Ruslan Turarov – Bolashak scholar

Name: Ruslan Turarov

Course: MSc International Money, Finance and Investment

Graduated: 2011

Nationality: Kazakhstani

Employer: Vneshtorgbank (VTB Kazakhstan)

Current position: Risk Management Analyst

I came to study in Durham from Almaty, Kazakhstan. I was one of the Bolashak scholarship students who had a unique chance to be a postgraduate student at one of the top and old universities in the UK, Durham University in the 2010/2011 season.

The unique Bolashak scholarship programme which was initiated by the president of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, 10 years ago, aims to send prospective Kazakhstani citizens to study abroad in top universities all over the world. The uniqueness of the Bolashak scholarship is that every citizen of Kazakhstan is eligible to apply and it covers all expenses during the whole period of your education. The only obligation is that you return to Kazakhstan after completing your course and work in the country for 5 years for any company or organisation.

I found the MSc in International Money, Finance and Investment at Durham Business School to be perfect  for my future career plans.  Other motivations were that the length of the programme was 50 weeks and also living in the beautiful city of Durham which is famous for its landscapes and people. These facts complemented my choice of the university, which I believe contributed to my motivation to study hard in the perfect learning environment.

The programme gives students an insight into the theory of finance and economics. Moreover, the technical modules such as econometrics, financial modelling and business forecasting provide the tools and methodology to work with financial data and formalize the resulting knowledge.

One of the first noticeable results of my studies was a new understanding in what is written in the newspapers such as Financial Times and Wall Street journal, which are free of charge in Durham Business School. In a more general way, the knowledge developed provided a clearer understanding of the financial processes occurring around the world and an insight into different perspectives and trends. The university provides outstanding study facilities to the students, where they can have group meetings and excel academically.

Another remarkable part of the Durham experience was the student life where everyone could find activities which meet their interests. For example, I was involved in basketball and judo. Many activities are organised by volunteers and Durham Student Union, which made the stay in Durham more interesting. All Durham students join a college where they often live and socialise. I was part of the Middle Common Room in Van Mildert College, where we had movie nights on Mondays, trips to different places around Durham and formal dinners. Ustinov College was very popular among postgraduate international students and I made many friends from there also.

Currently I am part of the Moscow based global financial institution, Vneshtorgbank (VTB Kazakhstan), which offered me a job in risk management after I returned. The Durham experience helped me to learn more about the world of finance (theory and application), structured my knowledge and helped me to make new friends from around the world. These outcomes will be invaluable for my current and future career success.

My advice for current students is to work hard and don’t miss all the opportunities provided by Durham University. These include opportunities for self development, meetings with illustrious speakers and attendance at the informative research seminars. Also use the Careers Employability and Enterprise Centre to plan your future from the very beginning.