Yomna Soliman

" My positive experience with this master’s was in large part due to my cohort’s close-knit relationship with our lecturers."

Country of origin: British-Egyptian
MSc course: MSc Energy, Trade and Finance
Graduation year: 2020


Prior to studying MSc Energy, Trade and Finance at the Business School, I worked in the compliance and financial services sector. There was a rising rhetoric in all matters ‘sustainability’. More and more clients were interested in Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors. I was really intrigued by the ESG-movement and the modules offered in this master’s degree seemed to really examine ESG practices at their source.

The course covers all existing energy and shipping supply chain processes and alludes to the potential changes we might be seeing in the years to come. It offers a diverse selection of modules. I particularly enjoyed the modules with a real-world focus like ‘Oil and Energy Trading’ which had us trading in real-time on simulation platforms. The case studies covered in all other modules really brought all the scholarly theories to life.

My positive experience with this master’s was in large part due to my cohort’s close-knit relationship with our lecturers. They are witty, committed, humble and synonymous with the notion that the key to success is simply hard work, hard work, and (yes, you’ve guessed it…) more hard work. It felt to me like it was almost a requirement that all students accepted in the programme mirrored these values. We were here to learn and were supported all throughout the process.

One of the greatest highlights of the course was having the opportunity to conduct my dissertation in collaboration with the UK Department for Transport (DfT). The DfT later looped in members of the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), owing to the relevance of the project. This was a really unique chance for direct exposure to policy-makers and senior analysts. My research looked at the possible applications of blockchain technology to support the road to decarbonisation in the UK energy sector by the 2050 milestone. Officials in both departments guided me through primary research techniques like constructing surveys, which is important because as students we’re often more exposed to working with secondary data. Those of us conducting research in association with the DfT and BEIS had the opportunity to present them with our results. This was a really empowering experience, knowing that your research could provoke new thoughts and insights with influential members of the government.

This has been a tough year for graduates and many of us are still searching for work. One of the trading principals we picked up on during the course was that while economic downturns might hit certain sectors pretty hard, others rise to the occasion. I’m confident that my master’s at the Business School has me well-placed for new and exciting opportunities that align nicely with the reasons I signed up in the first place. Topics like sustainability and climate change are now very high priority. I’m keen on contributing to these areas in any way that I can.

My overall experience at the Business School has been really fulfilling. The best advice I can give prospecting students looking to study MSc Energy, Trade and Finance is to stay focussed. The course is demanding, but it’s well worth the effort you put in. Most of your time will be spent studying but you will find support from others every step of the way. You will make great friends, and form relationships with your peers which will help you sail right through the course. We’re like one big family.