About my degree: BSc Finance – Kevin Thull

As the first term of my final year comes to an end, I think I can pass on my insight into the life of a Finance student at LUMS, as well as everything I wish I knew before joining the University.

Aside from the excellent reputation of LUMS, it was the international and diverse community of the university that drew me to Lancaster. On my first day, I was pleasantly surprised to find out I would be living with 7 people from 7 different countries in one flat.

In my second week, I was put into contact with the LUMS Careers team during an event organised by the Investment & Finance society. Whilst I saw my time at university as more of an academic journey, I quickly realised that the search for jobs starts in your first year when applying for investment banking spring weeks – these are dedicated programmes run by investment banks to give motivated first years an insight into their bank. With a dedicated financial career coach on your side you know you are in good hands at LUMS. The support of Paul McCormick (Lecturer and Financial Careers Coach) and the LUMS Careers team have been vital in helping me to successfully secure two internships in M&A and the Private Equity sector.

Personally, I feel that the most interesting modules are the ones that you get to choose in your final year. I have been able to put the theory learned in the first two years into practice with real-world applications. As such, as part of my final year project, I am learning Python, one of the most popular modern computer programming languages, and using it to write complex codes (something I thought initially would not be taught in a finance degree). In fact, I am scraping through nearly 20 years of financial statements of every listed company in the US and applying natural language processing and machine learning methods on the words contained in the statements. I am trying to find out whether there is a correlation between the tone in financial statements and stock prices. Clearly a tedious task, but a rewarding one so far!

At the same time, I am taking a course based in the Bloomberg labs, a module most people in my cohort were looking forward to from their first year onwards. If you want to learn about the terminal and company valuations – this is the module for you. Clearly, the finance modules offered by LUMS prepare you to hit the ground running once you start your career.

I would like to highlight that studying here is more than ‘just’ going to classes and burying your head in books. In my first year, I joined the Investment & Finance society during freshers week and have since become involved in organising events and workshops. We managed to bring alumni speakers from Goldman Sachs to Deutsche Bank to campus, who shared their tips and insights into banking. Even if you aren’t able to be a part of the executive team, the society runs many events that boost your employability skills and increases your chances in the recruitment cycles.

Finally, LUMS has its own student-run investment fund in which I have been involved during my time here. It creates the perfect opportunity to pitch stocks, meet like-minded people from 1st year to PHD students and put the financial theories learned in class into practice.

All in all, the BSc Finance was the perfect degree for me: allowing me to mature academically and as a person.  Personally, the degree absolutely gives me an edge against many of my friends who study across the Channel and complain that they are purely learning theory! If I had to make the decision again, I certainly wouldn`t hesitate in coming back to the Management School here at Lancaster!