Stavros Violaris

Country of origin: Cyprus

Manager in Financial Accounting Advisory, EY

After completing my professional ACCA exams in Cyprus, I wanted to enhance my academic skills and get a competitive edge as a graduate by pursuing a Masters course in an industry-related subject. Top-rated Lancaster University Management School appealed to me as an excellent choice. After a few hours of research on the broad range of programmes offered, I decided that the MSc in Finance was the programme for me.

Having the experience of a professional qualification, initially I was not sure whether pursuing an academic degree would be of much value to me. But when I started the actual MSc I was pleasantly surprised to see its direct link to industry.

Delivering an excellent base in all disciplines essential to finance in the first semester, the MSc gave me the opportunity to identify my interests and select the modules that I found most relevant to my own development in the second semester.

Furthermore, the programme included a significant chunk of individual and group assignments which were extremely helpful in developing industry-related skills: teamwork, initiative, creativity, leadership and technical competence. And on top of everything else we even had professionals (as guests) working in the industry teaching us how things are done in the real world. The teaching was excellent and so was the help from the administrative staff.

Although the programme was quite intense, I had enough free time to maintain a balanced life. I met a lot of people from various countries and I made a lot of friends. I explored the beautiful town; I enjoyed the amazing views and I had great fun both in the campus bars as well as in the town clubs.

I am working for PricewaterhouseCoopers at the moment and I believe that the MSc in Finance at Lancaster University gave me the competitive edge over other graduates to get the job. And most importantly, my experience at Lancaster gave me the tools and the confidence to do my job at PricewaterhouseCoopers in the most professional way.

Stavros is now working for EY in London.