Finance student insight: Choosing your elective modules
23 May 2019
Student bloggers from our range of Finance Masters courses share their advice on choosing your elective modules at Warwick Business School.
Aarthi Srinivasan, MSc Finance
The MSc in Finance programme at Warwick Business School is a challenging but rewarding course, and you must start to think about what elective modules you want to study when you begin your course. I believe that these three basic steps should help you when selecting your elective modules:
1. Figure out your career path – what job do you want to pursue?
For instance, if you wish to become an Equity Research Analyst then you should select modules like; Practice of Investment Management; Mergers and Acquisitions and Financial Reporting; and Statement Analysis. The main point of choosing electives is to gain further knowledge in a particular subject area which will benefit you in your desired career path. Similarly, a risk management position would lead you to choosing Financial Risk Management and Derivatives Securities.
2. Network with people – ask your lecturers or message graduate alumni
Speak to your lecturers to gain further insight on specific modules, which will help you to discover which modules are right for you and suit your style of learning. Alternatively, you could join the WBS group on LinkedIn, and connect with some alumni who can give you feedback about the electives they studied. At the same time, it is important for you to be aware, sometimes too many opinions can cloud your judgement so make sure you follow your intuition.
3. Do what you love! – Follow your interest
If you are up for a challenge, then choose modules you think are challenging, and will build on your knowledge or skill set. If there is a particular module from term one that you were interested in or performed well in, then you could select a similar option for your elective module. It is important to do extensive research about the electives offered, which will ultimately help you understand what modules are right for you.
Firstly, when choosing your elective modules you should take advantage of your interests and strengths as this will hugely influence your learning experience. It is a good idea to check the brief information of each elective module, such as the course syllabus, reading lists and assignment schedules. Think about choosing elective modules that will build or increase a specific skill set. For example, if you want to create your own business in the future, you should consider an elective module that develops your skills in entrepreneurship. Secondly, consult your academic tutor, who will help you understand which elective modules will be best matched to your future career goals and personal interests.
Finally, if you still cannot decide and have no preference for particular modules, try to choose modules that best supplement your course and enhance your marketability. The elective modules will help you create a marketable transcript once you graduate from university which you can mention in your CV and highlight during job interviews, showcasing yourself as a more competitive candidate.
The MSc Finance and Economics programme allows you to choose elective modules from the department of economics and WBS. You are allowed to pick two elective modules in the second term, and there are plenty of options available for you to choose from. I would advise all students to select an elective module that interests you as, ‘interest is the best teacher’. My second piece of advice is to select an elective that will enhance your competitiveness in the job market.
I was interested in current events in the global economy, thus one of my electives modules is Topics in Global Finance, from the department of economics. The other elective module I chose was Big Data Analytics, which is a very practical module, allowing you to work with online data, identifying links between data from the real and online world. The module teaches you how to use R language, which is an industry standard programming language for data analytics. As part of the module you will be asked to propose a research topic based on what you are interested in. Lab sessions provide an opportunity for you to receive one-to-one support from a team of experienced data scientists, so do not worry if you have no prior experience with programming.