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Meet our Masters Study Abroad students

Current masters study abroad students and alumni share their experiences of studying at University of Exeter Business School.

MSc Financial Analysis and Fund Management (QTEM)

  • Graduated: 2019
  • 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.”

MSc International Management with European Study

Rankings were important to me when comparing universities and I really wanted an institution with a combination of international cultures so Exeter really stood out.

“The Exeter experience is fantastic and I’ve enjoyed studying here.  The facilities are excellent – all classrooms are installed with multi-media and hi-tech equipment, and the library resources are huge. Most importantly, student life is colourful with so many different societies and associations. Exeter’s Islam institution is quite famous and held many international activities this year, like Chinese New Year, Indian Diwali and many more. You can also attend food markets and concerts, plus the surrounding area is beautiful – it’s a good place for living as well as studying.

The lecturers at Exeter are kind and helpful – they provide plenty of material for students to read in advance and the classes are well structured by knowledgeable lecturers who really inspire the students. They’re always open to students’ emails and drop-ins as well.
I took the opportunity to study for a semester abroad as part of the MSc International Management and I’m currently enjoying my studies at Copenhagen Business School.

The tutors here are from a variety of different countries – their mixed teaching background makes for a special and diverse learning environment. I’m also really enjoying the focus on case studies, there’s one in each class which helps to combine what you’ve learnt with real life situations.

There are so many student events as well, everything from concerts to food festivals and jogging competitions! There’s something for everyone.

When I graduate I am planning to find a job in the UK or in Denmark. Studying a Master’s degree has not only improved my knowledge of English and business, but it has also given me an insight into a western life and work ethic. I would also consider studying an MBA after I have gained some work experience – I think knowledge is very important if you’d like to have your own business one day.”

MSc Financial Analysis and Fund Management (QTEM)

  • Graduated: 2018
  • Current job: Investment Banking Analyst, HSBC, China
  • Exchange University: Graduate School of Economics, Waseda University in Japan
  • QTEM internship: Analyst Intern, ABCD Technology Co. Limited, Beijing

“The MSc Financial Analysis and Fund Management at Exeter is an intense and challenging programme. As well as performing well in the course, I also studied and partook in the CFA® Level I and II examinations and I am incredibly proud to have achieved good results in both. I feel that the financial knowledge I have gained in addition to my QTEM experience will help me excel in my career.

For my QTEM exchange semester, I studied at the Graduate School of Economics at Waseda University in Japan. While there was no specific programme provided for us, we had a list of highly quantitative modules available and I was able to choose a course that I was interested in. For the second half of the QTEM programme, I undertook an internship with FinTech, a start-up company. I focussed on using both alternative and financial data to make quarterly revenue forecasts for several China Concept Stocks. The internship required both financial modelling and data processing skills, both of which I had built and improved on during my time at Exeter and Waseda.

The selection process is competitive and thorough, but I think it needs to be in order to assess if we meet the high standards. I found the whole process overall to be very fair. The process was comprehensive and consisted of a personal statement, interview and a review of academic performance. My advice to students thinking of the QTEM network would be to achieve your GMAT score before you apply. I studied for my GMAT during the Christmas break, which was a pretty stressful time with other exams and assignments. I would also recommend looking into some classes for the language where you will be studying which will not only give you a head start, it will be useful in your future career.

My experience at Exeter and during my QTEM exchange has been invaluable to my career. I wanted to seek a role at an international company in the financial service industry and I now have two years’ international experience. I have improved my interpersonal skills by working with a variety of people from different cultures and backgrounds and have had the opportunity to further improve my financial and quantitative analysis skills in a practical setting. Both my degree at Exeter and the QTEM programme have helped me stand out from other graduates and I can apply all I have learnt to my current role as a valuation analyst at the China office of Duff & Phelps.”

MSc International Management (Double Degree)

  • Graduated: 2014
  • Current job: Manager (Forensic & Integrity Services), EY, Germany
  • Exchange University: MSc Management, Grenoble Ecole De Management 

"Straight after graduation in 2014, I joined EY in Munich. Since then, I have been promoted from a Senior Consultant to a Manager role within the Forensics and Investigations team. We proactively and reactively fight business fraud, help organisations in setting up compliance systems and promote integrity and ethics in all our solutions.

I chose to do the Double Degree programme because it presented a unique challenge and opportunity which I couldn’t pass up. It was the perfect way to expand my network, spend more time in another country and learn about new subjects, whilst gaining an additional degree. My classmate also chose the same double degree programme so this was a great chance to experience a new location with a friend.

The selection process for the Double Degree was great fun but also challenging. I had to take quite some time to formulate a unique answer for the application as to why Exeter should choose me to go on a Double Degree programme. This was a great exercise and helped me in developing a sales pitch for my strengths and experiences which has come in handy for interviews.

For my Double Degree, I picked the Grenoble Ecole de Management due to its excellent reputation and because it provides courses that perfectly aligned with my interests and previous studies. The programme I chose was very diverse and allowed me to study a range of topics including strategy and management in the Pharam/Biotech industries, case studies in innovation, social marketing, leadership and responsible management and corporate governance. I am a passionate hiker and skier, so the location of Grenoble, in the middle of the French Alps, offered me plenty of opportunities to pursue my passions outside of my studies. The city of Grenoble itself is beautiful and has a very high standard of living.

Adjusting to a year abroad was a lot easier than I expected it would be. The University offers great support for international students which helped us settle in very quickly. We also had French language courses from day one, which allowed us to quickly learn the most important words and phrases we would need to navigate the French environment and cities successfully.

Taking part in the Double Degree programme was a critical part of shaping me into the person I am today. Being exposed to such a broad spectrum of international students, the conversations I had with my professors and the courses I took led me to pursue a career in consulting. When I was applying for jobs in 2014, I particularly remember employers being impressed with me having two Masters degrees, from two excellent universities, and achieving this in just two years!

I would absolutely recommend the Double Degree programme to potential students, not just for the additional degree and learnings you gain, but for growing you professional network. Being able to interact and work with likeminded people for all over the world can significantly improve your network and the conversations you have, can help shape you into a globally connected and internationally focused person."

MSc Finance and Investment (QTEM)

  • Graduated: 2018
  • Current job: Analyst, Strategy and Investment Department, Fosun Group - Yuyuan Inc. China
  • Exchange University: Graduate School of Economics, Waseda University, Japan
  • QTEM internship: Credit Analyst Intern, Yahao Capital, Shanghai  

“I first heard of the QTEM programme during the orientation for my programme. I decided to apply as I felt it would help widen my horizons, and experience a different culture by studying in an additional international environment. I spent my semester abroad for the QTEM programme at the Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan, because it is known as the best private university in Japan and has over 5,000 international students – the largest number in Japan. It is also top in Japan for employability with alumni working all over the globe.

As part of the QTEM programme you are also required to take an internship. I worked as a Credit Analyst Intern at Yahao Capital, a private equity company in Shanghai, China. I found the job through a recommendation from a college classmate who was also a working at Yahao. After two rounds of interviews, testing my financial knowledge and research skills with the investment bank director and executive director respectively, I was offered an internship. There were three sessions (self-introduction, case and presentation) in my first-round interview with the investment bank director. In the second session, I was given 8-year financial statements of an anonymous company, and I needed to analyse liquidity and solvency of the company to evaluate its debt-paying ability. In the final session, I was asked to make a presentation about the real estate industry. In the second-round interview with executive director, I was asked to give my view on recent commercial news and new asset management regulations in China.

My internship was mainly working with senior analysts constructing a standardised credit rating system for bond selection and supporting portfolio construction. I also communicated with bond sales to detect investment opportunities, which fitted with our portfolio requirements. From this experience, I became familiar with the bond market and learnt the basic framework of credit analysis and the application of financial terminals, such as Wind and Bloomberg, in business.

I have found that when companies look at potential employees particularly in China, they prefer candidates with international experiences. My time at both Exeter and Waseda have enriched my experiences and given me a broad international vision and an edge over other graduates.

Since graduation, I have been working for Yuyuan Inc. which is the flagship investment platform of Fosun Group. As a listed company in Shanghai Stock Exchange, Yuyuan Inc. operates one of the top three gold and jewellery chains in China, commercial properties in Shanghai and Suzhou City and several well-known restaurant brands. Yuyuan Inc. is always looking for opportunities to acquire targets in the F&B industry, entertainment industry, luxury product/brands in Europe, North Asia, USA and Canada. We are an active investor and growth capital style.

So far in my role, I have supported projects by conducting financial and commercial due diligence for target companies and reported my findings to the investment committee. I have also developed, interpreted and presented financial models for a $15M acquisition of a target company in the F&B industry. Another key part of my role has been conducting in-depth research on over 1,300 China time-honoured brands, who are approved by the Ministry of Commerce, generating investment strategies for these brands and sourcing over 10 related deals.”

MSc International Management (Double Degree)

Peter had postgraduate offers from two other universities as well as Exeter, but knew quite quickly that this was where he wanted to come to study as a postgraduate.

“When I came to look round the Business School initially, it took me about 30 minutes visiting the Forum and the beautiful campus, to realise this was the place for me. I liked the environment, the people I met, the knowledge I knew I would be able to gain here. And I know I made the right choice. In fact, I’d go as far to say that this year has been the most enjoyable – and effective – academic year in my life so far.

The MSc in International Management is a programme that allows you to gain a deep insight into many subjects from Operations Management, to International Business or Leadership. The way the programme is structured means that this learning happens in a very interactive way, via a wide variety of teaching styles, including group work, presentations and seminars. In addition to this, all of the compulsory subjects on the programme are interrelated, so there are clear overlaps and links in the syllabus, which have helped me to build a very thorough knowledge in business and management. I’ve enjoyed seeing how the topics in one subject are then built on and added to in another one. It’s a bit like a puzzle, you can tell it’s all been planned in a very structured and detailed way.

Of course, life is fairly busy when you’re studying at this level. But the pressure and other constraints mean we have been able to build a very strong student community, and true friendships develop very quickly here, as you have to trust and rely on one another. It’s not easy, you have to work very hard to get the degree. But as the saying goes ‘the more you put into it, the more you take out at the end’.

As I have recently been accepted onto the new double degree programme, university life isn’t ending for me just yet. After submitting my dissertation, I will be continuing with my studies with a full-year scholarship on the MSc Management course at the Grenoble Ecole de Management in France. That wasn’t something that I’d planned before coming here – it’s an opportunity that came up during the year. So I’m very happy that the Business School has offered me this opportunity, and it means I will end up with two Masters instead of just one.

If I had to pinpoint what makes Exeter really special, I would have to say it’s the diversity of the cohort. The fact that many different kinds of people come here, and despite these differences are able to live and work together in a friendly, collaborative environment, I have never experienced that to such an extent as I have at Exeter.”

MSc International Management with European Study

Sergii intends to pursue a career in management, and feels that gaining experience overseas has given him the global perspective he needs to achieve his career goals.

“I completed a Graduate Diploma at INTO University of Exeter before progressing to the Business School. The decision to study in Exeter was an easy one based on the location, the modern campus and the University’s high rankings – not to mention the great sports and careers facilities.

Studying a Masters has not only given me a comprehensive look at international management and related subjects, but the diverse mix of students on my course has helped me to learn and to grow personally.

The opportunity to spend one semester abroad in Denmark was also a highlight for me – particularly as I believe spending time overseas is important for future managers in the era of globalisation. Due to this exchange, I was lucky enough to gain some unique experience, cultural awareness and insights into how to conduct business in another country.

My year at the University of Exeter Business school has definitely been one of the best experiences of my life – great modern facilities, friendly staff who are always ready and willing to help, and one of the most beautiful campuses of any UK university, all provided me with the best possible experience for studying. In addition, I was involved in the Student’s Guild which made my experience even brighter and more eventful!

During my time at the Business School I made sure to take advantage of any activities organised by the employability team, including employer skills sessions, employability sessions for international students, cultural awareness, interview experience and many more.

After I graduate I am planning to work in the UK in either Management Consulting or Human Resources. I’d also like to bring my knowledge to my home country (Ukraine) as well, and study a PhD after a few years of work experience. I’m sure my experiences from studying at the Business School and in Denmark will help me achieve these goals.

I would encourage other students considering a Masters programme to take every single opportunity presented to them at the University. Studying at the Business School is perhaps just 30% of the experience, the other 70% is meeting people from around the world, taking part in student life, studying abroad and improving your employability at the Career Zone. The Business School is definitely the place to gain inspiring and invaluable life experience so doesn’t miss the opportunity.”