Where Are They Now? Graduate Stories - Nilima Begum
We caught up with BSc Business Studies with Financial Management graduate Nilima Begum, who talks to us about her aspirations before starting university, what she is doing now in her career and how The University of Salford helped her achieve her ambitions.
What were your ambitions before you started University? What was your dream career?
Growing up I’ve always wanted to run my own business (I didn’t really have an idea of what I wanted to do, but I have always known I want to be my own boss) and also wanted to work in banking. More specifically I eventually want to go into investment banking.
The banking industry has always been of interest to me, mostly because I like the behind the scenes of banking. Most people outside of Banking & Finance will not appreciate or know that there is such a variety of roles you can go into and not just a branch where people go in to get money and/or other services. I was lucky enough to graduate and get my first job in banking, which helped me get the initial experience and step into the sector at the age of 21!
Why did you choose Salford Business School to help achieve your goals?
I wanted to study Business Studies with Financial Management and I was offered a place, I loved the fact it was close enough to commute.
In the first 2 years, I studied general Business Management, which meant I learnt a lot about the different aspects of business and what it takes to run one. Then in my final year, we had the option to carry on doing general business or specialise in a specific area which is why I chose Financial Management. I’ve always loved numbers because the logical side of me knows there is a right and wrong answer and I really enjoy the financial aspects of businesses. This also meant I didn’t have to do a pure accounting course, as it meant I still stayed on the business side of finance.
Where are you now? What has your career path looked like?
When I graduated in 2013, I was lucky enough to get my first job at RBS as a Complaints Handler; I was there nearly 3 years, eventually leaving in 2016 after doing various roles in Personal Banking. This helped me build my knowledge and experience within the sector.
After that, I joined the Co-Operative Bank doing on-boarding of new business accounts, which I did for a short 6 months. I then moved back to RBS, but the Williams & Glynn side doing Business and Commercial Banking and AML & KYC on existing business customer accounts. I stayed there for over one and a half years before leaving to go to Deloitte, where a great opportunity opened up for me to go onto doing Commercial Banking.
In October 2018 I joined Aldermore Bank PLC as a National Bad Debt Protection Administrator in Invoice Finance which was my first experience in this type of banking and I absolutely loved it. I did this role for just over a year before landing my current job in March 2020.
My current job title is Business Development Support Executive at Aldermore Bank PLC, more specifically within Invoice Finance. I work in the sales team, supporting the Business Development Managers with new business. I help onboard new clients (mostly SME’s) and support our prospects during this stage. I absolutely love my job, it suits me perfectly and I am excited to progress even further. The best part of my job is being able to help struggling businesses get the cashflow they need and learning about the different businesses that are out there. No two businesses are the same despite them being in the same sector.
How did Salford Business School help you achieve your ambitions?
Salford Business School gave me the confidence and experience behind the theoretical knowledge of businesses as well as the financial side. They helped me to speak confidently and purposefully in front of large crowds, which I believe has helped me in interviews and generally being able to speak to people on the phone.
Whilst at University I felt I had a lot of support from tutors. They were always available when I needed them and helped me during assignments and exams.
Salford Business School helped give me the foundation I needed to go into a job as well as help build my confidence as a person. When I graduated I knew exactly where I wanted to be! Without my degree, I wouldn’t have known exactly the direction I wanted to go in.
I still use my theoretical and practical knowledge of businesses even now during my working life, to look at financial accounts and to speak to different businesses about how they run. Practically running a business is very different from an idea of how we think a real business should be run.
Simply put, what now? What are your ambitions for the rest of your career?
I definitely want to run my own business and go into Investment Banking.
What advice would you give to someone considering studying at Salford Business School?
If business is something you are interested in and enjoy doing it, then definitely consider Salford Business School. The courses are great, the tutors are very accessible and you will enjoy your time there and meet different people!