Full-time MBA Q&A: finance trek to Dublin

23 April 2020

We spoke to current MBA participants, Samantha Gosnell and Chaarvi Chiduruppa about their experience on the Full-time MBA finance trek to Dublin.

Samantha Gosnell:

Firstly, can you introduce yourself, tell us a little bit about your career and why you chose to study the Full-time MBA at Warwick Business School (WBS)?

My name is Samantha, and I spent the first eight years of my career in the Audit & Assurance practice at Deloitte. My career started in the US straight from university, moved me from California to Washington, DC and even took me to Germany for the swansong of my tenure in audit. One thing that I loved about my time in the assurance practice was the ability to constantly learn, tackle new projects, and be challenged by changing client conditions year-over-year. When I felt my learning experience starting to plateau, I searched for another means to continue to be challenged and progress my career, settling on the Full-time MBA programme at Warwick Business School (WBS).

Can you briefly summarise what the Finance Trek to Dublin is all about? What happens during the trip?

The Finance Trek to Dublin is designed to connect current Full-time MBA students with a number of banking and finance companies present in Dublin. While we can all read about the mission of the company online or through informational materials, meeting with the “real-life” employees who candidly shared their experiences at the firms really made the opportunities of a career in finance in Dublin come alive. We had to opportunity to meet and converse with young professionals and corporate executives alike, each of whom shared an insightful perspective on the prospect of a career with their firm.

Why did you choose to take part in the Finance Trek?

With an extensive background in accounting, a pivot to finance is a natural progression for my career to go, so when the Finance Trek was announced I leapt at the opportunity!  While finance usually brings to mind workaholic investment bankers or day-traders clamouring to BUY BUY BUY, the list of companies that were offered for our trek promised a much more diverse view of opportunities within the finance industry.

What were the main highlights from the trek? Anything particular that stood out?

The highlight of the trek for me was our networking event with Barclays. Kevin Wall, current CEO of Barclays Bank Ireland and a University of Warwick alum, coordinated an evening networking event that connected our class with the current Barclays leadership in Ireland. After a few presentations enlightening us to the current challenges facing Barclays in Ireland and the EU, we were able to mingle with the Barclays leadership and chat casually about their career progressions and experiences with the bank.

What were your key takeaways from the trek? How did you benefit from the trip?

My key takeaway is that Dublin is a melting pot of professionals, attracted from all over the world, to work in a dynamic and growing finance field. As the Irish are English-speaking, inside the EU single market boundaries, use the Euro currency, and maintain a strong bond with America, Dublin’s unique position has attracted corporations the world over to settle roots on the Emerald Isle. With the pending transition of the UK out of the EU, Dublin has swept up a number of finance roles and would be fantastic place in which to start the next phase of one’s career.

What would you say to future students thinking of taking part in an industry focussed trek?

If you want to learn more about the opportunities within the finance sector, this specialism trek is absolutely for you! The WBS CareersPlus team did a fabulous job stacking our trip with visits to a diverse range of corporations and each stop afforded a new take on the career options within the finance industry at large, and in Dublin in particular. Plus, the schedule still allowed for a bit of fun and a pint or two of Guinness!

 

Chaarvi Chiduruppa:

Can you introduce yourself, tell us a little bit about your career and why you chose to study the Full-time MBA with WBS?

My name is Chaarvi Chiduruppa and I’m from India. Prior to the MBA, I was an Investment Banking Associate. I chose to study the Full-time MBA because I was looking for global exposure in terms of work opportunities and the people I interacted with, proximity to a financial hub and an interesting programme - WBS ticked all the boxes.

Why did you choose to take part in the Finance Trek?

I plan to continue in the finance industry post-MBA, so participating in the Finance Trek was a no-brainer. I was also interested in understanding the opportunities in Dublin.

During the trek, which companies did you visit?

During the trek, we visited eight companies which were a mix of global and Irish brands- HSBC, Barclays, JPMorgan, PwC, Brown Brothers Harriman, RSA Insurance, IDA and Allied Irish Bank.

What were the main highlights from the trek? Anything particular that stood out?

It was so exciting to meet senior leadership. At Barclays Ireland, we met Kevin Wall (CEO), Helen Kelly (Head of Corporate Banking) and Keith Smithson (CFO). At HSBC Ireland, we met Alan Duffy (CEO). At JPMorgan Ireland, we met Carin Bryans (CEO). They had fantastic insights regarding the dynamics of the banking industry.

What were your key takeaways from the trek? How did you benefit from the trip?

The key takeaway for me was that Ireland is a technology hub and the banking industry is also quite focused on digital growth. Ireland’s financial services industry is also growing as many companies have moved their operations from London (owing to Brexit).

I benefitted from the trip by growing my network. Most of the companies offered projects that would help us in our dissertations, and some were open to hiring as well. 

What would you say to future students thinking of taking part in an industry focussed trek?

The trek is more than just a taster (WBS offers industry taster sessions at the start of the academic year). I believe it would be best to know if you plan on joining or continuing in the industry before taking part in an industry focussed trek to get the most out of the trip. It’s important to prepare before the visits so that you make a good impression on who you are meeting.

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