Case study – Youssef Ebrik

What is your nationality?YE

Palestinian.

What/when did you study at Durham?

I received my MSc Finance degree from Durham in January 2014.

What are you doing now – employer and role?

 I am currently an Associate with KPMG‘s Deal Advisory team in the UAE.

 What does your job involve? 

My job mainly involves working on mergers & acquisitions from a due diligence perspective.

 How did your time at Durham help you to succeed? 

I have learned a lot from my time at Durham. Other than improving my technical skills and learning more about my field of interest through the classes I took and the career events I attended, my soft skills were also enhanced by interacting with people from different backgrounds.

What advice would you give to current students? 

My advice to current students would be to first figure out what they want to do, take classes which are relevant to their field of interest, and glean as much as they can from the classes since those skills will be applied in their careers. Also, a very important bit would be to network as much as possible. Career events are usually a good place to start.

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Case study – Jo-Sharon Udoh

What is your nationality? – NigerianJosharon

What/when did you study at Durham?MSc Software Engineering Management, 2009/10 academic year. Ustinov College.

What are you doing now?

I currently work as a Quality Assurance Analyst for the United Bank for Africa Plc.

What does your job involve?

I provide software testing and quality assurance support to the entire IT Directorate of the bank.

Working as part of a progressive team, I am responsible for planning and executing test related deliverables across various stages of testing, analysis of complex projects and activities to identify the test requirements, both functional and regression based, work closely with the development team to ensure business and systems requirement coverage. My role also involves identifying process improvement opportunities, developing and managing standards, methods and procedures towards improving the quality and accuracy of deliverables throughout the development life cycle.

I take pride in delivering high quality standards both in product and process. My role has enabled me develop a working knowledge of the supported portfolio of functionality and systems in the bank’s IT enterprise.

How did your time at Durham help you to succeed?

I had the opportunity to learn about a wide range of cutting-edge research during the 12-months spent in Durham. I also learned new techniques and found valuable resources for my degree programme. Aside from offering a great education, Durham University enhanced my employability skills. The courses were designed in an integrated way to build up my expertise step by step, using a balance of theory and practice, with many team-based projects running alongside lectures. I left Durham feeling able to choose who I wanted to be and what I wanted to do. You stand out with a Durham degree and I still feel lucky to have been there.

What advice would you give to current students?

Durham is a great place to study – the research is world class, and the collegiate system provides unrivalled support and social opportunities. I have no doubt that past, present and future students of Durham University will take the experience and knowledge they’ve gained in Durham and translate it into cutting edge work ethic and research all around the world.  I would definitely recommend applying to Durham. Good luck!

Any other information you want to provide?

Academically, the teaching I received and the knowledge I accumulated in Durham University has vastly helped me in my current professional endeavours and will continue to do so for a number of years. I’m sure I speak for a number of the Durham alumni when I say that my Durham years were the most intellectually formative of my life, and have well prepared me for any number of upcoming professional challenges.