When Nodar Daneliya started investigating postgraduate finance programmes, he wasn’t ready to narrow his choices down too much. “I knew I liked finance – I’d taken a corporate finance module during the summer – but there were almost too many options around.” Offering a solid grounding in markets and global business, together with a world-class brand, London Business School’s Masters in Financial Analysis programme ticked the right boxes. The idea of joining a dedicated business school community, rather than a large university, also appealed. “LBS is a tight-knit community of like-minded, ambitious people. I knew I’d meet and learn alongside people with amazing experiences to share.”
And, says Nodar, he was right. “The School gave me an amazing group of friends – having a strong network both here in London and globally is a huge asset for ambitious people.” The diversity in his class, both geographically and in terms of professional backgrounds, spurred numerous thought-provoking discussions. “I wanted to learn about people’s experiences and aspirations and be inspired. In turn, I found that telling others my own story pushed me to reflect on what I’d done up to that point and taught me a lot about myself. Ultimately, it helped me find a job I love.”
Since graduating, Nodar has worked in both corporate finance and markets. He credits LBS with his ability to secure sought-after internships at a private equity company and a hedge fund. “Both those jobs are hard to get without prior finance experience. I got a lot of coaching, both at group sessions and personally, and attended a lot of high-level events. And I was always able to ask a member of the Careers team to direct me to the most relevant employer – that’s how I was introduced to the manager of the hedge fund I currently work at.”
Nodar says that doing two internships helped him understand which area suited him better. “I love my role at Provenance. I’ve grown a lot professionally in the last year and I’ve also taken on greater responsibility.” To tackle the challenges of his new position Nodar has relied heavily on his MFA toolkit. “I improved my team-work and project-management skills considerably. Business tools like excel are still very useful. And for the most part my job as a trader and data analyst requires me to look at financial markets, analyse behavioural aspects of investment and asset management, and deal with equity markets and relevant hedging strategies – all things I covered in one form or another at LBS.”
Starting out in data analytics and technology, Nodar will soon switch to trading the fund’s portfolio. Regardless of sector or role, though, he’s a firm believer in the value of analytics. “With the variety of tools available today, data analytics and the ability to extract relevant information is integral to business success,” he says. “Our whole lives can be expressed in a bunch of data points; our brains process huge amounts of them without us even noticing. The value-add of data analytics is incredible, which is why it’s now being applied in all spheres of human activity. This trend is only going to accelerate, so it’s essential to master the necessary tools.”
On a personal level, Nodar says his MFA has made him more confident, more outgoing and more proactive. “I’m still involved with LBS life. And I love coming back to campus to work on projects, attend events, participate in alumni panels, and interview potential candidates.” Asked to try and summarise his experience, he sums it up in just two words: inspirational and invigorating. Now, he says, he’s ready for anything.