My last post for now!

I am finished! My dissertation has been submitted and I have finished the last of my exams. I am relieved but also pleased with how it all went and now am eager for the results. In the meantime; I plan on taking June off and having a holiday. And then the search for a job begins in July, which is a daunting thought!

I have had a great three years in Swansea and an especially good time whilst studying in France, even if my French is still non-existent. Although, you might be surprised to hear that I have found this final year to be the most rewarding of the four. I guess this is, in part, due to the increased work load and also the increased expectations placed upon students. The benefit of this, once all of the work is completed, is that it is hard not to feel a strong sense of accomplishment and exhaustion!

I am looking forward to my last few weeks in Swansea; I aim to do all of the things that I never quite got round to doing in my first two years: exploring the Gower, walking up Pen y Fan, and making the most of the beach before I leave. But more importantly, I hope the weather is good for the next two weeks, and especially for our Summer Ball.

Forgetting university for a second, Swansea, as a place, has been a great area to live in and pretty much has everything a student could want from a city. And who knows, I may end up moving back here in the future.

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Finn Quinn: The end is nigh!

The end is nigh! Easter break has begun and then six weeks follow until I finish Uni, which is a daunting thought! However, in the meantime, a serious amount of work needs to be completed before I can even begin to start thinking about summer. Apart from the submission of pieces of coursework, I still need to write-up my dissertation and then begin editing. Although, unlike some pieces of coursework, I have enjoyed researching and writing my dissertation. I think this is mainly down to the fact that I was able to select my own topic, so I picked an area of financial economics that really interests me, which is asset/portfolio management. My thesis examines US stock market returns over the last 13 years in terms of a life cycle model. To a person with little financial knowledge this means I am examining how various age groups (20-30, 30-40, 40-50, etc.) would have fared, had they followed the life cycle theory of reducing stock exposure as one ages, over the 2007-2008 Financial Crisis period. My data analysis is now pretty much complete and so I can begin writing it all up.

My Easter break will consist mainly of completing coursework and writing up my thesis with the aim of being able to start exam revision once I come back to Swansea in April. However, I do have a few things to look forward to over the break; I am heading off to Center Parcs with my girlfriend’s family friends for the first couple of days of the break, and then later I am going to Murcia, Spain, for a few days. I am looking forward to a bit of time off but realise that there isn’t too long left of Uni now, and I need to work hard and make the most of it.

Also, after Easter we all have Varsity to look forward to! Which I will talk about on my next blog.

Semester 2

Exams are over! In fairness I only had to endure three of them, however, I should still be allowed the pleasure of feeling relieved, so me and a couple of friends went skiing!

The number of exams that I have had to take is unusually low for this, my final year, and this is due to the fact that I am undertaking (attempting) to write a dissertation. Like most universities, you need to complete 120 credits worth of courses over the two semesters. The School of Management (SoM) in the last couple of years has reconfigured all of the models so that they are now worth 15 credits each. This means that unlike the previous system, I now have to study 8 modules over the year, instead of 12. Although, luckily for me, the dissertation is a double module worth 30 credits, and thus, thankfully, I only have to suffer six exams in my final year. Anyway, enough of the numbers, I think all of the exams went quite well, and fingers crossed, I get some decent grades back in a few weeks.

Speaking of grades, I have a lot to thank my year abroad for in terms of improving my overall uni grade. I went to France on the back of some pretty dodgy results in the previous January exam session and was desperate to improve them. To be brutally honest, I wasn’t too concerned, at that point, where I was going on my year abroad all that mattered to me was coming out the end with some good grades. Looking back to finishing off my time at ESC Rennes in May (they finish their university semesters very early in France) I did get the grades I wanted, but, and it’s a significant but, I had a great time; met some very nice, interesting international students, learned a bit more about the French people, and even slightly improved my language skills!

Talking to others who went on the study abroad year, I found we all seemed to have very similar experiences, regardless of the country visited. Looking to the long term, the year abroad hopefully helps our CVs stand out. Personally, my skills in relation to presenting and public speaking have significantly improved and this is due to the multiple presentations that were required by each course that I undertook in France. Coming from an economics and business background I can see these skills being invaluable in the future.

Future students who choose to spend half the year studying abroad and the other half working for an international company seem to have the best of both worlds, and is an option I would have loved to have had. I can also see benefits of choosing to study abroad before undertaking the six month work placement due to the time it takes to settle in and adjust to the different culture. When I first moved to France, it took me a good few weeks to get adjusted to the different pace of life, and it takes a while to get over the annoyance of what is common in the UK is not always present in Europe, for example, (and it tends to be the little things that are particularly aggravating): supermarkets and shops are not open on Sundays at all, and the lunch hours’ that French people take are leisurely to say the least! However, once I was used to the different surroundings, I began to enjoy the city and got to know a few more people. And, for me personally, they turned out to be the biggest contributing factors to my enjoyment of the year abroad.

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I ended up having a great weeks skiing!

Finn Quinn

Finn Quinn poloroid

Finn’s profile

Hi everyone and welcome to my first blog! My name is Finn and I am a fourth and final year student at Swansea, studying business economics. Coming into the final teaching week of the uni term, I realise how fast this semester has gone. And then I realise, that means the fun and games of exams in January! This blog is not, however, all downbeat – I want to share some of my experiences of the latter stages of uni life, whilst also discussing the trials and tribulations of getting the all-important first graduate job.

But first, a bit about me: I should explain why I am in my fourth year, and it’s not because I had to retake a year, but because last year I spent studying in France! I mean this with no disrespect to Swansea Uni, actually the complete opposite, but last year was my favourite year of uni so far! And it is all thanks to, the now called, School of Management (SoM). The year abroad has definitely made this year a lot easier for me; I now have a better idea of what I want to do after graduating, as well as having some idea of how to go about achieving it. The SoM has since changed the set-up of studying abroad and in many ways, has improved it. Some students can now choose either to do a year in industry or half a year in industry and the other half of the year studying abroad. The year in industry can be based either abroad or at home. This is a fantastic opportunity in regards to future job prospects and I know this first hand as two of my housemates from  Engineering have been offered jobs as a direct consequence from their input in their year in industry. However, splitting the year in half allows you to experience the best of both worlds in my opinion!

That’s it for this blog, but next time I’ll go into more details about the year abroad and applying for graduate jobs. I aim to update this blog as often as possible but if anyone has any questions in the meantime, then please comment below. Finn.