Mary Agbesanwa - BSc Economics | PwC, London
I chose to study at the University of Birmingham for several reasons. Firstly, the university has a great reputation particularly for its BSc Economics degree. Secondly, the campus is stunning and the red-bricks and campus vibe really appealed to me. Birmingham is also a really youthful and exciting city to study in. The city is also a good distance but not too far away from my family home in north London. I eventually applied to Birmingham and received an offer!
During my time at university I challenged myself to find new hobbies and meet new people as often as possible. I was the news reporter for the University’s radio station, Burn FM and also got into running. I also took part in the University’s Outreach programme where I mentored students at a Birmingham school every Friday for a year during my second year.
Towards the end of my first year, I founded the Women in Finance Society after noticing that many young women on my course didn’t feel confident enough about pursuing careers in male-dominated fields such as banking and consulting. In the two years I led the society, we grew to have more than 150 members, hold more than a dozen events a year including a large student Conference sponsored by the likes of Deutsche Bank and Ernst & Young and with Bianca Miller from The Apprentice as the Keynote speaker.
I really loved leading this society, dispelling misconceptions about the financial services industry and working with leading firms. It was great to hear back from young women who received internships and jobs from the events my team and I put on. Through this work I won the Guild Award for Outstanding Individual Contribution and Birmingham Young Professional of the Year’s Aspiring Talent award.
"Overall my time at university was great. It taught me a lot about myself and others. I learnt that you hard work usually gets rewarded and much to my shock, graduated with a First Class in BSc Economics."
School: Birmingham Business School
Department: Department of Economics
Programme: BSc Economics
Career: Management Consultant, PwC, London
In my first year of University I took part in PwC’s Women in Business programme, one of the many work experience programmes I had applied to. From this I then secured the summer internship in consulting in London in my second year at university. I was then offered a place on the PwC management consultancy graduate scheme where I am now.
My advice to current university students would be to be as proactive as possible. University is expensive so do your best to get the most out of your money by getting involved in as much as possible. Meet new people who didn’t grow up in the same city, or even country as you. Develop yourself personally (find new hobbies) and professionally (get work experience as soon as you can). This will allow you to try out different organisations and industries, letting you know early on what you do and don’t like.