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How I became a CEO after studying in the UK

Varun Sanam

Varun Sanam is a student from India Leeds University Business School who studied MSc. International Finance in September 2008.  He is now a CEO for Ezzy Group in India.

I am the CEO for Ezzy Group in India a company that works in a number of international projects across a range of sectors.  My responsibilities as CEO include every aspect of the business, including operations, marketing, strategy, financing, creation of company culture, human resources, hiring, firing, sales and PR. The CEO is responsible for the success or failure of the company.

I chose to study in the UK as I was keen to further develop my knowledge and skills in Finance in an international context. The UK, with London in the centre was widely recognised as the financial capital of the world, it had so much to offer in an international context for building and developing successful firms and some of the best universities in the world.

The UK has a long tradition of offering the great education and learning experience. Having studied at an undergraduate level in India, I recognised the importance of international context to further develop my knowledge of finance. My degree in the UK was so much more than I imagined. Most impressive was a practice-based approach to learning through insightful real-world study and analysis. This was refreshing and different from what I had experienced before. I had the opportunities to learn, interact with leaders from the field of finance, professors and lecturers, whom still had active careers in their areas of expertise often as senior advisors and consultants.

My degree had so much to offer from a multi-cultural context. I had classmates from countries around the world, who had different perspectives and experience to draw from. Group projects, debates and discussions helped us apply new approaches to dealing with age-old problems.

My Master’s degree in the UK offered opportunities for research, and the library and learning resources available were incredible. I was able to work on a research project towards the end of my programme and had the opportunity to choose modules that better fit my career goals.

I was privileged to study in the UK and continue to use many skills I learnt over my degree in my current role today, especially the ability to structure and leverage international finance and investments into Ezzy Group, and develop new capabilities and businesses.

My UK education helped define my career goals, ambitions and plan for the future. My degree changed everything from a professional perspective. I was better informed, confident and focused on building my skill set so I could one day lead, manage and develop and large global business.

There were plenty of opportunities offered for internships and student placement programmes. We often had employers on campus doing mock interviews, running completions and helping students find jobs in their organisations. This was a real advantage, as many leading global businesses are headquartered in the UK.

Away from my studies, the UK offered a great culture, recognised globally for the arts, theatre and music. I visited art galleries which were invariably free to enter, saw a play at the famous Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and travelled across the country to watch some great concerts. There was lot do over the weekends after a week on campus and there was always somewhere to visit - beautiful parks, abbeys, traditional markets, restaurants, museums and so much more.

Make the most of your time in the UK, your experience and your world class degree.  A UK education is a great adventure. It was so easy to settle into life in the UK and the country offered a great standard of living - I stayed at university halls of residence and made loads of friends on the first day.  I had time to study, play a variety of sports, get some part time work during the vacations, and enjoy the natural beauty of the countryside.

To anyone reading this profile and considering an education in the UK, I’d say “ a UK education is less an investment in your studies, than it is an investment in yourself. “