Competing in the CISI Educational Trust Awards 2021

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Thanks to the NBS, I was successfully interviewed by world renown financiers and won two professional awards.

Less than two years ago, Pr. Yifan Chen established the partnership with the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI), a leading global professional body for financial services practitioners. Since then, UEA students have been able to benefit from the many opportunities offered by the CISI, including the annual contest to win a CISI Educational Trust Award.

Following the 2021 competition announcement, I sent a short essay to my course leader who then chose me, out of all Postgraduate candidates, to win an Educational Trust Award 2021. A significant accomplishment in itself, the award also represents a substantial sum and opens the door to further compete in a rigorously selective contest. Having won this prestigious award, I submitted a personal statement and an essay in which I successfully conveyed the interconnected nature of the new customer driven business clusters bound by mutual economic interest rather than geographical locations.

Happily for me, the CISI deemed it to be amongst the nationwide top five Postgraduate essays! Hence, I was invited to continue the process by passing a timed examination on financial and general knowledge topics. Meeting other Postgraduate candidates, I found the prospect of competing against these financial industry professionals quite daunting. Coming from a legal background I was very apprehensive, especially of what would be expected of me.

Subsequently, I had the chance to be interviewed by Susan Wright, compliance director at Citi Bank, and Frank Moxon, an internationally experienced financier and petroleum expert who is a member of many boards of directors.

During this privileged moment, we freely discussed multiple topics including the relationships between international markets, the emergence of novel finance hubs along with the causes of financial crises. Through our casual exchange, I was able to expand on my essay as we went back and forth on the multi-faceted growth of online businesses, deregulation, and the dangers of monopolies, now able to lobby the rules supposed to keep them in check.

At the end of this process, I was truly surprised to be selected by the board to win an additional award. Prior to pursuing my master’s degree at UEA, the CISI workbooks had been my first introduction to international financial markets. Being recognised by members of this leading chartered body to support my professional objectives is a remarkable confidence boost.

The high point of this whole experience was learning from Frank Moxon’s insightful answers to my questions and his willingness to share his valuable insights built on years of experience. Not only was discussing with peers and experts a valuable opportunity, but reflecting, and structuring an argument to tackle complex finance topics is an excellent exercise to expand your knowledge and discover new concepts. As this challenge effectively prepared me for the positive job interviews which followed, I can only recommend that anyone interested in finance take part in the next CISI Educational Trust

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