BAFTA Scholarship Programme

BAFTA

BAFTA is the British Academy of Film and Television Arts is an independent charity that supports, develops and promotes the art forms of the moving image by identifying and rewarding excellence, inspiring practitioners and benefiting the public.

In addition to its Awards ceremonies, BAFTA has a year-round, international programme of learning events and initiatives that offers unique access to some of the world’s most inspiring talent through workshops, masterclasses, scholarships, lectures and mentoring schemes, connecting with audiences of all ages and backgrounds across the UK, Los Angeles and New York.

The BAFTA Scholarship Programme is offering talented Chinese nationals the chance to take a postgraduate course in film, television, or games as an international student in the UK.

  • Chinese nationals can apply for up to £20,000 towards course fees at an industry-recognised UK institution, plus up to £10,000 for living expenses. Deadline: Friday 3 June
  • The successful recipients will also be mentored by industry professionals and have free access to BAFTA events.

For further information, or to apply, visit: http://bit.ly/BAFTAChinaScholarships

 

Case Study – Damilola Fakiyesi

What is your nationality? NigerianDamilola Fakiyesi 2

What/when did you study at Durham? MSc Economics & Finance, October 2009 to January 2011.

What are you doing now? I work with Access Bank Plc in Lagos, Nigeria. I am a Transactor, Project & Structured Finance Group.

What does your job involve? My job involves the arranging and structuring of project finance loans to include limited and non recourse financing.

It also involves the analysis of company and industry fundamentals, financial modeling, forecasts and the provision of structuring and advisory support to core market facing units.

How did your time at Durham help you to succeed?

My time at Durham University has been fundamental to my career growth. I can say Durham made possible my transition from Retail Banking to Investment Banking. While I remember the process being tough, the knowledge has stayed with me ever since. Constant practice before and during the seminar sessions all through the MSc. built a strong modeling foundation, which I have been able to apply to Project Finance.

What advice would you give to current students?

Take advantage of every learning opportunity provided during your time in Durham If you are a postgraduate student and happen to be in Ustinov College take advantage of the multi-cultural background to learn about different cultures and exchange ideas. Enjoy every second of your time at Durham and work hard, the result is worth it. Finally take the boat ride and take lots of pictures.

Any other information you want to provide?

The local Durham University Alumni and Durham University Business School Alumni in Nigeria has also been pivotal I’m my career development which is another avenue both current and graduating students can utilize either in providing guidance for research work or for networking.

Iynna in New York

Name: Iynna HalilouIynna

Nationality: Cameroonian

Durham degree: BA, International Relations

Post graduate course: MA, International Relations and Affairs with a specialization in International Security

Institution & country: New York University, USA

Why did you decide to pursue postgraduate studies overseas? First of all, I have always wanted to study in the United States, and particularly in New York City. One of my future goals is to enter the United Nations, being close to the headquarters would only maximize my chances of being hired by this organization. Moreover, I am very passionate about security issues and American institutions are known for providing a top education in this field. And lastly I chose specifically NYU because of its reputation worldwide, and the values the university upholds.

How did you research postgraduate study options? I have known for eight years that I would integrate a grad school to further my knowledge (no matter what course I would be doing – long studies have basically always appealed to me). Since my very first year I have been looking into potential schools that would be interesting for me – and in my final year I divided between schools that were more oriented towards research (leading to a PhD) and those with a professional focus (classes taught by practitioners that would really train me to become a diplomat) – my choice became very easy.

What did the application process involve? The first thing to note is that the application process can be very daunting but actually with a bit of organization it works out perfectly.

It involved a CV and unlike most firms, grad schools do accept 5-page resumes that cover your travels, potential gap years, besides your educational background and professional experiences.

The GRE: I would really recommend you start revising at least three months before submitting your application to grad school. I agree it is a lot but there is a whole list of things you need to do before practicing for the tests. For example, learning the words known as the GRE words that I advise you to know (by heart ideally) because it is 99% certain that these words will come up during the test. Durham University Careers Centre has some useful resources for test preparation and the advisers also provided useful tips regarding my cover letter.

Getting used to the format of the test: with practice you will soon realize that the test is not as hard as it seems to be because the same type of questions come up (whether in the mathematics section or the text analysis one). There are few tricks and tips that you should know too, and this will make your life so much easier.

Does the teaching style differ to your Durham experience?  NYU is definitely different than Durham. NYU is very famous for being extremely quantitative. In my field of International Relations at Durham we tended to write a lot of essays which is why I am very comfortable when it comes to writing. However at NYU I am confronted with quantitative analysis and statistics all the time which I think it is really good. The professors at NYU really encourage us to attend talks and conferences as part of the learning experience. Moreover, seminars, also called recitations are completely different to the seminars at Durham. At Durham they reinforced what was taught in lectures, whereas at NYU they aim to use of a different approach to the same question.

Why did you decide to study this particular course? 9/11 and the rise of terrorism drastically change my perception of the world and human nature and I am passionate about understanding the roots of terrorism and aim to act as a policymaker in order to deal with this global threat. However I chose to study security issues because new challenges are not only about countering terrorism, and I am also very interested in conflict resolution and nuclear nonproliferation.

How will this course help your career plans? My professors are all experts in the field I am interested in. Moreover I wish to work within the UN framework and I think it is definitely a good thing to be so close to the headquarters. 

What advice would you give to students considering postgraduate study overseas? Go for it! It is an amazing and enriching experience. But you must think about it very early, because the process to apply in the USA is long, taking 12-18 months and it takes time to know what you really want and investigate the options. If you are unsure about grad school be cautious because it is about specialization and is extremely challenging and competitive. Therefore you must LOVE what you are doing. 

Chen progresses to PhD

Name: Chen WangChen Wang
Course: MSc Finance and Investment
Graduated: 2010
Nationality: Chinese
Previous Employers: ISI Group, Manulife Teda AMC 
Current position: PhD Student in Finance, University of Edinburgh

Following my undergraduate studies at Renmin University in China I chose to study the MSc Finance and Investment at Durham University Business School. This was because of its world-class reputation, lovely environment, collegiate system and sound history.

The course was well organized and the structure provided an all round view of the finance and investment subject area. The course has CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) partnership status, which further ensured the quality.

My course was challenging and demanding but I did have time for extracurricular activities including playing for the Basketball Club in Ustinov College. There are many other experiences open to Durham students to enrich their time at university.

After completing my MSc I worked at Manulife Teda AMC from October 2010 to January 2011 as an intern assistant analyst in the Department of Global Investment. After my internship, I returned to the UK for my graduation ceremony in the magnificent Durham Cathedral. Upon my return to China I received job offers from the ISI Group, SPD Bank and Whitruth Capital Investment Ltd. I finally chose to accept the offer from ISI Group, in the China research team as an associate. The company is a Wall Street leading independent research type broker-dealer, with more than 10 offices located in major cities in the US, UK and China. The reason I finally accepted this offer is due to it being a leading position in finance research, excellent global package, and an opportunity to work with an energetic and knowledgeable team, from whom, as a fresh graduate, I could learn a lot.

The selection process was extensive, incorporating 8 interviews. There was one face to face interview in Beijing, one via Skype to Los Angeles, and six via Polycom to New York. Questions related to various aspects of my experience, including financial knowledge, personal background, research I have done, my academic scores, my personality and interests.

The post was varied and interesting and involved arranging corporate visits for fund managers, completing share strategy and banking industry analyses, collecting data from Bloomberg, Datastream, CEIC, Datainsight, Wind and Haver and working with the team to create the daily China research report.

While at ISI Group I was delighted to receive an offer to pursue PhD studies at the University of Edinburgh. My PhD supervisor, Dr Hou, was also my MSc dissertation supervisor at Durham. The knowledge and skills I developed through the course are very practical and helpful when dealing with the real cases during my work and research.

My one year at Durham passed very quickly. I majored in economics as an undergraduate and knew very little about finance, but after completing my MSc I had a very clear understanding about the area (judged by colleagues and supervisors in industry). So if you focus your time on study, you could develop knowledge at Durham to help you to gain an excellent position in the financial sector.

Arif moves into Strategic Planning

Name: Arif Fahim
Course: MA Marketing
Graduated: 2012 

Nationality: Indian
Employer: St. Jude Medical, India 
Current position: Associate Manager – Strategic Planning

I come from New Delhi, India. Prior to beginning my Masters degree at the University of Durham, I had already obtained a Bachelors of Commerce Honours Degree from the University of Delhi, India, followed by some years of work experience in Product Marketing with a global life sciences company.

I chose to study at Durham University Business School for several reasons. First, while researching courses I found the Marketing Masters to be a very well structured programme featuring a wide variety of modules. These not only provided an extensive coverage of marketing, but also an exposure to concepts in business strategy, management decision making, organizational behavior, business economics and accounting. Second, the profile of the teaching staff seemed very impressive, they were highly experienced and qualified, and therein most of them had several research publications. Finally, Durham is a very beautiful and peaceful city, and the university is the third oldest in England, so is steeped in tradition and history.

When I arrived in Durham, my experience far exceeded my expectations, and the one-year I spent there ended up being very rewarding. I made some wonderful friends, saw some breathtaking places, and thoroughly enjoyed the entire year. Towards the end of the academic year, I had seven distinctions and two merit-grades on my nine modules; a distinction on the corporate-sponsored research dissertation; and an award for the ‘best academic performance’ on the programme. That was not all; my dissertation supervisor even agreed to co-author a research paper with a fellow student and me.

I believe, if you organise your time effectively, besides the rich academics, there are many extra curricular activities to pursue alongside studying. I participated in the University’s Blueprint Business Plan competition. The business venture made it to the final round of the University-level stage of the competition. I co-founded and was the Secretary of one of the South Asian Societies at Ustinov College. I also participated and stood 2nd in the Strategic Marketing competition organised by Durham Business School in coordination with Market2Win Ltd. This allowed me to secure work experience with the company working directly with the Managing Director, which later led to my contribution on a case study in his recently released book ‘Marketing Navigation’.

After studying on the Masters in Marketing programme, I developed an interest in Strategic Marketing and Business Strategy and was keen to work in a related area. St. Jude Medical offered the perfect role in Strategic Planning. It being a medical devices company, also presented the right opportunity to leverage on my previous work experience in life sciences.

The selection process was tough and had several rounds of screening, which comprised of a written application, a telephone interview, two face-to-face skills based personal interviews, an HR Manager interview and a personal interview with the Country Head.

In my current role I enjoy a great amount of variety due to a dual function nature of my job. My primary function entails conceptualisation, planning, development and implementation of major strategic programmes in Therapy Development targeted towards improving therapy awareness, access, affordability and adoption. My secondary responsibilities involve taking initiatives to reach out to top-level health insurance stakeholders to develop synergies and obtain coverage for therapy reimbursement in India.

I would say that the Durham experience taught me the much-needed thoroughness, attention to detail, workplace maturity and patience. My teachers at Durham have prepared my mind to think more maturely and strategically on day-to-day business problems. Moreover, the multicultural learning experience at Durham prepared me to value varied opinions and ideas. Advice from the Careers, Employability and Enterprise Centre was also very valuable in helping me to focus my CV effectively and prepare for job interviews.

The takeaway from the Durham experience varies from person to person. My advice to current and future students is to introspect their purpose of studying on a Masters programme and work hard.

Software success for Anna

Name: Anna Golikova
Course: MSc Internet and Distributed Systems Graduated: 2010
Nationality: Russian
Employer: OpenBet, London
Current position: Software Developer

I am from the small Russian city of Ulyanovsk on the river Volga where I read for a BSc in Information Systems and Technologies at the Ulyanovsk State Technical University. I planned to study for a master’s degree in the UK. There were many available but Durham University School of Engineering and Computer Sciences had better reviews, a partnership history with my university in Russia and, moreover, offered an opportunity to apply for a full-funding scholarship, which is a rare privilege, especially for an overseas student like me. Even though I was not awarded that funding in the end, I am absolutely sure I made the right decision! The course was just how I expected it to be – not just “how to program” but also “why to do so”. Although the academic side of the Durham University experience was great, really the best thing was its community. Before going to Durham I had never met so many like-minded intelligent people from such a variety of backgrounds.

As well as study I also enjoyed many extracurricular activities offered by different societies and colleges. I was attending English language classes, which were extremely helpful, and, as a member of Trevelyan College, I was always welcome to formal dinners, musical performances and other social activities organised by the college common rooms.

While still at Durham I applied successfully for the post of Software Developer for OpenBet Technologies, a software provider for the betting and online gaming industry. I met OpenBet representatives at the Science, Engineering and IT Fair organised by the Careers, Employability and Enterprise Centre. They answered all of my questions, were interesting and knowledgeable, and simply fun to talk to! I immediately researched the company and its portfolio looked great! I thought it was an excellent opportunity to enter the industry by joining a world-leading company and work together with highly professional and very intelligent people.

The selection process was very straight-forward. I forwarded my CV and about a month later I had my phone interview, during which I was asked mostly technical questions. A few weeks later I was invited to London for my interview, during which I was asked to solve a number of technical problems, and also had an opportunity to speak with representatives from human resources. The interview lasted about 2 hours in total, and I was offered the job on the same day.

As a developer I work closely with solution architects and testers in order to produce a robust code that meets all requirements. Our company provides large scale betting websites, resulting in huge systems that incorporate different modules, protocols, languages and common practises. This requires our code to be compliant with existing standards and delivered according to a project plan.

Online betting is a growing and constantly changing industry which requires solutions to be scalable, extendable and portable. To achieve this I work closely with the customers to extract the necessary requirements of a project and determine the best designs.

Durham University gave me the necessary knowledge base that is essential in my profession. No doubt, the technical skills are the most important part but this alone would not have been enough for me. I regularly need to communicate with the customer, structure arguments, analyse the requirements of a problem and find the optimal solutions. There is a lot of pressure in my job, and I have to be able to cope with this when necessary and feel confident while doing so. I think that studying in Durham University prepared me very well for this.

My advice to current students would be to know your goals and work hard! Don’t think “It’s not for me! I can’t do that, it won’t work out”. Try to think “Let me try it first and see how far I can get”.

Researchgate – professional network for researchers

If you are interested in a career in research you should check out Researchgate. This online network has over 1.5 million members and is free to use. You will find details of job opportunities from entry level to managerial appointments and everything in between, together with PhD studentships and post-doctoral research fellowships. It’s really easy to use and the jobs are helpfully divided by discipline, country and type of position. You can search for specific opportunities by visiting the jobs page and clicking on ‘show advanced filters’, then select the appropriate options. Each vacancy ad provides application details or a direct link to the ad on the institution’s or organisation’s site.

Researchgate also features a search facility for research publications, a directory of registered researchers, and details of upcoming conferences. You can even create your own online profile to network with other researchers.

Don’t hesitate to visit this extremely useful resource.