Could you please describe yourself in a few sentences

Dr Panagiotis Dontis-Charitos, Course Leader : My name is Panagiotis Dontis-Charitos. I’m the Course Leader for Finance, Banking and Insurance MSc. I come from Corinth, Greece, a small city near Athens. I completed my Bachelor’s degree in Greece and then I moved to the UK where I did my Master’s and Ph.D. in Finance at Cass Business School, London.
Dr Stefan Van Dellen, Deputy Course Leader : My name is Stefan Van Dellen. I’m the Deputy Course Leader on the  Finance, Banking and Insurance MSc. I grew up in a small city in South Africa called Durban and then moved to the UK in 2003 to do my MSc in Economics, I then did my Ph.D. with Takis (PD) and then I joined Westminster after that.
Which area of academia are you most passionate about and why?
Dr Panagiotis Dontis-Charitos: I find teaching and research to be equally stimulating and rewarding.
Dr Stefan Van Dellen: I particularly enjoy the research aspects of my job. I also really enjoy teaching at Westminster, because we’re such a diverse body: you’re constantly learning new things about new cultures.

How do you relax and unwind during your spare time?
Dr Panagiotis Dontis-Charitos: I very much enjoy playing Basketball. I play as the point-guard or shooting-guard for a team of friends and we participate with this team at several tournaments around London. Basketball is my thing.
Dr Stefan Van Dellen: Having grown up in South Africa, I’m particularly fond of Rugby. I really, really enjoy it. So I’m never happier than when I’m sitting, watching my favourite team, the Natal Sharks, thrash everyone else!
Please tell us a bit about your course.
Dr Panagiotis Dontis-Charitos: The recent financial crisis has increased concerns about the future of banking and insurance. The MSc Finance, Banking and Insurance, which is a new Master’s, has been designed in such a way, so that it equips our students with the necessary skills to excel in a changing financial services environment.
Dr Stefan Van Dellen: The nice thing about the fact that it offers finance, banking and insurance in one, complete package, is that it shows how inter-related the financial markets are, and how the risks faced by one financial institution really impact on the entire financial market.
If you had one piece of advice for new postgraduate students what would it be?
Dr Panagiotis Dontis-Charitos: We live in a very competitive job environment. So all you have to do is be better than everyone else around you. You have to be motivated. You have to be inquisitive and persistent. That is going to help you excel in your careers.
Dr Stefan Van Dellen: I mean the main thing is just to make the most of the degree. You know, you’ve got an opportunity to learn skills, meet new people, and network with people that you’re going to be dealing with for the rest of your life.

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