Catherine Paap

Catherine chose to study at the University of Exeter Business School as it was the only course that allowed her to combine finance and marketing allowing her to be both creative and analytical. She has enjoyed being able to work with real companies as part of her course and has gained valuable transferable skills that will be useful for her future career.

What were you doing before you started your postgraduate studies at Exeter?

Although I am originally from Germany, I spent my high school years in Toronto, Canada. Before studying at Exeter, I obtained my undergraduate in BSc Accounting and Finance from the University of Bath. This was a four year degree, including a placement, which I did at Zurich PLC in Swindon. I very much enjoyed my time at Bath but I wanted a new perspective for my Masters degree and I chose the University of Exeter to round out my education due to its high ranking and the unique courses on offer.

Why did you pick this postgraduate course?

During my Undergraduate studies I was able to take modules in management and marketing as well as accounting and finance. I thoroughly enjoyed both the finance and marketing modules and found it very difficult to pick between them when choosing a Masters degree. When I came across this course at Exeter, I knew it was perfect for me, no other university I looked at offered this unique combination of finance and marketing. The course allows me to be creative as well as analytical, two skills which are crucial for any job.

How have you found the teaching, research, lecturers, course content?

I really like the modules that are available to us and believe that the knowledge I have obtained will benefit me in my future career. My favourite marketing module is ‘New Products and Innovations’ in which we were tasked with created a new product or services for Exeter City FC. I thought it was very interesting and valuable to have been given the opportunity to work with a real organisation as a client for a coursework project. This made the project not only fun, but interesting and realistic. My favourite finance module has been ‘Financial Instruments’ as this gave me a broad knowledge base of many different topics, such as derivatives, equity valuation and bond pricing.

Do you feel your postgraduate course will enhance your employability?

I do believe that it will enhance my employability, as it has giving me valuable transferable skills such as communication and presentation skills.

How have you found the support services and the facilities?

The lecturers at the University of Exeter are very willing to help. They all have office hours and encourage students to ask questions if they do not understand something. I have never had a negative experience with any of the lecturers and have been to several one on one meetings with various professors.

Have you used the Career Zone? How has it benefitted you?

Yes, I have been to the career zone for help with my CV. They are very helpful, and it is very easy to make an appointment. I would highly recommend taking advantage of all they have to offer, especially the CV help, as it is not always easy to know what companies are looking for, especially if you are not from the UK.

Where is your favourite spot on campus?

The gym on campus is great and if you go in the mornings it isn’t too busy. There are so many great places to eat, hang out and study with friends on campus but my favourite spot is outside The Forum when the sun is shining.

Do you feel campus has an international feel? How does Exeter compare to where you are from originally?

The University has a very international feel as there are students from all over the world. If you are an international student you will definitely feel very comfortable here and will most likely meet someone from your home country, no matter where you are from.

What are your top tips for international students thinking about studying in the UK?

Try to get involved with students from other countries and cultures. There are so many international students at Exeter it can be very easy to stick to people from your home country. I would suggest really forcing yourself to go out of your comfort zone, maybe join some societies, where you will get the opportunity to meet people from other countries as well as the UK. At the end of the day, studying in a foreign country presents a great opportunity to integrate yourself and experience everything the UK has to offer, especially the people.

How have you found the city and the surrounding area?

It is the perfect size for a University town and has everything any student would need. The Quay is probably my favourite place in Exeter, as it is by the water and there are many great restaurants and bars to try out. Even if you live on or near campus the centre is only a 15 minute walk away, so everything is very easily accessible.

How is your accommodation at Exeter?

I am living off campus at Northfield which is near St David’s Railway station. Although it is off campus, it is just at the bottom of the hill, only about a 10 minute walk from The Forum, whilst also only being a 15 minute walk from the centre of town. I would very much recommend this accommodation to new students, as the location is perfect.

What advice would you give to a prospective student considering your course and Exeter Business School?

Make the most of all the opportunities available to you. Go to as many guest lecture talks as you can and join societies. If this is the first time you are in the UK, try and travel and see other places in your free time. If you are open-minded and take advantage of everything you possibly can, you will have a great time.

Sum up your experience at Exeter in just four words:

Fun, challenging, exciting, eye-opening