Introducing Course Leader for Global Finance MSc, Julie Ayton
Hi! My name is Julie and I have been a Senior Lecturer in Finance at Westminster Business School since January 2015. Before that, I worked at the University of Bath for four years and in Richmond at the American International University in London for one year. My PhD, completed in France, is in empirical asset pricing and socially (ir)responsible investment. Since then, I’ve developed research interests in corporate finance, banking, behavioural finance, macroeconomics and international business. Over the years, I have taught various undergraduate and postgraduate modules in Finance including International Finance, Investment Banking, Corporate Finance, Banking Risk, and Investments, as well as Research Methods for Finance. My personality: I am energetic, optimistic, rigorous, frank, and determined. I love travelling, reading (both novels and financial news), eating and dancing (but not all at the same time!) I also enjoy a range of outdoor activities such as trekking, cycling, skiing and scuba-diving.
What can your students expect from the MSc in Global Finance?
The primary aim of the MSc in Global Finance is to equip students with the necessary knowledge and skill-set to work in any field of global finance, from an investment, economical and behavioural aspect, as well as numerically. The MSc specifically caters to individuals who would like to get into the field of finance, but do not necessarily have a background in finance. A typical student would have an honours degree in accounting, finance, economics, business studies or social science and/or a professional qualification in finance or accounting. You will develop the key skills needed to pursue a wide range of careers in the field of global finance, offering opportunities for active learning and engagement. In addition to subject-specific skills, you will learn to question and challenge existing theories, and to develop informed recommendations on business-related issues. Finally, one major advantage of the course is the diversity of the students and staff. You will have a valuable opportunity to learn about the different cultures, backgrounds and business mind-sets of students, staff and external speakers from across the globe, allowing you to build long-term relationships and develop networks on an international scale.
The course is very well structured around core modules that will equip you with the skills and knowledge to flourish in the highly competitive finance job market. ‘Modern Finance’ is fundamental in the learning of key theories and concepts in finance, at the same time developing your critical thinking and advocacy power. ‘Data Analysis’ and ‘International Risk Management’ provide you with the essential tools to deal with the practical elements of finance and economics. ‘Financial Markets and Institutions’ provides an exceptional practical experience using the Financial Markets Suite with Bloomberg terminals, something future finance professionals will find highly beneficial as it will give them a head-start over other courses. Finally, students enjoyed a visit to one of the top investment banks in the world (where they could observe how an investment bank operates on a day-to-day basis) as well as several social gatherings with staff members and students from other MSc programmes.
What would you say are some of the key merits of your course?
There is no better way to sell the merits of this course than by using the voice of a former student: “I got offers from a number of universities in the UK & I chose Westminster Business School for the following reasons. First and most important, I liked the course structure and content of the Global Finance MSc programme. Another reason was the university’s central location, its excellent reputation and other facilities. The programme was very hectic but I have learnt a lot. It is a well-rounded course that provides strong foundations in all aspects of Finance. Modules such as ‘Data Analysis’ and ‘Financial Markets and Institutions’ provide a strong foundation to be able to understand other deeper concepts.” State-of-the-art facilities at Westminster Business School include the Financial Markets Suite with Bloomberg access (where some modules hold their lectures/seminars allowing a direct link between theory and real market data), library resources (including subscription to online publications and access to market and company databases), career guidance services, brand new fully equipped classrooms, and dedicated postgraduate study rooms. In addition, our central location allows us to build close links with firms in the City, creating competitive employment opportunities for students.
What piece of advice would you give to students about to embark on their postgraduate studies?
Seize all the opportunities that this MSc in Global Finance has to offer! Also, enjoy London and enjoy yourselves! It has been proved that happiness comes with experiences and relationships. Hence, remember to balance your academic studies with the building of life-long relationships. But, at the end of the day, remember that employers look for people who are able to stand out of the crowd, so invest in activities that will make your CV unique (e.g. a foreign language, membership to a professional or recreational body and other networking activities, any sport at competition level, internships and voluntary work, academic leadership, specific skills… pick your own!)
To find out more about Westminster’s Global Finance MSc, please visit the course page; if you would like to get in touch with Course Leader Julie Ayton, you can find her details via her staff profile on our website.
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