Becoming an MBA student is not only about studying long hours in the library and submitting papers and projects on time. It is also about meeting right people in the right time; people who will guide you through out the thorny path of educational process, giving advices and doing their best for you to achieve success.

Dissertation is the final chord in the symphony of the studies. And for MBAs it is more than a tough task to execute, as the expectations of the markers are higher than for other Master’s students in general. That’s why having the right supervisor is more than important for us.
My dissertation is in finance. I was lucky enough to be allocated to an exceptionally wise and bright person, who knows the subject perfectly, has brilliant sense of humor and is very good at guiding and mentoring students.
His name is Dave Coker. He is an ex-expatriate New Yorker who has lived in London since 1997. Having had his PHD in finance and MBA, he spent the bulk of his career as Vice President of Global Risk Management and now he consults on Credit Risk to a Global Tier 1 Investment Bank and teaches finance as a visiting lecturer at Universities in the UK and in Europe. We are so lucky to have him here at the University of Westminster!
He has his own financial blog in the Internet ( that is called “Observations of a financial nature” where he posts his thoughts and feelings about what’s going on in the financial markets, based on his huge experience in this sphere. In his blog, he refers to such interesting and very actual topics as BRICs and MIST economies, European crisis, inflation, unemployment in the US, taxes, etc. Using graphs, he makes difficult financial issues understandable for everyone!

His blog was among the sources that inspired me to choose the topic of my dissertation. Now I’m in the homestretch with my dissertation project, and I hope it will be as successful as the whole period of cooperation with my supervisor was!

This blog is written by Natalia Skachkova, full-time MBA student 2011/12, scholarship from the University of Westminster.


  • Good luck on your studies Natalia. I finished my MBA (part-time) just under 8 years ago and I can honestly say that it was the best thing I did to further my career. Although my career path has not followed directly the area of my dissertation what MBA has given me is the discipline and ability to critically analyse every aspect of my business.

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