Why study MSc Finance and Investment?

Laiba Mansoor recently graduated with an MSc in Finance and Investment from the University of Bristol Business School. Below she reflects on her motivations for choosing to study this programme at Bristol and her experience of her time here.

For the longest time, I have always known that there are two things in life that I wanted to do. Firstly, I wanted to do my best to contribute to society by spreading kindness and secondly, I wanted to help eradicate financial illiteracy, specifically in women.

When I first did an internship at a local bank in my home country of Pakistan, I was told that I was the first female intern that the bank had hired in the last 6 years. This was because women were not applying for operational jobs at banks or any financial firms. Sadly, when I researched more into this, I realised that this problem wasn’t just in my home country, but across the globe where women are not made aware of their financial rights. Most women are not allowed to take on leading roles at financial firms and there are very few media portrayals of women in finance (think about all the leading wall street movies). It is true that times are changing but the pace is much slower and the need for women to be made part of the financial conversation is more than crucial.

But what could I do about this? I decided that I can contribute by teaching women basic financial concepts and to do that I had to become an expert in finance myself. I plan to work towards a career in finance so that I can pave the way for other women.

To make this a reality, I wrote to the scholarship committee at University of Bristol to explain my plans. I applied for the course of MSc Finance and Investment, thinking that a person like me could never get selected. But I still applied thinking “What if?”. Two months later, I got the offer. Four months later, I was at University of Bristol!

Words could never do justice to how it felt when I first reached Bristol. I still remember walking in the Great Hall at Wills Memorial where so many portraits of women leading in science, business, management and law were on the walls. I knew then and there that my dream of making the world a place where women are financially liberated is already coming true.

With the help of the entire business faculty members and specifically my course instructors, I was able to learn concepts such as in-depth financial statement analysis taught by Nikos Tsileponis, construction of optimal portfolios using financial models taught by Richard Harris and machine learning advancements by Quoc Tuan Ho.

Since graduating I have been offered to work as a consultant in a leading audit & taxation firm in the UK who have also generously offered to fund towards further professional qualifications. I am also able to work on creating an app that will aid in reducing financial illiteracy in women by teaching them basic financial concepts and help women who want to proceed towards a career in financial services.

My time in University of Bristol Business School deserves the entire credit for the person I have now become and the knowledge I now possess. From cultivating events like Amplify Trading sessions put together by the Business School team, practical sessions held by the Bristol Trading Society and finally the fun social events like Business School Barbecue have not only enhanced my knowledge but have also allowed me to build meaningful relationships with all those around me. I can safely say that I now hold friendships with like-minded people who share the same passion as me.

Amidst all these wonderful experiences, another thing I have absolutely loved doing ever since I came to Bristol is just sitting beside the harborside and listening to the distant echoes of people laughing paired with the beautiful soft splashing sound of the water.

I cannot thank the UoB team enough for recognizing me and giving me this opportunity but I will say this that I will aim to hold up to the name of the University and carry it with me as part of who I am.

Find out more about our Accounting and Finance postgraduate programmes.

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