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Student View - Why Business?

by YPU Admin on June 10, 2020, Comments. Tags: AMBS, business, Economics, finance, HUM, Humanities, HUMS, international business, and student view

Introduction

Hi, my name is Shamaila and I am a first-year student at the University of Manchester, currently studying International Business, Finance and Economics (IBFE). I chose this degree course after having studied A-level Economics and Business Studies in college and fell in love with the subjects, so much so that I decided to study it further at university. Luckily for me, I knew that I always wanted to go to university but the hard part was deciding which one was the right one for me. 

Choosing a University

To anyone that is considering university and being bombarded by information, I highly recommend attending as many open days and fairs (even if they’re virtual) as possible. I'm pretty sure I attended at least half a dozen open days before choosing Manchester. When it comes to picking a university, whether they offer a degree programme that you are interested in, is very important, but just as important is whether you can envision yourself there. The environment, the people, the culture of that campus has got to excite you and make you feel welcomed. I remember quite vividly my open day for the University of Manchester because I was running very, very late (if you know me in person, you’d know that I hate being late) and so by the time I got onto campus, I was wandering around aimlessly, but I remember thinking how stunning the campus was and I felt genuinely comfortable. Normally, I would find it quite daunting being in a new environment especially somewhere like a busy campus but seeing the AMBS building, the Main Library and the SU building (where I spend 70% of my time now), on my campus tour I could see myself here. 

Why I Chose Business

I chose my degree course as I was interested in the business sector, but I didn't have a dream job that I could aspire towards. This led me to choose IBFE, as it enabled me to cover a range of content. I was able to continue studying business and economics and gain a whole new set of skills in finance. For a lot of people, including myself at one point, if you studied a business- based degree, it was because you wanted to start your own business. But I quickly realised that there is so much more to the business sector. Often the words, finance, business and economics are used interchangeably which is understandable as there is some crossover between the three subjects, but they are also completely separate from each other. In my economic modules, we assess ever-changing economic contexts and debate different theories. In my finance modules, we produce and analyse financial reports, with the mindset of maximising shareholder profits as accountants whereas in business we aim to view the company with a more board stakeholder outlook and study various topics, such as corporate social responsibility.

Another feature of my degree programme is that it offers an industrial placement year, which basically means I am able to work in a company that I am interested in, during my 3rd year. This is something that I am very excited about, as even though the content we have learnt in class is important, I think being able to apply that knowledge and see the mechanisms of the real world and how companies operate is more important. Currently, I am aspiring to go into the accounting sector and work my way up to becoming a chartered accountant. This is something that I had never even considered before, with no previous background in accounting but I realised through some of the modules I have taken this year, such as Financial Reporting and Financial Decision Making, I really enjoy creating and analysing business reports. As a result, I am currently applying for internships at firms such as Deloitte, Grant Thornton, KPMG, and EY. 

Going Further...

To anyone right now, that is struggling to find a career that interests them, my advice would be to not panic. A lot of people do degrees in subjects that they know they like and are good at, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they have to go into that field. Especially now more than ever with the amount of information available on the internet it is much easier to develop a wide range of skills that are suitable for a variety of jobs rather than just focusing on one career pathway. 

If you are interested in anything that I have talked about, below are some links for further information:

 

Money Money Money: How do banks do it?

by YPU Admin on March 31, 2016, Comments. Tags: Banking, finance, Humanities, Law, Money, PhD, Research, and UoM

Introduction

Hi, my name is Max and I am a PhD student at the University of Manchester School of Law. I have been a university student for the past 6 years now and I have really enjoyed my experience. University provides you with the opportunity of learning new things, meeting new people, experiencing a new environment, and finding what it is you want to do in life. For me, particularly the last question has always been difficult: it took me a long time to realise what I wanted to do in life, but pursuing a masters degree after my undergraduate degree gave me an idea. I decided to do research in financial services regulation. I will give you an idea of what this entails. It’s all about money.



In Depth

Financial services significantly affect all members of society. You all use money to pay for different things, such as clothes, shoes, sweets, books etc. If it wasn’t for the financial services industry, money wouldn’t be readily available in the form that we use it today. Let me give you an example:

I imagine that some of you have bank accounts in which you can place your money. You can save money in your bank account and later withdraw it if you decide to spend it. This is referred to as a ‘deposit’, as you deposit your money in your bank account. Your bank can then use this money to create loans to give out to different people. A loan is simply an agreement between a bank and an individual or a company. The bank gives the individual a sum of money and the individual agrees to pay the money back over a certain period of time. For the bank to benefit from this transaction, the individual is required to pay an additional sum of money over the time period. It is up to the individual to decide what to do with the money they receive. They can spend it on clothes, shoes, sweets, books, or something substantially bigger like a car or a house. This bank, therefore, made money readily available to the individual. The money that you deposited is also still available to you. You can withdraw it at any time. All banks put together make up the financial services industry. They are an important part of the money available to us. They significantly influence how money is readily available to all members of society.


This seems like a good thing doesn’t it? Sadly, however, this system comes with its problems. Consider this: what if the individual is unable to repay their loan within the time period agreed upon? What if the bank gives out so many loans that there is no money left for you to withdraw when you want to? How does the bank decide who is suitable to receive a loan? Does the bank use any other means to finance its loans? All of these questions are addressed in financial services regulation. Research in this area essentially tries to make the financial services industry reliable and stable so that money is as readily available as described above. Many of the issues get very complex. It can be very difficult for researchers to keep up with everything that happens in the financial services industry. This is precisely why I believe this to be an interesting research area. New developments arise constantly that require addressing. Different researchers come up with different ways of addressing these issues. I have found myself able to add my own thoughts to this interesting area. It is a very rewarding experience.

Going further

Here is a YouTube link to an interesting explanation of banking – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CqD3hnjZBTM


 

Researching the Squishyness of Foam

by YPU Admin on December 25, 2014, Comments. Tags: algorithms, applied, business, computer, cycling, finance, foam, helmets, industry, maths, model, patentlaw, pressure, and syntactic

Introduction

My name is Maria Thorpe and it's now only 10 months until I have to submit my thesis for a PhD in applied maths.


My route to a PhD

I moved up to Manchester 7 years ago really excited to be going to university and studying for an undergrad masters in maths for the next 4 years. I loved every minute of my undergrad, but by the beginning on the fourth year still didn't really know what type of job I wanted when I finished. I was still enjoying my subject and I'd really enjoyed a research project I'd been sponsored to complete over the summer between third and fourth year, so I decided to apply for a PhD on a similar topic in applied maths. 


In Depth

Since then I've been trying to mathematically model the way in which a specific type of composite squashes under pressure. I work with a material similar to syntactic foam, similar to the  sort of foam cycling helmets are made from, however instead of creating small cavities within the material by injecting air into it, tiny hollow balls (called shells) are mixed into the foam before it sets, forming a composite. These micro shells are created from very stiff, glass-like materials and help stiffen the material under low pressures, but under high pressures they crumple like a coke can. I want to understand whether having shells close to each other changes the way the composite reacts to pressure: do the shells reinforce each other and allow the material to withstand higher pressures? Or do they have the opposite effect and cause the composite to squash more than if they were far apart?

The company sponsoring my research wants to understand how their material works so that they know how to improve it. It would take too long to try out all the different ways the shells could be mixed into the foam, and might involve buying new machinery, so it makes sense to model the material instead. Creating a very flexible model means that the same model can be used for many different applications, so I try to model the material theoretically, by extending the models previous generations of mathematicians have created. This means that most days are spent making very small steps forward with my research, but when a whole section comes together it can be really rewarding.

Aside from working on my thesis my PhD has enabled me to travel to some really great places: I spent a month in New Zealand with a company having a go at the more experimental side to my research; I've traveled to conferences all across Europe; and I've spent three months working in parliament to learn how science influences policy.

Moreover these last three years have allowed me to discover all the ways maths is used in industry and business, from patent law and government policy to computer algorithms and financial trading, so that this time round, when it comes to looking for post PhD careers, I have a much clearer idea of where I could go from here.


Going Further

If you'd like to read more about my research and that of the group I work with, the waves in complex continua group, check out our webpage:

http://wiccwavesgroup.weebly.com

There’s also an interesting article on the use of syntactic foams for deep sea exploration here:

http://news.yahoo.com/finding-strength-reach-oceans-furthest-depths-225937623.html