Tag: cass master’s

Studying online: Beating shyness and becoming closer to my classmates

2020 has been an unusual for everyone due to Covid-19. Studying and working online is the new normal for most people.

My name is Dilin Chen and I am studying the Cass MSc in Entrepreneurship. I would like to share my online learning experiences, which might be beneficial for prospective students who might be wondering what it is like to learn online.

Moodle: an online hub of resources

We use the online platform Moodle as a support tool for in-class teaching. Since shifting to online learning, it has become even more important. It provides all the basic information you might need to know, such as your lecture timetable, information about your modules, the contact and the contact details of lecturers and students. It also allows you to choose elective modules, form groups for group coursework and provides you with the login information to access Zoom and Adobe Connect, which are the main softwares we use for online lectures. They both have important functions which are very useful to make the lectures interactive and to support students’ participation.

Zoom and Adobe Connect classes

Most of the lecturers encourage us students to turn on the video to see our facial expressions to understand whether we have questions or comments. This helps us to stay connected with the class and give our full attention and keep us motivated. During the class, we are encouraged to speak up and ask our lecturers questions like we would normally do in a face-to-face classes. If you feel shy to speak during the lecture, you could send an email or discuss the problem in Forum, which is a function allowing teachers and students to discuss on Moodle at the end of the class.

PowerPoint is available during classes and the lecturers sometimes use the polling function in Zoom to check how we are doing and understand our progress. If you have missed the lecture, you can watch a recorded version soon after class on Moodle

Some lectures provide pre-recorded videos to give more useful information. The reading list is mainly online, which can be found in the digital library provided by the School. We can also access a wide variety of resources, journal articles and digital books for all our subjects.

Beating shyness through interactive online learning

During my classes, the teachers make us use the break-out rooms function, which allows us to work in small online groups to discuss given questions. Here, the teachers randomly select people to join the group discussion. I find this method very powerful because it allows me to step out of my comfort zone by chatting to people I might not normally chat to and make new friends. It is such a gift to study with people from all different backgrounds and nationalities, which is very beneficial to learn about different thinking styles and cultures and keep me connected to my peers.

I am an introvert, which sometimes make me afraid to speak out in front of people in class. In the online learning setting, I feel more confident to ask questions and have more interactions with my lecturers.

Online careers support

The Careers and Professional Development Team have been great at keeping us informed with job offers and providing one-to-one online meeting sessions to help us shape our careers. The careers coaching advisors have been available throughout and have been an excellent resource to help me edit my CV and cover letter as well as discussing my options for career development. There are also a lot of careers coaching events being hosted by the Cass Careers Team.

I have been positively surprised by this new experience of online learning. I have really appreciated it so far, as well as the opportunity to study from home.

Dilin Chen, MSc Entrepreneurship (2020)

 

MSc Banking and International Finance: A Programme for Global Perspective

Following my undergraduate studies in economics and finance at McGill University in Montreal, I knew I held a strong interest in mergers and acquisitions as a field of study. As a specialisation, it opens up career opportunities at the intersection of management consulting and investment banking.

Before entering the job market, I wanted to gain specialist knowledge relevant to my desired career path. Upon thorough research online and further discussion with mentors, the Cass MSc Banking and International Finance stood out among a number of excellent alternatives in the UK and around the world – I felt that Cass was somewhere I could continue to be challenged and develop.

Having grown up in a number of countries, including China, Finland, Canada, Malaysia, Switzerland, the U.S., Poland and the UK, ensuring that I join a class full of diverse and varied perspectives was of critical importance to me. I have always felt that while sticking to what is familiar may be comfortable, the best way to ensure continued growth is to gain exposure to as many more views and experiences as possible. The MSc Banking and International Finance programme at Cass appeared to propose exactly this sort of exposure, in tandem with academic rigour and clear opportunity for professional development – so I submitted an application.

And, nearly a full year later, I am excited to say that my experience has been phenomenal! I have not only gained the specialist knowledge I sought, but also the confidence to execute in practical application in a number of different areas – all under the guidance of a group of professors, consisting of both leading academics and experienced practitioners in their respective fields, who remain supportive with respect to my career aspirations and with whom I will be sure to keep in touch.

Finance & Banking Club Team

Participation in group events and dialogues outside of the classroom is a key aspect of student life at Cass, and as a Co-President of the Cass Finance and Banking Society and member of the M&A and PE and Consulting Societies – amongst others – I have had the opportunity to lead friends and colleagues in engaging with our shared interests through many workshops, simulation events, panel discussions and socials. Cass’s location in the heart of the City of London provides unparalleled access to a range of different firms and professionals in banking and business and truly allows interactive events with experienced professionals to be commonplace, rather than a rarity. I even have had the chance to practise my French, German and Russian with classmates and through a few of the many language-focused student societies on campus!

As a Programme Representative, I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to liaise between my classmates and professors and put together social events for my class. As a class, we were able to share feedback and work together with faculty members with the collective aim of making the MSc Banking and International Finance offering stronger with each passing year.

Perhaps most invaluably, I have gained a new family of friends and classmates from all over the world who, while hailing from wildly different backgrounds and experience, share a passion for finance and drive for lifelong learning.

Wyatt Himmer, MSc Banking and International Finance (2020)

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