“There are 37 nationalities in my class. You learn a lot from each other and build a great network.”
Masters in Financial Analysis (MFA) student Pavan Surepeddi is headed for a career in trading: he holds an undergraduate degree in economics from Reading University and has three banking internships under his belt – one at Deutsche Bank and two at Citibank. He enjoyed back-office work but realised tech for a bank was no different from tech anywhere else, and his passion was finance.
Investment banking – “project-based, with a quiet flow” – didn’t tempt him. Sales and trading, on the other hand, appealed. “You move fast and work with the markets. You have to make quick decisions. That’s much more exciting.”
He chose the MFA at London Business School (LBS) for its strong maths element – it was “quanty” and combined the theoretical and practical aspects of finance. He’s gaining the technical skills he’ll need in his future career, such as power modelling and how to get the most out of Microsoft Excel. He was impressed when LBS added a new element to the MFA programme in response to feedback. “A few of us said we’d like to learn VBA [a spreadsheet programme] and they made it available to us in the next term.”
But the MFA is about more than technical prowess. “LBS places a real emphasis on the other skills you’ll need in the workplace.” He and his classmates have learned presentation, body language and networking skills, which he found particularly useful. “The practitioner gave us some great tips for navigating a group. I’m confident now where I used to feel slightly awkward.”
Pavan is the recipient of the Masters in Financial Analysis Merit Scholarship for UK Nationals and Residents, an award of £6,000 towards tuition fees. It was “definitely a nice surprise”, says Pavan. “I wasn’t expecting it and it’s a big saving. It’s helped me make the most of my experience here – I’m exploring London and everything LBS has to offer. It’s a nice boost.”
Highlights of the LBS experience so far include the India Club’s Diwali event at Oval cricket ground (he also plays for Haberdashers alumni cricket team) and Regent’s Park, which is right next to LBS. “It’s amazing, especially in the summer. It’s an incredible place to take a walk and clear your head.”
He’s also enjoying being immersed in such an internationally diverse community. “There are 79 of us on the MFA and not one of us has exactly the same background. It’s something that differentiates LBS from other business schools. There are 37 nationalities in my class. You learn a lot from each other and build a great network.”