Valeria Radchenko is a student of Bayes Business School’s online, part-time MSc in Global Finance. She’s currently earning her Masters while working full time in Switzerland.
We sat down with her over a call to discuss her thoughts on the programme, including her reasons for studying at The Business School, the professional benefits of her studies, and more.
This is the second half of our two-part interview with Valeria. In the first, she discusses balancing the course with other commitments, connecting with classmates, and her successes thus far.
What made you want to study MSc Global Finance with Bayes Business School (formerly Cass)?
The finance sector is a key part of Switzerland, and we have a lot of global players here in Zurich especially. As I work in this sector, it made sense to study global finance.
When I moved here and started my most recent job, one and a half years ago, I was even more motivated to deepen my knowledge of finance. That's why I chose the Business School's Global Finance course.
When I compared Bayes Business School's modules to those of other courses, I felt it offered a wider variety of subjects. For example, global real estate, which I find very interesting. It also teaches alternative investments, which not every university offers. Nowadays, with the growing interest in private markets, it's quite useful to have these in a Masters programme.
Can you describe what the course has been like so far?
We have a Zoom webinar every week, where we have conversations with the professor and they answer any questions that we have. We can also speak to our professor via email, and I must say that you always get a quick reply, usually within a day.
We also have access to a lot of content. There's the online library, and every week we receive reading material. The online platform is also very well structured because you can explore your different modules ahead of time and look at the readings.
You can watch videos for each section of the module which explain the topic. There are also tests and quizzes you can take. There is a lot of support, in the sense that you're given all these materials and also have interaction with your professor. It all helps a lot.
Have your studies had any real-world benefits yet?
In my daily job, I have a lot to do with different financial instruments. Doing this Masters has deepened my knowledge - so now at work there are things which I would not have understood or paid attention to before that I can now appreciate and connect to my tasks. It's resulted in a great improvement to my work.
Do you have any advice for studying online?
During the most difficult times, it's helpful to write a real schedule. So, you write "wake up at eight, make breakfast, then from 10 to 12 do your learning." If you follow this, you will see how many time wasters actually exist in your day.
I think it's also very important to include a sport or hobby, because you can't only work and study. I made this mistake in the beginning and realising that made a big difference for me. If you work long hours and then study and push yourself, it's just going to be too much. Have some time for yourself. If you don't really feel like doing something, give yourself a one-hour break. Keep in touch with friends, make sure you have some support, focus on maintaining that balance.
This will be especially useful for the first two months, but then with time it's going to be like alchemy - you will know that if you do this, you cannot do this, and be able to say, "Today I will not do it, because that's what's best for me, or tomorrow I will be tired." You'll start to really understand yourself and know your own boundaries.
What would you say to someone debating a Masters?
Increasing your qualifications allows you to grow quicker within the company. It's about having more knowledge about your products and services within the subject of finance. Check out the modules and come and see for yourself! I think it would be really interesting for financial professionals in Switzerland - or anywhere else as well.
That’s great! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Just manage your expectations as you begin. From my point of view, to be a successful student is, first of all, about having an eagerness to learn. It's not about being like, "I need to do it. I need to read it. I need to solve this exercise." It's about wanting to go deeper, and really think about how things can be applied in a practical way.
If you have that curiosity, you will want to see all the connections between each topic and then be able to think, "Okay, so that's actually how markets work. That's why it happens there, because of this." The course gives you this broad picture of financial markets because everything is related. You need to be able to connect these things.
In the morning, if you read some Bloomberg, you can explain to yourself why this piece of news happened by relating it to what you learn during your course.
You can go one step beyond and speak to friends or acquaintances in finance and just ask them about their work and their job. I did this myself with some people who work in different parts of banking. It gave me replies to some topics in the course because, after all, not everything can be written in a book. It's when we ask questions that we start to learn.
Get in-depth knowledge of the key areas of global finance with our part-time, online MSc. We have start dates in January, May and September: