Pragash Thaninathan
MSc Management (2020 - 2021)

Tell us a bit about yourself, your background, and the course you are studying.

I’m Pragash Thaninathan, an MSc Management student in the 2020-21 cohort. I’m from the UK and grew up in Kent, in the South East of England. I graduated from Warwick in July 2020 with a Bachelors degree in Mathematics, Operational Research, Statistics, and Economics.

I have completed work experience and internships at KPMG, Barclays, Willis Towers Watson, and upon graduating from WBS in September 2021, I will be joining PwC in the Consulting division in London.

What first attracted you to WBS, why did you choose to study here?

During my undergraduate degree, I had the opportunity to take elective modules run by WBS and I really enjoyed the learning and teaching experience. I spoke to lecturers at WBS and learnt more about the programme and found that the MSc Management programme could bring together many of my interests, such as finance, innovation, strategy, and entrepreneurship, all into one course. The reputation of WBS is outstanding and the career opportunities that become available are great, as many professionals in industry are WBS alumni and their ability to talk about shared experiences helps to build unique connections.

What would you say are the key things that sets WBS apart from other schools?

I believe the environment that WBS foster sets the business school apart from the rest. Faculty and teaching staff are always available to talk to and our viewpoints are heard when we would like to create change. WBS brings together students and staff from across the world and it’s been a great experience to make friends from India, China, Mexico, Nigeria, Kenya, the Middle East, Europe and more.  

What is the best thing about your course so far?

The people that I have met through the course have been great and extremely helpful. The course allowed me to meet like-minded individuals, who had great ambition and similar career aims. The lecturers have been incredibly helpful, even through the challenging circumstances due to COVID-19. They were always willing to give us extra time in lectures to answer questions and organise extra Q&A sessions so that everyone understood the class content and how to prepare for the assignment or exam. The WBS CareersPlus team always allow you to book a meeting with a careers coach and can connect you to external careers coaches who can make sure your technical knowledge is strong so you can perform well at interviews.

What is your favourite module? What do you cover on this module?

My favourite module was Business Immersion & Critical Thinking, due to the enjoyable group work task as we were given the freedom to select a sector of our choice. I selected sport, along with 5 other students, and we focused on European football clubs that are public companies, namely Manchester United, Juventus, Borussia Dortmund and Celtic. The coursework involved analysing the football clubs from a business perspective, specifically, the strategies, performance, competition, and future. We researched and concluded that the European Super League would be a prominent feature of football in the future, and just one month after our deadline, the global football fanbase came together to oppose the league in an extraordinary 48 hours. Being able to forecast such events and seeing the real world impact was unbelievable at the time and indicates how relevant the coursework we do can be.

What has inspired you most throughout your studies at WBS?

The determination of my peers to always work hard even if we suffer setbacks has inspired my studies at WBS. The continuous changes announced by the government due to COVID-19 has impacted our cohort more so than previous ones, but my fellow course mates have continued to work hard, work collectively, and produce great group work even if we are all located across the world. Everyone has had a challenging year and the ability to carry on despite the uncertainty ahead is a testament to the character of the individuals at WBS.

What sort of support have you received so far from the CareersPlus team? How has that helped you?

Initially, I spoke to a WBS careers coach who was able to offer advice on the skills that consulting firms will look for and how they will assess me at interview. The careers coach was able to arrange an external careers coach to assist me in my interview preparation and the external careers coach specialises in helping students into roles in finance and consulting and he helped test my commercial awareness and technical knowledge so that I was well versed for the interviews ahead. The help offered also includes CV and cover letter guidance which I would highly recommend as well.

Are you a member of any sports clubs or societies? How has being a member of a society or club benefited you?

Since joining Warwick, I have been involved with Warwick Tennis, Warwick Consulting Society and Warwick Congress. I have been playing tennis since the age of 6 and love playing when I can and the club is open to people of all abilities, making it a great activity to meet people and stay active.

Warwick Consulting Society run lots of employer events as Warwick alumni will often speak about their current roles and the steps they took to break into consulting. By speaking to people at events, I made friends with students who had similar career interests to me and we were able to give advice to each other about the recruitment processes of different firms.

Warwick Congress is a society that helps bridge the gap between finance, law, economics, politics and entrepreneurship, and we run a two-day conference that brings together interesting speakers and students from different universities around the world. Being part of these societies helped build my confidence, allowed me to learn from others and make great friends. I would definitely recommend joining a variety of societies because you are bound to meet great people and it will make your Warwick experience even better.

What do you aim to do once you graduate?

My aim prior to joining the course was to enter the consulting industry. Since then, I have been fortunate to secure a graduate role at PwC within the Consulting division in London. I will be joining the Delivering Deal Value team where I will be working with Global Corporate and Private Equity clients on Mergers & Acquisitions transactions ranging from £50m to over £40bn in value. The team focus on providing support for clients on the operational aspects of M&A transactions, pre and post completion.

What are your tips for getting the most out of an MSc for those starting in September?

Speak to as many people as you can and don’t be afraid to ask for help. People are very open, willing to help and can guide you if you work hard and be open to receiving help. From an academic perspective, I would recommend researching potential careers or industries that you would love to work in as you can select elective modules in term 2 and 3 that best suit your future aspirations.

What top tips would you give to prospective MSc students who are deciding if WBS is the right place for them?

I would suggest reaching out and talking to current students, student ambassadors and alumni on social media platforms such as LinkedIn and ask them any questions you have. This helped me to decide that WBS was the perfect fit for me. I have since been in contact with many prospective students and answered lots of their questions to help them in deciding if WBS is the right place for them.