Portrait photograph of: Ilhan Kirpik

Ilhan Kirpik

Country Of Origin: Germany

Degree: MSc Finance, 2013

Investment Banking Associate, Citi

When looking at universities, I considered campus the most important factor. Lancaster answered all my wishes.

The campus is right in the middle of green nature and it is quiet, which meant I could focus entirely on my studies. Not only does it have a beautiful campus, but Lancaster also provided lots of facilities such as library, gym, and restaurants. What I like about the city of Lancaster is that it is not far from Manchester and even Scotland – travelling is easily done within a day.

The other major factor was the reputation: LUMS is in the top tier of business schools in the UK, with affordable tuition fees.

I enjoyed many factors of my degree. My favourite module was Financial Statement Analysis, as it provides the necessary skillsets which you can apply to various other modules and in a graduate job. It was a great help for me as an analyst in the field of corporate structured finance where cash-flow-based modelling is essential.

I also enjoyed the dissertation because it was very practical: you had to apply the theory you have learned to an analysis of a company of your choice. More specifically, we had to utilise various valuation methods and apply them to practice.

The CFA stream was especially good because it was very well structured, providing all the necessary materials plus an intensive two weeks of tutorials with ‘7City’ to make sure that you are very well prepared to pass the exam. Additionally it gives you a competitive advantage among other job candidates.

Four of my friends and I decided to set up a finance club (LPF-Club.com) within LUMS, run by postgraduate students for postgraduate students. This was the first club that has been able to create an active and continuous discussion platform between students and professors outside the general lecture hours. The main activities involved market review, finance-related presentations, case studies and group discussions.

My experience at Lancaster was the greatest time of my educational life. The international environment taught me how to adapt and cope with different cultural backgrounds and beliefs. I also had great memories with students and lecturers who were all very friendly – I developed professional relationships which are still ongoing. After I had completed the course, my financial knowledge was vastly improved and I could finally use it to secure a graduate position.

The LUMS Career team guided me through the interview preparation and gave me insights into how to enhance my CV and covering letter. The team also tried to bring out as many of my strengths as possible through group discussion, and provided many helpful workshops such as how to use LinkedIn more effectively for career purposes.

Since graduating I secured a position at UniCredit in the field of corporate structured finance where I was involved in preparing information for large cap structured finance transactions in Germany with minimum revenue of 1.5bn euros. Then I went to work for DZ Bank AG. I am currently working at Citi in New York as an Investment Banking Associate. The knowledge I gained during my studies at Lancaster definitely helps me in conducting my tasks. Especially the CFA material, financial statement analysis and corporate finance have equipped me with the necessary tools to make my daily work easier.