Sarang Kulkarni

Country of origin: India

Credit Rating Financial Analyst, Dun & Bradstreet

Before travelling to Lancaster, I was preparing to complete the ACA (ICAI) qualification and working towards completing my articleship. During this period, the global economy began to experience a crisis and I became interested in understanding its causes and financial implications, particularly in the field of banking.

After completing my Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from the University of Poona, I was accepted to study at Lancaster University. I was glad to have been accepted since Lancaster University is well-known for its research and is frequently in the top 10 universities in the UK. Furthermore, LUMS is a well-known institution with successful alumni in different parts of the world. I applied for Money, Banking & Finance MSc programme because it offered an excellent variety of modules that are relevant to the banking industry. The programme also allowed me to choose two optional modules, which I felt gave me the flexibility to study topics that interested me more than others.

During my year on the programme, I experienced that the practical application of economic theory in banking was at the heart of the programme. Tutors provided examples and case studies of several economic issues and possible solutions during lectures. Coursework is an important part of every module, in contrast to the system in India. I also discovered that non-assessed coursework was taken just as seriously as assessed coursework.

The programme is very demanding and deadlines are tight, but the tutors were most welcoming and helpful. I particularly found Applied Econometrics to be tricky, but Dr Efthymios Pavlidis shared his time and expertise with students to help them tackle several topics in the module. Professor David Peel introduced the class to the topic of monetary policy and central banks – a subject that gripped me from the start! At the end of the year, I submitted my dissertation on Taylor rule-based monetary policy, which I was only able to complete under the patient mentoring of Professor Ivan Paya. I had a lot of fruitful interactions with tutors and classmates facilitated by lectures, discussions, group work and presentations throughout the year.

Classmates came from different cultural and educational backgrounds. I feel that these differences enabled me to broaden my horizons and consider different points of view during discussions for group work assignments. Students are given access to numerous books and publications in the library, in addition to many internet-based resources. The programme also provides students with a dedicated computer room for work and interaction which I found to be most useful during the dissertation period.

I was a member of the Economics Society (LUES) and the Investment and Finance Society (LUIFS), which provided me with the opportunity to interact with various students and tutors. Several real world issues were discussed and debated during the meetings in an informal manner. I was fortunate to have made lots of friends in the bars on campus during my year at Lancaster, several of whom I am still in touch with. I spent my spare time jogging around the woodlands on campus.

After graduating, I started working as a Credit Rating Financial Analyst with Dun & Bradstreet in Dubai, UAE. My knowledge of econometrics and data analysis has given me a great advantage in executing my responsibilities. I am currently working towards obtaining my CFA Charter.

In retrospect, I feel that my time on the MSc MBF would not have been worthwhile without the valued input, support and guidance of the experienced faculty and brilliant classmates. I also feel that the financial knowledge and analytical skills I obtained are valuable from a job market success point of view. My year at Lancaster University has been a truly rewarding experience.