Selima [00:00:00] Hello, everyone, and welcome to our Q&A session here at Bayes Business School. Today we'll be covering the topic of the MSc in Global Finance. My name is Selima Rahman. I am a course advisor here at Bayes Business School.
Tiago [00:00:17] My name is Tiago. I'm 31 years old. I'm from Portugal and I currently work in London. I started my professional experience back in Portugal. I worked for the two biggest banks in Portugal, which gave me the first entry experience into the financial world. With one of these banks, I had the opportunity to move to London, which I very happily accepted. I've been here for the last six years. After this experience in the bank, it was due to be over and I decided to stay a bit longer in London. I mean, London is one of the biggest financial centres in the world. So where to develop yourself within the industry, if not over here? I worked for three years in a broker, working mainly with the foreign exchange and equities. I switched to a similar company and I'm currently working as an energy broker, currently working with natural gas, and a interdealer broker called TP ICAP. I always talk about further developing my studies to the official knowledge, especially over here in London. It's something that is truly valued, every certification that you do, any exam that you take, your employer will usually value very much. On a personal level, I wanted to develop myself. I had a job that, I knew that I wanted to continue my progression. And I knew that in order for me to change towards a different path, I had to go to ground zero or try to develop knowledge in an academic level. That was pretty much my motivation to get a better job and to know more about the industry as well, because I thought about doing these masters because, first of all, a masters in finance is very important. Then you'll have the opportunity to speak with colleagues who are also finance professionals, and finance is very wide as an industry so, you can be an accountant and work in finance, you can work in a hedge fund and work in finance so you have plenty of different backgrounds. At least that was what I was expecting, so it was good to me because I'm very curious to understand what each person does. I have a lot of friends within the industry, but I didn't really understand what they did. So that was another motivation for me and also, obviously, if I wanted to do this, I wanted to do it in a good university. So I did my research and I got into Bayes. I considered this specific programme because it was part time in order for me to continue studying, I had to continue working as well. So that's why I wouldn't be able to enrol in a full time programme, even though it is shorter. But part time was definitely my priority.
Selima [00:03:58] In regards to the actual name change. Have you noticed any sort of differences in terms of your career prospects regarding the name change at all?
Tiago [00:04:11] Not really. It's obviously not going to ignore the fact that when I joined it was Cass, and now it's Bayes. So people, specifically in this city, as I'm based in [inaudible] still do associate with Cass, and sometimes I still use it as Cass specifically because I'm used to it, but it's like rather than, you know, only applying for the name of the university. In the end, what you want is the knowledge and the specific content hasn't changed. It's not that the quality of the university was downgraded, if not, it was even increased because you have to step up your efforts to get Bayes, the name that Cass wants to have, which I think in a couple of years will be, because Cass had other names before. I mean, John Cass was simply the donor. So if you think about it, this something, it's pure branding. Of course, it matters because you want it to look good on your CV, and that's why you're registering for it as well. But if you ask me, does it impact. I don't think it impacts. You can use the content as much as you want. The Masters will really teach you a lot of things, so it will help you manage your personal finances if you want. On a professional level, it certainly helps when applying for jobs. It's a very good topic to talk about. You have so many things, so many fun facts to share. It makes you overall a more interesting person. And obviously, obviously it will help you understand what each and every company within the financial spectrum does, which was something that I was very curious to understand. What is the difference between a private equity firm, a public firm venture capital? You'll get to understand everything. So for me, that was a very good point from a professional perspective because I have to deal from time to time with different professionals.
Selima [00:06:43] Yeah, of course. And on the subject of professional impact, Sammys actually asked, Is there a dedicated career service for this programme or is it the same for the whole university?
Tiago [00:06:55] It is the same for the whole university, which I think is even better because if it was just specific, I mean, you have to adjust because it depends obviously on each individual, but you have access to all of the resources from Cass and Cass as a university has a lot of connection has a lot of resources. I actually used the career section because I switched jobs during the COVID crisis and I had a meeting with with Michelle. She gave me advice on how to tailor my CV. What to expect. I mean, the whole thing.
Selima [00:07:42] Is prior work experience preferred for taking up this programme. Or, you know, would an undergrad degree in finance be necessary? So how did you come about this MSc and what sort of experience did you have prior to this?
Tiago [00:07:58] So my bachelor degree was in business management. I have a basic knowledge of accounting, basic knowledge of investment strategies, basic knowledge of, well, finance as a whole. So it definitely helps. But is it mandatory? I mean, we have engineers doing the degree. So what I really think is that obviously it helps if you have the basis because you can take way more advantage out of it. But if you don't, and they will, certainly, even if you work in finance, there will certainly be topics where you'll learn a lot and you'll be like everyone else because no one does everything at their job. So you'll have modules that will require some maths skills, others will require some accounting skills, others will require. I mean everything. So all types of skills will be appreciated rather than having a previous background. What I think is important for you to consider, is that if you really like the topics, and that was my main help while I was studying because it's very hard to study for so many hours. So if you do enjoy the topic, I mean, that's enough motivation because you'll start with the foundations of finance, which will give you pretty much the basis to go throughout the course. So in terms of time management, it really depends because you don't have to study every single day or you can study every single day. It's really up to you. And the more you want to give to the masters, the more it will give it back to you.
[00:10:02] Help you study for the level one of the CFA. The CFA is a certification that I'm also considering. I thought about it before doing the MSc study. I thought about it as a competitor, let's say. So it will definitely help you, especially with the maths, that you need to learn and the theory about it. So I would say that this is, I've never tried this CFA at level one, but I have a lot of friends who are CFA Sharapova's, and what I can say is that these should be equivalent to completing at least level one and you'll learn things that you'll use in other levels, for sure.
Selima [00:10:45] Will this course will help you advance in your career or has it helped your advance in your career?
Tiago [00:10:53] So it definitely helped me getting the current job that I have, especially because I was still completing the Masters, so I had to use it as a weapon to stand out from the crowd, let's say. It definitely helped me. It helped me understand the products that I sell. I work with derivatives. So I work with futures, with options. And how do you present options? It was something that was a myth, a very good question, and I didn't know how to answer. So I learned during the Masters, so you'll use it. I used it with my clients, and it's good for your clients to understand that, you know? So for me, it helped me in these ways. Of course, there are a lot of things that I haven't used yet, but I know that in 5-10 years, because finance is always evolving and depending on the path that you want your career to take, you'll use something for sure. The invitations will arrive. You'll be invited to so many parties, so many events that you thought that would be ok but [inaudible] well. So you need to be organised because you really have to set up at least, I had to become more organised, so I had to set up weekly hours on specific dates so I can study. And I mean, I still wanted to go to the gym. I still wanted to, from time to time, at least once during the week go out for a drink, so, I had to really schedule pretty much everything. Then you get used to it and you understand that you can play with it. You don't have to study two hours on a Monday every single Monday. You can do it on a Tuesday, so you'll be able to manage the time as you'd prefer. I got some presentation skills which were very, very useful. You'll have to do some presentations. And you're presenting too very, very smart people, they're professors and their colleagues. So you'll really want to do good on this. On a social level, you interact with very, very smart individuals that work within your industry and they will teach you a lot. You'll learn a lot with your colleagues, because you have some forums that you can interact with and you'll see some answers that people dedicate some time on it, on a simple question they will really put all their effort into it. So the social side of the method was very important because if you're looking at your colleagues and they're studying very hard, you want to study very hard as well. Not to have better grades whatsoever, but, you know, to elevate the level of discussion.
Selima [00:14:18] As an online programme, I see the biggest loss in the reduced opportunities for network. How is that handled in the programme?
Tiago [00:14:27] It was one of my biggest concerns before applying it was whether I would be able to meet my colleagues and whether the programme would be considered as good as an in-person programme. So these were my two biggest things with it being online in terms of it being online for your future employer. No one really cares. And trust me, it's the same in terms of the amount of knowledge that you will get in terms of networking opportunities. Obviously, it's different. It's different to be in a classroom with thirty people and being in front of the computer like right now, I'm talking to you and I'm not really seeing you. So that is already very different and I think it's a reality that everyone is getting used to right now. You have all the tools, to give you an example. When I joined, I was really worried because one of the feedback that I got from one of my friends was that I would study with very nice people. It would be good in terms of networking opportunities. So when I joined the masters, the first thing I did was create a WhatsApp group. So I created a WhatsApp group. I sent the invite on the forum. A lot of people joined. So we have a WhatsApp group with 40 or 50 people, everyone doing the same, exchanging ideas, doing the weekly studies and even afterwards sharing some pictures of their kids. So you have different tools, obviously it's not the same, it's a different methodology.
[00:16:17] But then if you're based in London or if you have the opportunity to come to London they have plenty of events for you to attend from Bayes. I met a lot of Global Finance students while going to these parties from different cohorts. And it's a thing when you arrive, oh you're studying Global Finance. If you start doing it, probably we'll see each other in one of these events because I still like to attend and I met some of the professors in these parties and met Idina, the office from the programme in these parties, met some of my colleagues. So you'll have to make an extra effort like everything else, like it's the world that we live in nowadays and even the interactions with the professors, every time that I have a question, and I had to send an email during the week.
[00:17:21] It's a Monday, and it's 11 p.m. The next day, first thing in the morning, I'll have the reply from the professors. So they're very, very ready to accommodate your needs. If someone was to adjust my daily life, I have a very active life and in terms of meeting friends outside of work, after work, going out with some of my colleagues during the week. And basically, I had to say no to some of these things, but it's something that, it wasn't like I was doing a sacrifice because I did this, that was my choice. It was my choice so. And I was really enjoying the content, so it wasn't really an effort. But just adjusting to these new routines was the challenge in the beginning, then you get used to it.
[00:18:21] Like meeting with all my colleagues, building these relationships with the professors and connecting with everyone, going to the graduation ceremony. Everything was very, very nice. It was a very good experience. One of the main reasons why I joined this programme was the flexibility. The flexibility was very important for me, as I mentioned before, so working and studying was important. Um, and being able to study whatever I wanted or whenever I wanted was just a big plus because I wasn't really expecting a global crisis to erupt. So I did this masters as well being in four different countries.
[00:19:10] I had three different jobs during the masters, so the flexibility of being an online student was really key for me. It was very important because the only thing that wasn't disrupted during the last year was the studies. So for me, for me, it was an even bigger plus.
Selima [00:19:35] As a successful graduate of the MSc can you share any best tips or practises that you have managed to implement throughout your studies and perhaps have taken onto your career as well.
Tiago [00:19:50] I would just say that if you decide to enrol in this programme, and I hope you do. I think that you should really focus on it because it's really worth it, it's a very good programme. You'll be exposed to very good professors. The quality of the professors is very, very high. Actually now I'm remembering about a couple of things that I could have mentioned as the biggest successes. Because you're exposed to very high quality professors, which can give you both the academic side but can also provide you with an industry insight.
[00:20:35] They are very well-connected in the city, so they will tell you, how are things done in practise. So you should really focus on this programme. That's one of the biggest advice, because it will be over very, very quickly. You think about it and it's almost two years, but it has gone by, I mean I graduated almost six months ago or seven months ago, and it looked like it was only a couple of weeks. But again, the biggest lesson was the more you give, the more you will get back from the MSc. So whether in terms of reading books, you'll be advised to follow a study path.
[00:21:27] But you can add more components to it, especially on the topics that you really enjoy. You should really focus on it and do your own research, do your own compliment on it, because professors will also reward you in terms of grading. So it will also make you more successful in terms of grades. The quality of the professors is very high and it's something that you'll retain even after you graduate and I'm the living proof of that. I still talk to some of my colleagues, in a couple of weeks I'm going to to Madrid. I'm going to meet one of my colleagues from the masters. So even if you're studying for with someone that works in Dubai, at some point in your life, you'll have the opportunity to meet this person. And if you study together, trust me, they will remember you. That's a fact.
Selima [00:22:23] Of course, there is no thesis for the MSc. But perhaps you've been doing some writing externally away from the MSc itself and are you writing the paper for your new employer. Will there be an oral presentation at the end of your study? So, why don't you give us some insight into that kind of final semester of the MSc in Global Finance.
Tiago [00:22:51] So the programme is divided into 12 modules, so you don't have a final thesis as usual in masters degrees. What you have is each module you'll be invited to complete an assessment on the last week. This is the standard for each module, so you study for a couple of things, and in the end you are invited to write an assessment about a specific topic that will cover the subjects that you just learnt.
[00:23:28] I would say that if I combine every assessment that I have done, it's a very big thesis. But I would say that this is more like a report that you write every two months. It would be like 10 to 15 pages of a specific subject. It is not a paper about this specific subject at all, It's a topic selected by the professor. It was also a good thing for me because, first of all, I didn't know what to write about. Maybe, maybe now I would know.
[00:24:08] But in the beginning I didn't really want to commit to a thesis because that's an even bigger commitment. So, no, you don't have to do a thesis at the end of the Masters. You'll have to complete an assessment every seventh week of each module, its immediate thesis, I assure you. A specific time to complete this assessment, which will be around 10 days, I think.
Selima [00:24:43] Yeah, exactly. So it's not like an exam or timed or anything like that. You have a good one week window to submit your assessment.
Tiago [00:24:54] Yeah, exactly. So you'll receive the questions on like a Friday, let's say, and you'll have to submit the presentation one week after or something like this. Maybe 10 days, 10 days is the norm, maybe 10 days or more. So you'll have plenty of time.
Selima [00:25:20] Please feel free to reach out to your course advisor, we'll be more than happy to arrange a call with you and go through that whole process with you, and I really look forward to speaking to all of you soon. But thank you so much, Tiago, for answering those questions and taking some time out of your day. I hope you have a lovely rest of your evening, everyone, and take care.