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Category Archives: Scholar Spotlight

Scholar Spotlight: Christian Klotz (Management, 2016)

Scholar Spotlight.

Christian Klotz is a recipient of the Sandhu Charitable Foundation Scholarship. Here he talks about the impact the scholarship has had:

I decided that I wanted to stay in London for university as my family and closest friends were all based there, as well as London being a great city to experience life as student. Having looked at the various business schools, Cass business school stood out to me due to its strong reputation in the UK, and also its established connection with large companies and industries in London. A key outcome from university is being able to get a good job at the end to start your career, which is why I felt that network would add a lot of value.

The Sandhu scholarship that I received made a massive difference to my time at University. My parents have never had a very large income, and receiving this scholarship meant that I did not have to feel that I should reach out to my parents for financial support, and also made me feel much more at ease knowing that I would be leaving university with a much smaller student debt. As a result, I did not feel pressure to be working many hours in a part-time job to support myself financially while at University. This allowed me to focus my energy on my studies, and I ended up receiving the highest BSc Management 1st year average, as well as coming in the top 10% of students in my second and third year of study.

The scholarship also made it possible for me to spend my second year of university abroad in America, at one of Cass business schools exchange partners, Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. The various opportunities that Cass offers are incredible, they allow you to add something unique to your CV that can differentiate you against others in a very competitive jobs market. This year abroad has been very well received in subsequent interviews that I had, and helped me to develop my understanding of different cultures and backgrounds which I am now interacting with every day in my work.

Another huge benefit of receiving this scholarship was the opportunity to meet several times with Bim and Pardeep, who offered the scholarship. They have a genuine desire to make a positive difference in the lives of students who require support. In a way, they acted as mentors for me throughout my university years, and we continue to stay in contact even now, almost two years after graduating.

I am now working at Barclays HQ in London, on the Human Resources graduate programme. I have had a number of challenging and rewarding rotations already in various divisions of the bank including HR business partnering (Investment Bank and Group Risk team), and I am currently in the central Performance Management team. The skills and knowledge that I gained at Cass business school have helped me to perform to a high standard in my rotations so far, and the network of friends that I built during university will continue to be a strong presence in my work and social life. I am very grateful for my time at Cass business school, and for having received the Sandhu Scholarship, and hope that one day I’ll be in a position to offer something similar to students in a similar situation to me. 

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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