From Azerbaijan to WBS: Sisters Gunel and Kheyransa share their journey

24 June 2020

Sisters Gunel and Kheyransa from Azerbaijan both decided to apply to WBS to study MSc Finance & Economics. In this blog, they share their journey so far.

Tell us about yourselves?

Gunel: After graduating from high school with a gold medal awarded by the Ministry of Education of Azerbaijan, I continued my education in Turkey. I completed my bachelor’s degree in International Finance and my minor in Economics and was the valedictorian of the class of 2017, where I was awarded the Golden Brain award. I then completed an MSc in Finance & Capital Markets as a summa cum laude before applying to WBS to pursue my second MSc in Finance & Economics. I have now been away from home for 8 years, exploring the world and enhancing my capabilities through education to become an expert in my field.

Kheyransa: I graduated from high school with Golden Attestation and a Golden Medal awarded by the Ministry of Education of Azerbaijan in Baku. Afterwards, I studied for my International Finance bachelor’s degree in Turkey where I was awarded a full scholarship for my academic achievements and graduated as the third top student among 3,100 graduates. After completing an MBA in Financial Economics I wanted to further my knowledge and expertise in the area of finance and economics and therefore decided to apply for an MSc degree.

What first attracted you to WBS?

Gunel: Along with vigorous academic qualifications, WBS also provides an international environment full of highly skilled, intelligent and interactive students. Kheyransa and I have always enjoyed being global citizens of the world and this was a crucial factor when we applied to WBS.

Kheyransa: The UK has one of the most prestigious education systems in the world, especially when it comes to the finance sector. I was attracted to WBS due to the fact that the MSc Finance & Economics course at WBS is a highly ranked and a widely recognised course. I am eager to develop my knowledge, learning from and working with the guidance of expert professors while interacting with top students and future leaders from all around the world.

Building relationships with individuals from diverse backgrounds is the most valuable part of studying WBS, as everyone I meet has something to tell from a different viewpoint which also expands my vision. We both felt positive about applying to WBS and were happy to spend time together as we both have different characteristics which allow us to complement each other and it has made the whole experience easier and much more fun.

Why did you both decide to study MSc Finance & Economics?

Gunel: We both realised that there are very few experts in the field who truly understand the link between finance and economics. Therefore we both decided to study Finance and Economics to provide us with vigorous theoretical and practical knowledge in both these fields that will bolster us to contribute to this particular field not only in our own country but globally.

Kheyransa: We were curious to understand more about Financial Markets, and Fundamental and Technical Analysis and believed the MSc Finance & Economics course at WBS would help us to develop our expertise in these areas. I now want to go further by thinking creatively about ground-breaking ideas for developing financial markets and creating new financial instruments whilst taking into account key economic factors.

What have been your favourite modules so far?

Gunel: I have personally enjoyed my second term modules the most as I find them more practical, I have also enjoyed the group projects which have allowed me to learn and compare different theoretical approaches.

Kheyransa: My favourite module so far is Financial Reporting and Financial Statement Analysis which provides a valuation-based framework for financial statement analysis which can be applied in a variety of business analysis and valuation contexts.


Do you study together?

Gunel: Yes, we study in groups in the postgraduate study space with our friends from both our course and MSc Finance. Working in groups enables us to think of better solutions and explanations for each controversial topic or assignment we are working on. It also provides a great opportunity to establish new friendships.  

Kheyransa: Yes, we study together, teach and learn from each other. We have not worked on any group projects together so far, however this term as part of the Empirical Finance module we will be in the same group. I believe this will a fun experience as working with someone you know makes the situation easier and we can tackle the problems of the case more effectively.

What have you both enjoyed so far from your time at WBS?

Gunel: Even though our course is very demanding and we have a heavy workload we have really enjoyed being part of such an international environment at WBS where we have embraced diversity. Being surrounded by such intellectual, diligent and enthusiastic students with highly initiative and entrepreneurial mindsets is particularly remarkable.

Kheyransa: For me, the most enjoyable part of studying at WBS has been the opportunity to build and maintain authentic relationships with such enthusiastic people.

Do you live together?

Gunel: We both live on campus in different accommodation. We both enjoy spending time with our flatmates and participate in various activities with them on and off-campus.

Kheyransa: We both live on campus. I am living in Westwood which is a very nice and quiet place to live.

Are either of you part of any societies or sports clubs?

Gunel: We are both members of the Warwick Consulting and Warwick Finance Societies and the Mindfulness course. I also enjoy playing tennis, badminton and squash at the Sports and Wellness Hub. To take a break from my studies I enjoy walking around campus and making the most of the amazing nature that surrounds the campus.

What are your tips for getting the most out of a masters for those starting in September?

Gunel: I would definitely suggest that you make a list of all the things you would like to do when you start your MSc; from personal activities to travelling. Once you begin your studies it can be challenging to manage your time between your studies and extra-curricular activities, therefore if you have a plan it will help you to remain on track. I would recommend that you are open-minded and engage in the amazing opportunities available to you.

Kheyransa: Even though studying an MSc will be hugely rewarding, it is a challenging experience and you should be prepared to push yourself beyond your limits. It is also important that you think about your future career goals and understand what you really want to achieve from studying at WBS. You can then prioritise your workload accordingly and manage your time effectively. Last but not least, make sure you celebrate every achievement as it will keep you motivated throughout your course and give you the energy to continue working hard.

What three words would you use to describe your WBS journey so far?

Gunel: Intense, rigorous and worthwhile.

Kheyransa: Restless, progressive and excellent.

Do you want to expand your knowledge of finance and economics? Discover more about our MSc Finance & Economics course, taught by Warwick Business School and the Department of Economics.