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James Adams

Studied: BSc Economics, MSc Financial & Industrial Economics

Graduated: 2000, 2001

Place of Work: Deloitte

Position: Senior Manager, Treasury Consulting

What were your reasons for choosing Royal Holloway?

I always knew I was quite keen to study Economics. When I was looking for universities I had a number of criteria, including a strong name and strong reputation, so Royal Holloway, being part of the University of London, was one of the factors that really attracted me to the College. I also attended an Open Day and was impressed with the campus. I was able to meet the Faculty members and get a sense of what they had to offer, the quality of the course and the options available. The location also appealed to me; the campus is beautiful, and you get the best of both worlds, as the university is situated out in the countryside but still close enough to London to attend interviews and other opportunities. It was the whole package really.

What attracted you to the undergraduate programme?

It was quite a new course at the time, and two of the things that appealed to me from the outset were the staff and the way the course was run. In addition to the core modules, you could select electives based on your own interests, so if you were more interested in Finance you could reflect that in your module options, or learn a language alongside Economics, or study a joint honours programme with a different department such as Management. Hence, you were not required to specialise too early, but you could build a programme around your interests as you progressed. Additionally, whilst the lectures were taught in large groups, the seminars were much smaller in size so you were able to talk things through and really digest what you were learning.

What were the best parts of the course?

I had the same personal tutor throughout my time at Royal Holloway; so when it came to giving references in my final year he really knew me. The tutors have an “open door” policy; it was reassuring to know that support was available if you needed it. The dissertation was a great opportunity to focus on a specific area of study in greater depth, and I remain in contact with my supervisor. Also, the course is very international and I am still in touch with friends from many other countries. It is possible to obtain a great network from studying there.

Why did you choose to stay on to do your Masters?

I really enjoyed my undergraduate degree so I wanted to study further. I successfully applied to a number of other leading universities including Warwick and Reading’s ICMA centre, but Royal Holloway stood out again. I knew the staff, department and course very well, and was also offered a teaching and research fellowship, which gave me the opportunity to teach as well as study. I have always found it rewarding to coach people and was keen to get involved with that. I was giving seminars and even a couple of lectures at the start of the year; that was quite daunting but very worthwhile.

Tell us about your professional qualifications.

I initially studied for a professional qualification with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) while working on the finance graduate scheme at Tesco. I decided to pursue this qualification because I had previously been focussed on academic study and I was keen to do something more commercial. I knew that I was interested in finance and the CIMA qualification is quite “hands-on” and very relevant to today’s business climate and demands. After completing CIMA, I worked in a variety of finance roles and then decided to study for a qualification with the Association of Corporate Treasurers. This appealed to me because it included a range of disciplines, such as law, maths, finance and accounting. It also combined the macroeconomics that I had studied on my degree, particularly some of the theory underpinning foreign exchange rates, interest rates and general risk management.

What is your current role at Deloitte?

I now work as a Senior Manager within the Corporate Treasury Consulting team at Deloitte. Our team provide treasury advisory services to external companies. These typically range from privately owned businesses to large multinationals. One of the things I particularly like about the role is that you have the sense that you are running your own business. My responsibilities include building the team, graduate recruitment, business development and project management.


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