5 November 2019

Global connections are more critical than ever in today's world, writes Almar Ogmundsson, a recent graduate from our MSc in Finance.
Almar Ogmundsson

Currently, I'm working on a project as a financial consultant at an industrial company called PCC BakkiSilicon in Iceland. I feel that the MSc and the University of Edinburgh has prepared me well for the challenges faced in everyday working life. The excellent mixture of theoretical and practical work at the university prepared us well to think critically about the situations or complex scenarios that arise at work every day. For example, taking on new tasks or projects that you are not familiar with, with a new team, and having to adapt to the different culture of the team members, which can often cause challenging communication.

It has also prepared us to think about how we can improve the way we work, which is related to the research-based part of the MSc. The one-year course taught me that just because things are done a certain way doesn't necessarily mean that it is the best way to do them. Therefore, I always strive to find better and more efficient ways to work in my everyday professional and personal life.

One of the things I found that makes the University of Edinburgh one of the top schools in the world is the emphasis on student development. We had to focus on building up our soft skills, which is something that makes graduates from the Business School great future employees or future leaders. At the start of the year, we were given the opportunity to participate in a programme called the Edinburgh Award, where we chose three soft skills and put emphasis on improving them throughout the year. The skills I chose were leadership, self-awareness, and critical thinking, but there were also opportunities to work on a variety of skills throughout the award and incorporate them into daily student life. When working on my leadership skills, for example, I also had to work on communication, presentation, and negotiation skills.

Even though the MSc is an individual degree, we also had the opportunity to work in a lot of group scenarios. Working in groups can be challenging, but working with a whole range of nationalities is challenging in a different way. Although it is demanding it is something which I believe gives us an extra edge in today's world. Working with a variety of international students provides us with a global perspective and understanding of different scenarios. Networking with current employees of the financial sector and current students who will become the next future employees and/or leaders is very beneficial. The relationships I built over the past year will enrich my global connections which are becoming ever more critical in today's world, and I am sure these connections will help in my career.