Ms Katie Kironde, who passed her BCom Econometrics and honours degrees at UP with distinction in 2014 and 2015, completed her MSc in Economics and Finance at the London School of Economics (LSE) this year, graduating with merit.
Undertaking her master’s degree at the LSE was a dream come true, she says, given the fact that to date 18 Nobel Prizes in economics, peace and literature have been awarded to LSE alumni and staff. LSE is renowned for its academic rigor, allowing her to solidify her econometrics knowledge at an advanced level within the finance context.
Kironde notes that UP's Faculty of EMS lay the solid foundation on which she could build at the LSE.
“At undergraduate level I took advanced modules in both Mathematical Statistics and Economics, which prepared me very well for the level of rigour in the content that I encountered during my master’s degree. I particularly liked the fact that the degree at UP was broad enough initially to allow me to be exposed to multiple disciplines before it became more focused at the honours level.”
Armed with the technical tools she had acquired in her four years at UP, she decided to select the Macroeconomics course at LSE, which turned out to be her favourite module, together with the International Finance elective.
Outside of the classroom at the LSE, she particularly enjoyed the guest lecture series that occurred throughout the academic year, which featured prominent economists, policy makers and politicians. “In fact,” she adds, “during the year Esther Duflo (the second woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics to date) gave a talk at the university a week after she received the prestigious award!”
Going to the LSE had always seemed like a far-fetched dream, but hard work, a support system, great references from a globally recognised institute like UP and a lot of luck helped her realise the dream.
Given her interest in Macroeconomics and Finance, she hopes to explore a career path that enables her to further her understanding of those disciplines whilst leveraging off her previous experience in retail banking and asset management.
Her advice to current students is to be intentional from the get-go about your academics and your friendships or networks.
“Firstly, network with people from different faculties and through them learn about other fields. This will help you be a more well-rounded individual. Secondly, try to socialise not only with your year group, but those in years above and below yours too – this helps you build a professional network in a very informal setting. Finally, figure out how to strike the balance between having fun, making lifelong friends and doing your best academically.”
Kironde believes UP is one of the leading universities on the continent and brings together a diverse and brilliant set of minds. “Soak in the beauty of the Hatfield Campus and use those crucial years to explore the legacy you would like to build both professionally and in your personal life.”