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Category Archives: Scholar Spotlight

Scholar Spotlight: Pearce Watson (MBA, 2014)

Scholar Spotlight.

Pearce and his wife Kate

Pearce Watson is a recipient of the Pettman Scholarship. Here he talks about the impact the scholarship has had:

My name is Pearce Watson and I completed my full-time MBA at Cass in 2013/14. I chose the course because I’ve always wanted to complete an MBA and, having had seven years experience as a rural banker back home in New Zealand, it seemed a good way to prepare for the next step in my career.

Completing the Cass MBA gave me the added nuance of doing it with over forty different nationalities in my cohort – and no other Kiwis (or Aussies)! This has given me a network all over the world and lifelong friends that I otherwise would never have crossed paths with.

My time at Cass was pretty intriguing. It had all the interesting aspects of any other MBA, but the central London location and diverse range of cultural and occupational backgrounds made it pretty unique. For me, the easy access to continental Europe was also an advantage as it allowed me to also enjoy overseas experiences during my time in the UK.

The scholarship I received from Barrie and Maureen Pettman was the difference between doing the MBA in London or in New Zealand. It allowed me to justify living unemployed in London while studying an MBA, whereas without it I would have chosen to do the course back home. So really, the scholarship allowed me to complete a course ranked in the top 40 in the world instead of one back in NZ which would’ve been outside the top 100.

Since completing my MBA I spent two years trading dairy futures on the NZX, as well as working with the exchange to launch a new futures contract to help the NZ dairy industry manage price risk. I’ve recently moved to a new role as Head of Assets for a $500m farming group. This gives me oversight of all development, sustainability, value add projects and new acquisitions. The business has a direct connection to our key consumers in China through our ‘Theland‘ consumer products, selling over 50m litres of milk and other products there each year.

Scholar Spotlight: Gabriella Soffer (MEng Biomedical Engineering)

Scholar Spotlight.

Gabriella Soffer is a recipient of the George Daniels Scholarship. Here she talks about the impact the scholarship has had:

I started university a year after the £9,000 fees were implemented and firm in the knowledge that I would have a minimum of £27,000 debt when I would leave. At the age of 18 that was more money than I could understand and was really quite daunting. I took up several tutoring and babysitting jobs so that I could start saving up and didn’t even question the idea of living away from my parents’ home due to the added financial pressure of that. I jumped at the opportunity to apply for the George Daniels scholarship as I knew that not only would it cover my fees, it would also mean that I could get several of my evenings and weekends back so that I could focus on my work and also have some fun and socialise too which I hadn’t really been able to do until then.

The George Daniels scholarship has not only paid for my fees and given me more time to focus on my studies, it also gave me an incentive to perform to the best of my ability right from the start. I was therefore able to develop a good work ethic right from my first year and continue that throughout my studies. When I started university I did not consider the idea of completing a Master’s as I simply wouldn’t have been able to afford it but due to the support of this scholarship I do not have a £27,000 debt so I will be able to complete a Master’s next year. This is vital for me as an engineering student because it is very hard to become a chartered engineer just with a Bachelor’s. This scholarship has helped me hugely on a financial level while giving me the opportunity to truly reach my potential academically and to knock away many barriers that I face on my way to becoming an engineer. I know without it I wouldn’t have got to the point that I’m at now and feel an immense level of gratitude as a result.

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City, University of London is an independent member institution of the University of London. Established by Royal Charter in 1836, the University of London consists of 18 independent member institutions with outstanding global reputations and several prestigious central academic bodies and activities.

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