Sebastian Stauss

Country of origin: Germany

Finance Trainee, LANXESS AG

Straight after graduating from high school, I gained first-hand experience in the financial industry by completing an apprenticeship as a banker. After this, I studied a double degree in Business Administration. Alongside the studies, I worked at my partner company that was operating in the automotive industry.

After gaining some work experience in the financial industry, as well as in a manufacturing company, I was able to decide which of the fields suited me better. As a result, I was strongly encouraged to gain more experience related to the financial industry. In my opinion, the best way to achieve my goal was to study a master’s course in finance. Due to my time studying abroad, I’d experienced being taught in the English language. I decided to go abroad to the UK for my entire master’s degree. I applied to several UK universities and finally chose Lancaster University due to the award winning Management School and its great reputation as a top 10 university in the UK for its MSc Finance programme.

It was a great experience to study in a real international surrounding, not only my classmates came from all over the world but also many professors and lecturers. This made the MSc Finance programme an amazing opportunity to network with experts in finance from all over the world and build friendships for life. The programme gives you the opportunity to choose your own modules in the second term. That was a great option which even enabled me to gain insights into accounting based modules (e.g. Financial Accounting for Complex Entities) next to the majority of finance modules in my studies (e.g. Advanced Investment Management or Advanced Corporate Finance).

Campus offers plenty of opportunities for everyone to pursue their individual hobbies; there are societies and sport clubs for almost anything. Since I have been a football referee for 8 years before starting my studies in Lancaster, I joined the University´s refereeing society which was a really nice opportunity to get involved in university life and get to know undergraduates as well as postgraduates from different disciplines. Beyond that, the sports centre on campus was a good place to get distracted from my demanding studies.

Lancaster University is a really great place to stay for your studies. On one hand, LUMS offers excellent resources for acquiring academic knowledge and become an expert in your chosen field of studies. On the other hand, campus life enables you to have an unforgettable time with the friends you make during your studies. For both purposes, Lancaster University provides excellent facilities on campus, such as the newly refurbished library in the heart of campus.

The LUMS Careers Team was really helpful when gaining valuable information about companies’ recruitment processes and how to prepare for them. Personally, practicing some psychometric test questions helped me to survive the demanding recruitment process. Beyond that, they supported me in my final decision when deciding which job offer I was going to choose.

Directly after graduating from LUMS in September 2016, I started a position as a Financial Controller at BMW Group in Munich. I am pretty sure my Lancaster experience will help me a lot to succeed in this position and support me during my career to develop further in finance-related positions I am interested in, like Corporate Finance or Group Accounting. Beyond that, my time at Lancaster strengthened my goals in that I definitely want to work or do further studies abroad for a couple of years. I am convinced that the international study surroundings at LUMS equipped me with the relevant skills for this.

In March 2017, I started as a Finance Trainee at LANXESS AG in Cologne.