It was a desire for world-class knowledge and skills to enhance my career and help me reach my future goals which led me to study at Cranfield. Many of my friends and family thought I was taking an unnecessary risk with uncertain returns… but I was sure they knew less about investment than I did. I had been working with the Apex Bank in Nigeria when I had a strong pull within me to further improve my knowledge in finance. I decided that if I was going to further my studies, it had to be one of the best business schools on the globe, though at that stage I had never heard of Cranfield University.
I had a background in economics, but I wanted to broaden my knowledge in finance. I was advised by many people to opt for an MBA programme, but I wasn’t certain an MBA would deliver the full approach to finance that I was seeking. I researched business schools in the United States, United Kingdom and Canada, comparing the contents of their finance programmes, the faculty and value for money. I found the Cranfield School of Management’s Finance and Management programme to be the richest course for my immediate and future needs. All the schools had common modules, even those that combined finance with accounting or investment, but Cranfield was standout with its management combination and the elective modules such as Infrastructure Finance and Entrepreneurial Finance. I saw this as being proactive to the needs of the global market, especially the emerging market.
The Cranfield Finance and Management MSc specifically covers the principles, tools and techniques of both finance and management, and their practicality in real business situations. Each module is taught with the combination of case studies, participative exercises, group work and lectures from industry experts. The curriculum covers about 80% of the syllabus of the Certified Financial Analysts (CFA) programme, and that of the Chartered Alternative Investment Analysts (CAIA) Programme.
The department is fully and well equipped with modern and relevant resources including a computer suite that gives students access to the world of business beyond theory. All the way through the course students have access to Bloomberg financial news and data, Financial Times and other resources to support their learning. The Management Information and Resource Centre (MIRC) – a library and information service within the School of Management – has committed professionals to manage and assist students in making use of all available resources.
Having classmates from various nationalities including Asia, Africa, Europe, America, Middle East, Australia, and different academic backgrounds, such as engineering, mathematics, economics and accounting, added variety and alternative perspectives to my course. I was captivated by the methodology of teaching and learning as a group, reinforcing students with the essentials of the real work place – teamwork, taking responsibility as part of a group and so on. The individual assignment gives students the opportunity to research and expose financial issues occurring in the real world. The wealth of experience of the faculty members and supporting staff are also second to none. We had a brilliant course coordinator who was always ready to support and make sure we had a wonderful course experience.
The application process was smooth and stress-free. I also brought my family with me, which was surprisingly easy with the assistant of the admissions and support office, who also helped get my children enrolled in a local school. This experience was a total change in the quality of life for my entire family. Cranfield was our home.
Although my course was very intensive and stressful, I can sincerely say that I am proud to be one of Cranfield’s products and ambassadors in the world of finance.