Meet the Undergraduate – Riya Vasa
In this blog post, you’ll hear from Riya Vasa, BSc Mathematics, Statistics and Financial Economics student. Riya is also President of the QM Fintech Society. She told us a bit more about her experience with QTaster, her internship with Bright Network, her passion for both maths and economics, and her plans for the future.
What made you choose to study BSc Mathematics, Statistics and Financial Economics at Queen Mary University of London?
Academically and personally, I have always been inclined towards mathematics and economics. Exposure to working on short research papers in IBDP (grade 12) solidified my keen interest in the subjects. Although the discipline of economics is heavily influenced by the bias of the researcher, mathematics allows economists to explain observable phenomena and provides the backbone for theoretical interpretation. The degree I chose to pursue at Queen Mary incorporated all the disciplines that intrigued me. Additionally, the flexibility of module selection in year 3 gave me the opportunity to diversify my learning as I understood my preferred areas of interest throughout the course of the degree. Studying at Queen Mary provided me with the opportunity to interact and network with a diverse student base. As an international student, the diversity and open culture of Queen Mary resulted in a welcoming atmosphere.
What do you enjoy the most of your degree?
I appreciate the fact that my degree provides me with a vast knowledge of three different disciplines. Our first year primarily focused on building a solid foundation in all the major areas of mathematics, and from year 2 onwards, the programme is evenly split between mathematics and economics modules. Personally, I enjoyed the Probability and Statistics module as it made me familiar with the R software which is even utilised in the industry for preliminary data analysis. Furthermore, the introduction of finance-based modules in year 2, such as Principles of Finance, gave me a real insight into the functioning of markets, institutions and corporate finance.
You are President of the QM Fintech Society. What is the aim of the society?
Since the Financial Services Sector is changing, FinTech is more relevant than ever in today’s business world. It is the combination of finance and technology which has resulted in big start-up banks like Monzo, cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin, payments such as PayPal and more. It is becoming a major and disruptive part in investment banking, venture capital, asset management, information technology etc. Currently, we envision a huge opportunity for driven students with a passion for finance and/or tech who want to step foot into this young but ever-growing global network of leading entrepreneurs, companies and investors. Hence, QM FinTech Society’s aim isn't limited to the United Kingdom; we strive to equip our members with knowledge, experience and opportunities from all corners of the world. Our Worldwide Insight Series will have professionals who have experience working in the United States, Ireland, United Kingdom, Dubai and India. Additionally, we are also associate partner with Global Fintech Network (GFTN), an international collaboration of students and young professionals across numerous Fintech societies from over eight countries. We endeavour to provide a platform for students from any background to learn, evaluate and debate the developments in global financial technologies that could change the way we think about finance today. Whether you’re interested in gaining a quick understanding of the developments within the industry, are wildly passionate about the innovative technology impacting finance, or you yourself want to pursue a career in FinTech, QM Fintech society is the place for you to begin your journey with. Visit our QMSU page or reach out to us on any of our social media platforms to know more!
Can you tell us a bit more about your QTaster experience?
As an international student, QTaster was beneficial in aiding me to accustom and comprehend the mechanics of established businesses in London. QTaster was instrumental for me to understand the importance of job networking and building professional relations. I gained real insights into varied companies belonging to different sectors. My four company visits included Business Science, Microsoft, NMPi and 8th Light. These visits aided me to better evaluate what industry and company positions I see myself inclining towards and crafting my career into. Becoming privy to the daily functioning of an office and learning more about their job application process made it easier for me while applying for insight days, internships and job applications.
What was your internship at Bright Network like? What did you learn from this experience?
I undertook three internship opportunities (Investment Banking Intern, Consulting Intern and Business, Operations and Marketing Intern) at Bright Network during the summer. It was a remarkable virtual experience to network and work alongside students from across the globe during exceptional times given Covid-19. Regardless of the situation, Bright Network internships hosted seminars led by market-leading firms like J.P. Morgan, Goldman Sachs, GSK, Google, P&G and more. The seminars gave real insight into understanding the mechanics of each industry and also availed a great networking opportunity with company representatives. We also worked on a project under each internship as an application from our learnings from the seminars. It was a peer-reviewed task hence, it motivated us to collaborate and network with others attending the internship.
What are your plans for the future?
Currently, I am on a four-year degree programme which includes a year in industry. This gives me an excellent opportunity to contextualise my academic skills and gain corporate working experience in the UK. I am applying for finance or data science placements and envision on pursuing those fields in future as well.
Find out more about studying BSc Mathematics, Statistics and Financial Economics at the School of Maths.