Some might consider it random that I have ended up doing an MSc in Global Finance and Banking when my degree was in computer science. However, my reasons were two-fold. First of all, my father was a banker and secondly, I want to help stabilise the economic climate in my country.
I am from Palestine and currently there are three currencies in operation – the US Dollar, the Jordanian Dinar and the Israeli Shekel. Because of this, people who work can be paid in any of these three currencies which in practical terms is chaotic. To give you an example, a professor working at a university could be paid in Dinar but he will then have to pay the school fees for his children in Dollars and when he goes shopping for groceries, he will probably pay in Shekels. Consequently, salaries are being converted over and over again, which forces everyone to lose money – not a good situation.
Why Do A Masters?
My objective when deciding what Masters to do was determined by my ambition to have a career in banking, so it was important that I found a world-renowned course which would maximise my job opportunities afterwards.
I think it is really important before deciding what course you want to study that you ask yourself the following:
1) What do you want to achieve?
2) Will your course get you a job?
3) Is it worth the money?
How did I research my Masters?
One of my top tips for choosing a Masters is to ask yourself what you want to do with it afterwards. The challenge for me was to find a banking course that would equip me with the necessary research skills to help me find out how my country can restore the Palestinian Pound, which was introduced following the British mandate in 1922. It stopped being used in 1951.
I chose the UK to study because in Palestine there aren’t any banking courses so my only option was to come here. I found 10 UK MBA courses but Bradford University Business School’s MSC in Global Finance and Banking stood out. Not only did the business school have an excellent reputation, but the Dean at my previous university, the University of Bethlehem, had been a student here.
Why is a Masters Useful in a Career?
For me, it was very important to study for this further qualification not only because it will help me get into banking, but studies show that postgraduate degrees create valuable contacts which in turn should secure good work experience and employment opportunities. In fact, more than a quarter of postgraduates surveyed felt their future employment prospects were better as a result of their qualifications, according to a 2011 report by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA).
Evidence also suggests that postgraduates will earn more over the lifetime of their careers as they have the advantage of having a relevant qualification when it comes to getting a job in their chosen field.
Will a Masters help land you a Job?
One of the most important questions I asked myself when choosing this course was would it help me secure a job? This is extremely important when prospective students are deciding what to do. You need to know exactly what you want to accomplish at the end so it is vital you research your chosen field thoroughly, particularly as further study is expensive with tuition fees ranging from between £4,000 to £15,000 for home-based students and double for international students.
Can Your Dissertation Make You Employable?
Another important question to ask yourself before starting your studies is what will you focus your dissertation on? I knew exactly what I wanted to do before I even started my course. Some great advice about choosing your topic comes from Bradford professor Dr Robert Lomas in his blog. He suggests that writing a dissertation is an empowering step but at the same time you should remember that a business dissertation has three main stakeholders – the university, the student and the employer.
My Dissertation could influence Palestine’s Future
It is for this reason that I chose to focus on how the Dollar, Dinar and Shekel are affecting political and economic performance in Palestine with a view to finding out how the economy can stabilised and strengthened.
So far I have discovered that because of the exchange rates of each currency fluctuating on a daily basis, there is high volatility economically. But if the exchange rates were fixed, there would be minimum volatility. In addition, I want to find out if it is more expensive to have one currency as opposed to three.
I have already shared the initial findings of my research with the Palestinian Monetary Authority and plan to meet with them on my return home. Even though unemployment is high in Palestine, I am determined to work hard to get a job and I think having been at one of the UK’s best business management schools will help.
Further study is really important in today’s economic climate and I am interested in looking at other UK MBA courses. One that would help my country is the university’s Innovation, Enterprise and the Circular Economy MBA. By studying this, I would be able to offer something unique and it has the benefit of me being able to study it part-time if I wish as it’s a distance-learning programme.
However, my time at Bradford has not just been about studying. I have had an amazing time here at one of the UK’s best business management schools and I would really recommend it. I now have friends from all over the world who I will be keeping in touch with when I leave.
For all of you due to study here, I wish you the best of luck – you will have a fantastic time!
Will it be possible to reinstate the Palestinian Pound? Is one currency better than the existing three? What impact would a single currency have on the Middle East?