Studying at The University of Birmingham has been such an exciting and rewarding experience. When I first arrived, I was instantly captivated by the campus atmosphere. All the things you need as a freshly baked student – department, the library, student union and all the friends you made along the way – were in one place. Of course everyone is unique but for my part I can say that at Birmingham I have been able to set the foundations for both career and personal development.
I have had so much support and encouragement from staff and friends across departments who continue to be a source of inspiration and who are still in touch.
To me, studying sociology at The University of Birmingham has broadened the ways in which I think about the world – be it in abstract, philosophical terms or more hands-on in form of carrying out research projects. On the one hand sociology is meant to learn about history, different global and urban cultures and existing schools of thought. On the other hand, sociology is contemporary – it evolves together with society and its subject matter is continuously shaped by it. This is why there are so many areas in which sociological imagination and insight are needed – politics, economy, technology, law, development of cities, art, health and media to name but a few.
I now work at Baillie Gifford in Edinburgh as an investment analyst in a global team. To avoid confusion – Baillie Gifford is an investment fund and not an investment bank. As investment analyst I review existing investments and source new ones, I need to understand how companies think about their business and (that is the most exciting) what their business might look like in five years time and beyond. What I like most about my job is that it requires sociological imagination! In order to form an opinion on long term investment, one needs to understand current trends, politics, people and how these might develop in future. My research consists of writing reports, interviewing management and getting to know how people think about various industries. There is of course also a quantitative side to this job but, as one of the senior partners said, if a business is sound, the numbers will take care of themselves.
In the near future I aim to accomplish my training as an investment manager. In the long term my goal is to continuously develop and learn. I want to be challenged. I am also thinking of forming a PhD thesis but I need more experience for that.