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What Our Graduates Say


Durham University is committed to producing graduates who are in high demand and stand the best chance of securing the career they want. Graduating with an intellectually rigorous and globally respected degree is central to a Durham education.

What you achieve academically and experience as a person whilst at Durham will say a lot about you in the future. One of the main reasons for our system of colleges and college mentors is to equip our students with adaptable and marketable workplace skills.

The opportunities we provide to become involved in committees, clubs and societies and to be active in voluntary or paid work experience will help you develop an enviable set of professional techniques enabling you to be more successful in the graduate job market. Your Durham University experiences will help you build up skills in team-working, problem-solving, communication, negotiation and leadership. These are all qualities highly valued by regional, national and international employers who know that a degree combined with a unique Durham life experience is just what they need from graduates that they recruit.

The QS rankings (2010-11) placed Durham University in the top 25 globally for employer reputation after 5,000 blue-chip organisations across the world ranked the quality and demand for Durham's graduates ahead of leading institutions in the UK and major international universities in Singapore, Hong Kong, Toronto and Sydney, as well as a number of Ivy League institutions in the US, including Princeton.

But don't just take our word for it ... let's hear success stories from some of our graduates:

Select an image to view it full size.

Image:Akansha Nath - Economics
Akansha Nath
MSc Economics and Finance


After completing my undergraduate degree in Economics in India I studied the MSc Economics and Finance course at Durham and it was even better than I had expected it to be. The course provided a strong theoretical foundation coupled with practical application. What was taught in the lectures was fortified with practical application through case studies and problems during seminars. Learning from professors who brought in varied points of view was a stimulating experience for me; just the sheer scope of the knowledge which I could absorb was overwhelming. The entire framework of instruction really opened up my thought processes and helped me develop my analytical abilities. My dissertation, on Credit Risk Models, was extremely helpful for me to develop my skills of research, independent thinking and analysis. The wheel of expanding my frontiers has been set in motion.

My MSc course was complemented by a most wonderful college life in Durham. Being an international student, I was quite anxious about fitting into the college life here. Even though I was living out, my college's Induction Week programs helped me meet new people in my course and college, make new friends easily and fit in and become part of my college. I became the Social Secretary for Ustinov College and hence played a major role in the social life. I also formed and presided over the Durham University Indian Society and was part of Ustinov's Network Communications Group, hence keeping myself busy. I also took part in the MSc Focus Group. Durham was a wonderful place to study in because being a student city it provided a good atmosphere for studying but also had a good nightlife for my friends and me to enjoy. I have collected such wonderful memories here.

During this past year I have learnt and grown a lot. The Business School has been like a second home and I have made good friends for life. Overall, my one year stay in Durham for the MSc course at Durham Business School was one of the most satisfying, productive, brilliant and enjoyable experiences of my life!
Image:Durga Nair - MBA
Durga Nair
Full Time MBA


I joined the Durham MBA under the prestigious 'Independent- DBS scholarship programme' with about eight years of experience in Human Resources. Despite having worked successfully with some of the best organisations in India, I felt the need for a global MBA to pitch me in a different league and give me the edge to explore more challenging horizons. Durham University is well known for its exceptional research in the Social Sciences and therefore became an obvious choice for me. Also, being ranked in the world top 25 B-schools for employability was another critical factor in picking DBS.

The Durham MBA, using a global business perspective, nicely combines innovation and business relevance with a unique mix of intensity and personal development. The course is designed to combine learning, planning, doing and reflection that prime one to thrive in today's complex and changing environment. What specifically impressed is the immersion into real world business knowledge and practices, with the 'Boardroom Activity' and some very stimulating work group discussions. However, one of the most valuable resources came from my 89 classmates from 19 different nationalities, which brought together a collective international experience, which was both diverse and rich. In me, it has brought in the knowledge and confidence to feel ready for the corporate world.

Also, the collegiate system at Durham University is exceptional, giving you an opportunity to interact with students from various cultures and study disciplines. Thanks to the most loving and thoughtful staff at St Aidan’s, I almost never missed home. Overall, the Durham experience is an eclectic mix of breathtaking beauty and heritage, combined with fantastic in-depth learning and overall personal development. For me, it was the most memorable one year of my life!
Image:Kapil Kirpalani - Law
Kapil Kirpalani

Kapil Kirpalani was born in Hong Kong and completed the British O-level and A-level exams before coming to Durham. Upon completion of his LL.B (Hons) at Durham University Kapil went on to further studies at Nottingham Law School, London School of Economics and the University of Cambridge.

During his time at Durham University Kapil was a student representative on the Law Student Staff Consultative Committee (SSCC) and served as an editor of Inter Alia (the student Law Journal). He was also a keen moot student and was on the team that won the Allen & Overy Best Legal Memorial Award at the Jessup International Moot Court National Finals. Outside of the department he was involved in his college JCR, was a student tutor, was elected President of the International Students Association and played college and university level basketball.

Kapil is currently Director, Legal and CCO for the Pacific Harbor Group, an established Pan-Asian asset management firm with a focus on credit investments. He helped build a substantial Asian debt trading and investment business with approximately US$3Bn invested to date, generating an annualized net return in excess of 13%. During his time at Durham, the culture of idea generation and critical thinking prepared him for the challenges that he now faces.

Prior to joining the Pacific Harbor Group, Kapil worked in the Corporate Transactions, Finance & Governance Group at Haarmann Hemmelrath & Partners, in London and Frankfurt. His primary focus was the sale and acquisition of businesses; legal, financial and tax due diligence through tax structuring and contract negotiations and representation before national authorities; structuring of financial plans and company valuations as well as restructuring plans taking account of corporate accounting requirements and tax burdens. A key skill from his studies at Durham, Kapil was taught to develop strategies for success to help make the decisions required to advise businesses how to manage through good times and downturns.

During the course of the 3-year law degree, he completed several competitive internship programs in Asia with international law firms, including Allen & Overy, where he represented underwriters and issuers in public and private offerings of debt, equity and equity-linked securities, out-of-court restructurings, pre-packaged bankruptcies and exit financings for companies emerging from bankruptcy. He began his career under The Hon. Mr. Justice Gall at the Hong Kong High Court, an opportunity he was fortunate to have because of Durham’s strong reputation amongst the legal community.

Kapil is a frequent contributor at seminars and conferences around the Asian region and has been featured on CNN. He attributes his career progress to date to the strong foundations that were laid during his time at Durham. World-class academics, intellectually stimulating classmates and a strong college support system allowed an entrepreneurial mindset and pool of ideas to develop in the midst of a traditional legal education.

Advice to applicants – “make Durham your first choice, you won’t regret it.”
Image:Nikhil Kulkarni - Finance & Investment
Nikhil Kulkarni
MSc in Finance & Investment


To achieve my career goals, I needed to have comprehensive knowledge about the latest developments and techniques in the global financial markets and hands-on experience of financial analysis. The curriculum at Durham Business School offered both - a working understanding of the financial decision-making process in an organization as well as insight into how financial markets function. An international exposure, world-class tutors and a multi-national environment served as a vital link between my qualification and my ultimate objective of pursuing a career in the world of corporate finance. The course gave me a global outlook; and interaction with people from other countries gave me a rich experience that I can leverage in my work. Further, my network, a must in today’s business environment, has increased beyond my imagination.

Durham is an awesome place with just about everything a student would require. The university is well renowned in the UK, making it a hot destination for foreign students; and it doesn’t disappoint in terms of the academic experience.
Image:Nishant Pandey - Financial Management
Nishant Pandey
MA Financial Management 2009-10

Initially I choose Durham for a variety of reasons: not only is the reputation fantastic but it also attracted the highest calibre of employers in the sector I was looking to go into (banking and finance). Additionally, I am from the North East, so being in Durham was like coming home. I also wanted to experience the collegiate, multicultural postgraduate lifestyle. The open day was a great insight into the university and meeting the staff, including Dr Dietz (then program director) and Tom Davie (Careers Service) was indeed more than an attractive factor for choosing Durham.

Coming from Medical School, doing an undergraduate degree in something completely non financial, to a relatively finance-intensive MA was daunting yet the staff on board really aided and helped me through this, at times, cathartic process.

The MA in Financial Management course itself was great: the variety of modules and combination of both quantitative and qualitative modules on offer was fantastic and I believe really gives a 360 degree perspective on business. I truly believe this did aid me in my interview and application process as opposed to truly quantitative or qualitative master’s degrees. Some of the teaching on hand is fantastic, with tutors who really take an interest in your learning and help facilitate the process in the most conducive way. The opportunity to mix and match modules is also great and further aids the network and bonds built with other students. The careers service is (in no exaggeration) brilliant and incredibly helpful. I urge everyone to go and see Tom Davie for career advice! The Durham experience is something different (in a good way). Having lived in relatively large cities and now in London for my entire life, being in Durham [a small city] for the year had its initial challenges. However, once you overcome this, it really does capture you and indulge you, with a surprising variety of things to do and a multitude of societies and socials to get involved with.

Having pursued the masters, I was lucky enough to obtain employment as an IB R 3 year analyst with a major international investment bank in, initially, the UK, Irish and Swiss banking sector. I started in August and the MA has come in useful in terms of, for example, accounting modules, corporate finance, economics, quantitative research methods, mergers and acquisitions etc. However additionally the habits of reading the FT and Economist have come in very useful on the day to day aspect of the job.
Image:Sahil Tanwar - Management
Durham Business School Sahil Tanwar
MA Management


Coming to a university like Durham was always a dream, especially if you have done your research properly. The third oldest university in UK, ranked amongst the best in the world offered a great opportunity for me to test myself with the brightest students from around the world. Trust me, I mean it when I say from ‘around the world’. During my time here I have met and made friends with people from China, Spain, France, Bulgaria, Thailand, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Russia, South Africa, Nigeria, Syria, Greece, Scotland, Wales, England, Switzerland, Italy, Romania, Germany, Turkey, Mauritius, Brazil, Trinidad and Tobago, USA and India. It was an amazing international exposure.

When I first landed in Durham, I was awestruck by the sheer beauty of this place. Ever imagined a place like heaven? Well, I might be exaggerating a bit, but yes it’s truly beautiful. Don’t get disappointed by the old buildings, there’s high technology hidden behind them. I had studied a bit of ‘commerce’ as part of my Bachelors at Delhi University and wanted to learn ‘management’, not just for corporate purposes but for improvement at the personal level as well. MA Management offers some of the best subjects one needs to study to be a successful manager. It is really challenging. Unfortunately, I was ill during the first term, which affected my first term results. In term two, however, I bagged a few distinctions resulting in overall improvement of my results. I learnt a lot and it helped me become a better person, intellectually as well as on a personal level.

If you come to Durham, do remember that you will need to be ready for all sorts of challenges because they teach you how to live your ‘LIFE’. The academic side is just one of those things that come with it.

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International @ Durham Career Blog

Case studies and career news from Durham University's international students.