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Makenna Barbara, Banking & Finance MSc, 2020
Makenna Barbara, Banking & Finance MSc, 2020

Makenna Barbara

Banking & Finance MSc, 2020


My name is Makenna Barbara, and I studied an MSc in Banking and Finance in 2019-2020. I am passionate about bridging the gap between environmental/social causes and the world of finance. In particular I want to work to increase ESG practices in the sector, particularly via capital allocation; after all, money talks.

My undergraduate degree was a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and I chose further studies in Banking and Finance to help me ultimately get to a job in private equity. I chose this specific course at King’s Business School because of the extracurricular activities alongside the regular course material. I was especially drawn to the Finance Trading Program (FTP) and the King’s Investment Fund.

The Finance Trading Program took place in the King’s Business School Trading Room where we were given access to the school’s Bloomberg terminals and real-time data. It was here where I really felt I learned how to apply all of the theory I learned in lectures. These different lessons provided a layer of practical understanding that perfectly complemented the actual coursework.

Even better though was the King’s Investment Fund which also gave practical experience in investment and portfolio analysis, but it had real money at stake (£20,000). The realization that my choices would have a tangible affect on the resulting balance of the fund caused me to focus even more. This experience taught me how to analyse assets and manage risk in a portfolio, which are crucial skills for my current job.

The programme itself, and these extracurricular activities helped me enormously in preparing for my current role as an Acquisitions Analyst. Now I use these skills everyday underwriting multi-million-dollar deals.

I learned a lot during my time at King's, but I think my biggest takeaway will forever be how important it is to have a global perspective, especially as globalization increases and financial markets become more and more interconnected. As an American, I was hardly ever exposed to the sheer breadth of diversity in cultures and viewpoints that I experienced not only in London, but in each of my classes.

I was fortunate enough to have classmates from all over the world and am now better for it. I met some dear friends in these classes, and they played just as big a role in my learning as some of the lecturers did. They challenged my views and forced me out of my comfort zone, which I am thankful for. My best memories in London include them, and I know many more in the future will too.

I would recommend this course to anyone interested in finance. The distinguished professors, international student body, and high-quality curriculum are all excellent selling points, but in my mind the greatest added value is in the extracurricular courses offered. Picking this programme has been one of my best decisions.

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