Course studied: BSc (Hons) Business Studies (this course no longer exists, I was in the last cohort, its successor is the BSc (Hons) Business Management)
Graduating year: 2020
What was your time at university like?
To me, this was so far the best and most influential three years of my life. I had the chance to move out of home, into a new country, manage my life, and become responsible for myself and my actions.
I found the things I am interested in and passionate about, learnt a lot about myself, found amazing friends, and met extraordinary people from all over the world and all in all grew immensely.
What was the most memorable part of your university experience?
It is hard to choose the most memorable one. As cheesy as it sounds, I miss the most mundane things. Sitting at the library or one of the lounges with my friends, just half studying, half talking, buying the coffee at the campus, where all the baristas were so lovely and friendly and knew your order without saying it or enjoying a lunch in our favourite place. Things were sometimes challenging, doing the exams, working and applying for jobs or masters, but they were also just right the way they are.
I think that is the magic of City University; it just makes you feel like you belong.
What skills did you gain from your degree which have been particularly helpful in your career?
My main aim lies in Investment Banking, especially M&A. My degree (while not as competitive as someone's from a pure finance background) provided a good base that I could use to build my knowledge upon on my own. Apart from that, I utilized the school's resources, from databases or software courses to free subscription to the Financial Times and taking part in mentorship programs and networking events.
Participating in the student life might have been the most helpful factor. I was active in several societies, both professional and non-professional ones, and even started one with school mates. I ran in the student elections twice and held the post for one of the student councillors last year. The student body's diversity led me to meet, learn, and work with many other cultures and lifestyles, something that was not available to me before in my relatively small and homogenous country.
These experiences were paramount to my personal development. They allowed me to become confident and creative, find my passion, and learn teamwork, flexibility, communications, and leadership.
What has your career journey been like since graduating?
I expected to go to a master's degree straight because I am quite interested in finance and want to deepen my knowledge. I had to defer my place to next year as I do not wish to study online (that's just not my jam).
However, now I am left with a gap year to fill in with employment in this very turbulent job market. I was lucky enough to secure an internship in my home country, Hungary, which I can hopefully continue until the end of October.
I am in the midst of looking for my next job. My main target is London, but I am looking through the whole UK and the whole of Western and Northern Europe. As I mentioned, my final aim is Investment Banking, but I am not that picky right now (after all, I cannot really be, can I). Another internship or entry-level job in finance or investment, preferably one that counts towards the CFA qualification, is my current short-term goal. However, I am open to any opportunity that would allow me to grow and further develop my skill set.
What is your current job role and what does a typical day look like?
I am a Summer Analyst in Private Equity and Venture Capital firm. The teams are relatively small, so I am working with both PE and VC related deals. While there is no set structure, most of my days usually involve one or several of the following: reading, research, report drafting, presentation making, financial analysis, learning how to do modelling and valuation, attending meetings, or any other ad-hoc task that need to be filled in.
I enjoy it a lot as we work an extensive range of firms from diverse industries who face different problems and have different needs, thus so far, no two projects are the same. As mentioned above, due to the small team size, I have been actively involved from the beginning and learning by doing, which is a great experience.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
It is either being able to solve a problem on my own or my work being acknowledged.
When I arrived here, I was the only intern and the most “newbie” junior, so I felt some pressure. My team is great thankfully. I also love to learn and try new things; thus, any chance I get to peek into something new is always rewarding.
How did your university experience and degree help you to secure your job/jobs?
For my current job, my relevant subjects and society involvement meant the most. For other roles I had before I finished school or had any appropriate extracurricular, the following soft skills helped: being flexible, fast learner, and a good team worker. I could demonstrate these from either my coursework or from working in the hospitality industry.
That is why it is crucial to do volunteering or some other part-time job like hospitality. These were also important in securing my current role. I also never stopped learning. The university helped me get a good grip on learning and studying by myself using external resources. Especially now, during the pandemic, I am grateful for that, as the job market gets more competitive, I am also forced to upgrade and diversify my skills.
What advice would you give students who are thinking of studying here?
Three years fly by in a blink of an eye. Step out of your comfort zone, try new things, meet as many people as you can, and push your limits because there is a safety net under you in school. It is the best time to experiment.
City offers so much societies, activities, events and sports, I am sure everyone will find something they can enjoy, so make sure to explore all the opportunities. Also network a lot! Don’t be afraid to ask for help. I have found that everyone the school’s staff, the course office, the teachers and the union are there to help you as much as they can, so if you need support, they are there.
I would also advise everyone to work or do volunteering (or both) for at least some time regardless of whether you need it to support yourself. The school has its own career site an there is Unitemps which offer students temporary work.
But do not forget to study. Experience and extracurriculars are essential, but most jobs will still want that 2.1 or 1st class degree.
What is the one thing you can't live without?
I am going to vote for music here. Most of the days, if I am alone or working on some solitary tasks, you can find me with at least one ear plugged in with earphones. From commuting through cooking to studying, there is always some background music going on. Whether I am hyping myself up before public speaking or interview or calming myself down before an exam it has always there with me. It is a vital part of my life.