary statistics, visualisations, and further evaluations with the data.
The selection process for the QTEM programme at Exeter was quite straightforward: You had to fill out a form and attach your CV and a motivation letter, then – if successful – you were invited to an interview. About a week after the interview I got a conditional offer, that I had to sign. The conditions included to reach at least a 60% average in the first term and complete GMAT with at least 650 points (or the equivalent GRE scores). Until the beginning of March I could still change my choices for the host university.
What do I wish I had known before starting the QTEM programme? For me, the start into the QTEM programme was when I arrived in Porto. I think it would have been great to know more about the QTEM community and the connections you can make through it before going. It would have been nice to already connect with some other QTEM students at my host university before or shortly after arriving. However, I met the other QTEM students in Porto later in the term through QTEM meetings.
With regards to my employability, I definitely think that QTEM helps a lot. I don’t know how known the programme itself is among employers (even though the reputation increases every year), but it definitely helps having another specialisation in addition to your normal degree combined with more international experience.”