Alumni Insight: Suet Au’s Undergraduate Experience
11 January 2021
In this blog, Suet looks back at the exciting opportunities she experienced as an undergraduate at WBS, from supporting women to get into coding with Code First Girls to receiving an UpReach Student Social Mobility Award at the House of Lords.
Hi everyone, I’m Suet and I graduated in July 2020 from Warwick Business School, University of Warwick. I’m from Birmingham, UK, and studied BSc Management with Intercalated Year. I remember reading student blogs on the WBS website when I started preparing for university, and I am very excited to have the opportunity to share my own student experience now that I have graduated from Warwick Business School (WBS) .
I was first drawn to WBS for its global recognition as a high standing Business School. When researching my course, I was fascinated by the range of modules available. The A-levels I had studied had been a mix of qualitative and quantitative, and the range of modules offered by WBS appealed to me in furthering both these skillsets. As well as management modules, WBS courses additionally offer the option to take modules from other departments at the university. I studied mandarin with the language centre as part of my degree and thoroughly enjoyed being able to learn a language alongside my business studies. I also appreciated the flexibility of the course to specialise in pathways, such as in finance or marketing. Indeed, after my first year, I found that I particularly enjoyed the finance modules and decided to specialise in this area.
Having developed my interest and knowledge of finance at WBS, I was keen to explore this further in a professional setting, and applied for internships before my final year. The WBS CareersPlus Team was a great source of guidance, providing me with CV advice and mock interview practice. With the team’s support, I successfully secured a placement year during my third year within investment consulting at Aon, and a summer internship afterwards within investment banking at Nomura. Both experiences enabled me to build on key skills such as communication and teamwork, expand my professional network, and help inform my future career choices. On returning to my fourth and final year of university, I was also able to relate what I had learned in the office to my studies and gain a deeper appreciation of the real-world applications. For instance, working within the financial sponsors team at Nomura, I researched private equity firms and the process of acquiring companies. This proved useful when modelling the market reaction of an acquisition for my Mergers and Acquisitions module in final year. I would thoroughly recommend pursuing work experiences such as a placement year or summer internship as a way of deepening your subject knowledge and understanding your career aspirations.
Being at WBS has given me many amazing memories, not least being part of an international cohort. I’ve loved meeting people from all over the world, learning about different cultures and working together on team projects. Lecturers at WBS are experts in their subjects and it’s been a pleasure learning and engaging with them. My university experience has been shaped by the wonderful people I have met at WBS and I’m so thankful to have spent my studies in such a diverse environment.
Outside of studies, there are many societies and volunteering experiences to get involved in. During my time at Warwick, I became the student ambassador for Code First Girls, a national charity delivering free coding classes to women, organising and assisting on weekly sessions. As a mentor on the SEO London HerCapital Programme, I gave advice to female undergraduates on how to apply for work placements. I also joined the Warwick Globalist, a student-run current affairs magazine, as the Head of Finance, managing the budget and applying for grants. There are so many societies and groups to get involved in at Warwick, and I thoroughly enjoyed meeting students from different courses in this way. For my internships and involvement in these activities during my time at Warwick, I was honoured to be invited to the House of Lords and receive the Banking and Finance Award as part of the UpReach Student Social Mobility Awards.
Graduation day may not have been as I had expected given social distancing, but it was nevertheless full of celebration for the past four years of hard work and wonderful memories at WBS. I celebrated at home, with family, and online, through video calling friends and tuning into the virtual celebrations hosted by the university. I would have never imagined being so excited to see my name roll down a screen, but it was still incredibly rewarding! I very much look forward to returning to campus for the usual ceremony when possible.
I would highly recommend WBS to any prospective undergraduates, and strongly encourage new students to reach out to other first years and societies, and get involved with the abundance of opportunities available as a Warwick student. Going to WBS was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made and I’m excited for you and your next few years there.