• The experience I gained in programming led me to my current role in Finance

    The MSc in Banking & Finance at Utrecht caught my eye at a time when I was thinking about my next steps, and I’m glad it did. The programme is directly adapted to the latest innovations in the world of finance, setting it apart from similar courses in this field and making it a great match for my interests.

    Of particular value for me personally was being able to take courses involving Python and to delve deep into the fundamentals of investment management. The multiple guest speakers, company visits and group projects all enrichened the experience for me, while the small class sizes enabled me to have a lot of interaction with my teachers.

    With the wide variety of courses, ranging from analysing financial statements to exploring the mathematics behind models like CAPM, I was able to specialise in my preferred field within the wider finance domain. A good example was the Algorithms in Finance module run in collaboration with Optiver, an Amsterdam-based institutional trading company, which taught us how to create algorithms in Python to trade on arbitrage opportunities and the mean reversion property.

    The experience I gained in programming and the wider knowledge I developed during my Master’s ultimately led me to my current role in Finance. I couldn’t imagine doing the work I’m doing today without having studied at Utrecht.

    Jeroen Bouma (The Netherlands)
    MSc graduate

  • The faculty’s strong connections with the industry helped me to find an awesome internship.

    Irina Okolelova

    Why did I choose the Banking and Finance Master's programme? First of all, because of the personal approach. Unlike with some other finance Master’s programmes, you are certainly not just a number in Utrecht. In addition, the lecturers are very passionate about their profession. You just feel that they love what they do. How they spontaneously share articles outside the curriculum. How they always include current events in lectures. And how they challenge you to keep thinking critically. Their enthusiasm has a really very motivating effect.”

    “For a long time, Utrecht University has been known for its pure focus on academic research. What some people in finance unfortunately do not know is that a lot has changed in the meantime. A focus on implementation of research is now strongly present in the Master’s programmes and there are many connections with the industry. Those connections even resulted in my unique internship opportunity at the Dutch National Bank. In addition, this programme prepares you for working in the industry with soft-skill training and, for example, by learning to work with computer programmes that you will encounter in most offices. If you are open to it, the switch from the academic world to the business world is easily made.”

    “I think it is important to not only look at money, but also at society as a whole. What I like, is that the Master’s programme responds to what is happening in society. For example, with one of the courses, we had a field trip to an investment company that deals with social investing. We discussed questions such as: How can you make a social impact? How does corporate social responsibility work in the context of finance? How does social investment influence your return on investment? This is interesting and really deals with what is going on today. Even in assignments and your thesis, there are many opportunities to dive into corporate social responsibility. For me, that really adds to the value of the programme.

    Irina Okolelova (Ukraine)
    MSc graduate 

  • A challenging programme that will certainly push your limits!

    "Pursuing a Master’s degree in Banking and Finance at Utrecht University was a huge step out of my comfort zone, but at the end, it turned out to be one of the best experiences I have had in my life! It was a really challenging academic year filled with lots of lectures, tutorials, group projects, in-house company visits, guest lectures and, of course, lots of hours spent on studying and conducting research. In my opinion, the best thing about this programme is the fact that all courses are extremely connected among themselves – the knowledge obtained from one course is often used as a base for the other courses, making it impossible to forget the things you have learned. The lecturers are not only experts in their fields, but they are also extremely passionate about teaching. They are all down-to-earth people, friendly and easily reachable, which makes the whole studying experience even better. Overall, I highly recommend the Banking and Finance programme to all of you who are eager to learn as much as you can about banks and financial markets, given the real-world perspective it offers. It will certainly push your limits but it will be worth it - the acquired knowledge and skills will make you highly competitive in the job market and will provide you with the opportunity to pursue a great career in the financial sector."

    Sara Duchkova (North Macedonia)

    MSc graduate