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Question and Answer: Finance & Banking

Question

My son is showing an interest in the Finance / Banking field. Besides the school marks – what else would make a positive impact on college prospects in the UK?

Finance and Banking

Answer

The Banking and Finance field is something that has gained momentum in the past decade and will be of prime importance in the near future as well.

Though much maligned in the recent past and it seems to have lost some of its sheen, I personally feel that finance and economics is fundamental to the growth of all economies and these subjects will continue to be sought after, albeit with modifications.

Within the Finance and Banking arena there are several areas your son could focus on.

Bachelor in Banking is available in many colleges and universities. This is a specialized degree which concentrates on finance related to banks. You would study financial statement analysis, business finance, fixed income, derivatives, investment theory and banking strategy.

Bachelor of Science in Finance is available in colleges and universities with a business school. The areas of study would include economics, business and corporate finance, accountancy and statistics. The career students aim to get after completing this is in financial analysis and trading.

Bachelor’s degree in Investments and Security teaches students about portfolio management, investment strategy, securities markets and application of theories in business. Again this degree is available in business schools. On graduation careers are in trading, investment etc.

Bachelor of Business Administration with Finance Concentration leads to jobs in investment banking and related positions. This degree focuses on business and finance covering areas of accounting, risk management, global investment etc.

Though I have written about some of the Bachelor’s degrees and jobs associated with finance and banking let me emphasize that in the current competitive environment a first degree must be supported with a Graduate degree or professional courses such as ACCA/ CFA. Some interesting programs include the Specialization in Islamic Finance by SOAS and the Ernst and Young sandwich program by Lancaster in conjunction with the Institute of Chartered Accountants (Scotland).

For most British Universities grades and academic results in school are of paramount importance.  The more competitive ones tend to view the personal statements very seriously. To gain admission to the top tier British Universities, personal statements must reflect the student’s passion and enthusiasm for the chosen subject. It is important they are not seen as trite and generic. The personal statement is a unique opportunity for the student to convince the admission officer as to why he is worthy to be enrolled. Do not write what you (wrongly) assume the University wants to hear, you must write about yourself, your skills, your strengths, your ambitions and your goals. A brief and unsophisticated personal statement could lead the admission officer to conclude that you are unsure of where you want to go in your career.

Teacher recommendations go a long way in assisting the admission officer select the right candidate. It always helps if the University is familiar with the profile of your son’s school. His performance inside and outside the class will then be viewed, taking into consideration the facilities and support provided by the school. Interviews at Oxbridge are extremely demanding testing not only the child’s intellect but his confidence and leadership skills and ability to think outside the box.

A student can add projects undertaken in the respective field & internships done. Extracurricular activities, community development will definitely strengthen the student’s application but remember these attributes do not hold the same importance as they do for US Universities.

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