Philippe Wagner, MSc in International Finance and Banking, LSBU alumni
He decided early on he wanted to study in London, a decision quickly vindicated
"London is such a cosmopolitan city with its multi-cultural people, great architecture, well connected infrastructure, and fast- moving and innovating businesses - its environment inspired me."
After visiting several London universities, Philippe opted to study at LSBU, graduating in 2007. "It was somewhat a niche choice. My selection process was greatly influenced by the warmth and informal atmosphere I experienced when I visited the LSBU campus on a sunny afternoon. Tons of people came from various backgrounds, all mingling together on campus – whether they were studying informatics, finance or sports. I've had such an enriching experience by getting to know people from different geographical regions; from Africa and Asia to South America, and their associated cultural differences and similarities."
Philippe first studied at university in Switzerland in 2002; however, he dropped out after a year. He believes that this experience allowed him to come back even stronger – evidenced by him securing the Student of the Year award for his course.
He is quick to pay tribute to the impact that the diversity of students on the course had on his thinking. "The diversity amongst students encouraged me to detach myself from my opinion on a specific subject and observe things from a different perspective. The broad backgrounds of students and the experience they bring to the classroom is one of the best things about studying at LSBU."
Philippe also gives particular thanks to two lecturers on the course, Carolina Valiente and Shashi Kumar, who inspired him to do more, "I also have to mention two of my lecturers who both inspired me to do more than just "enough" during my studies. My course director and my thesis facilitator, who had different approaches, but one common goal; the desire to teach finance/economics and the passion to do so. I particularly enjoyed corporate finance, macroeconomics and monetary politics."
Philippe is very proud of his graduation and the great time he had celebrating, "I will remember the graduation ceremony at the cathedral for the rest of my life. What a brilliant day!"
A stellar career
The LSBU employment service helped Philippe improve the presentation of his CV and also prepared him for job interviews. The preparation helped, as he was offered an advisory position for the set-up of investment funds at Banque de Luxembourg in his home country of Luxembourg shortly after he finalised his thesis. After five years working at the bank in the investment fund area, the CEO offered Philippe the chance to become his right hand man by working as a project manager in the General Secretariat. At the same time he was offered the role of the Bank's Management Committee Secretary. "It was an honour to receive such an offer and I didn't hesitate a second accepting it."