Name: Keya Patel
Program: BA (Honours) Accounting and Finance
Year of graduation: 2012
Company name: National Bank of Fujairah
Position: Sr. Officer – Large Corporate and Government Entities Segment, Corporate & Institutional Banking
Q1. What made you choose Middlesex University Dubai?
It was very easy to decide on which university I wanted to join for my graduation. A university with a British BA (Honours) degree in a span of 3 years with the exact programme that I was looking for – I couldn’t let go of that.
Q2. What aspects of your course did you enjoy most?
The best part of the course was that we had students from different backgrounds in our class and working on group assignments together taught us a lot. Not to forget the outcomes of such assignments were always seen to be great.
Q3. What is your fondest memory of life at Middlesex?
I joined MDX in 2009, when the university was celebrating its 5th year of operation. It was a great year for both of us (the university & I). The best part was, the 2009 batch was always connected to each other, no matter which programme we had enrolled onto, thanks to the various university activities and the student lounge, which was the typical spot to be at for a fresher.
Q4. What one piece of advice would you give to a prospective student interested in studying at Middlesex?
Dear prospective student, there is no doubt on the quality of education attained and the incredible tutor support at MDX, but alongside you will gain a lot of exposure to peers coming from different walks of life and always find yourself gaining and sharing through various classroom activities and inter-university educational competitions (even industry competitions). I guess that’s how my life at MDX was.
Q5. Where has your professional life taken you since graduation?
After graduating in 2012, the market was not supportive for new job openings; however, I managed to get a job at a financial consultancy firm in Dubai and spent 2 years implementing the fundamentals of financing. I have now moved on and work for National Bank of Fujairah as a Sr. Officer for their Large corporate and Government entities segment in Dubai.
Q6. Can you give an example of a time when you put the things you learned at Middlesex to practical use?
Coming from a finance background, we put our fundamentals to practice every single day. Starting from analysing a balance sheet, to understanding the business model, to why and why not to lend to a prospective company. There is always something new to learn and add to the diary, but the basics learned remain the same throughout your life.
Q7. What made you choose the industry you work in and what are its pros and cons?
I was always good in accounting during my higher secondary education. The other programs were too basic for me; hence I decided to do my degree in Accounting and Finance. Of course, after having joined the program, I learned a lot of new aspects of this study, which also led me to decide what profession I would ideally want to take up as a career path.
Unlike other professions, being in the finance profession is slightly tough as the employer is always looking for highly experienced personnel because of the high level of work involved. It’s always good to start small in such cases, where one is able to learn and practice his/her knowledge. But it is also a very high levelled job, with a great deal of responsibility.
Q8. What are the top three tips you would give to current students and recent graduates who are looking for a similar career to yourself?
- Get the basic fundamentals of finance right
- Always keep an open and learning mind set
- Remember - you’re dealing with numbers and a sense of responsibility is important
Q9. What one piece of advice would you give to the 17/18 year old you?
Do not get carried away with your peers, look for what’s best for you and what you really want to do in life.