Benjamin Philpott

Country of origin: United Kingdom

Manager, Lloyds Banking Group

I chose to study at LUMS primarily because of its strong reputation with employers. This reputation was useful when I came to applying for jobs during the final year of my degree and received several fantastic offers.

I was also keen to combine studying both finance and economics, as I’d long been fascinated by economics while feeling the finance element would give my degree relevant grounding in the corporate environment I was likely to transition to post graduation. LUMS offered what I considered to be the perfect balance between finance and economics, therefore making the course ideally suited to myself.

I scored a first in every module of my degree and I believe this is a testament to how enjoyable I found each module. That said, I particularly enjoyed modules where I could test established theories and potentially discover new trends – for example, in econometrics and quantitative finance. I also found my final-year Industrial Economics module very varied and interesting.

I strongly believe that studying at LUMS gave me an opportunity to maximise my potential that could not have been replicated elsewhere. Two and a half years following graduation, the aspects that still stick in my mind are the quality of my lecturers (some of whom I’m still in touch with) and the opportunity to develop ‘soft skills’ through presentation and group work assessments. As well as being an engaging and fun way to learn, these assessment methods are good preparation for the corporate environment that awaits post-graduation.

Following graduation, I joined Lloyds Banking Group’s Finance Graduate Leadership Programme. This is a rotational programme with the twin aims of developing leadership skills and developing finance skills (including the provision of a professional qualification).

My first placement was in Insurance Finance as a Control and Reporting Accountant, where I spent a year honing my core accounting skills. My second placement was working in the office of one of the Group Directors. This was a fascinating experience, which offered me a privileged view of how the Group is directed at the very highest level and also the regulatory pressures the Group operates under. I then spent six months working in Loans Finance, assisting the Loans business understand their financials, set appropriate pricing and track the success of various initiatives. Finally, I spent six months in international wealth (based in Jersey), providing finance business partnering to various parts of the international bank while being heavily involved in project work.

Having finished the programme, I am now a Finance Manager in the Commercial Banking business. Whilst working full-time, I have also been studying to become a Chartered Global Management Accountant with CIMA.