‘Learning within an international environment was the best part’

MSc graduate Valeria now works as a financing analyst for a Portuguese bank

Valeria Prudencio

Valeria Prudencio completed her MSc International Business and Management programme in 2020. She now works as a financing analyst for Natixis Bank in Porto, Portugal.

What was your dream job as a child, and what is your dream job now?

I always knew that banking was what I wanted. I saw banks as huge institutions, full of interesting and intelligent people who handle crazy amounts of money. It was a dream to know, learn and be part of what happens behind closed doors, and I worked hard to make my dream come true. The job I have now is my dream job, it’s a great combination for me – banking in an international team.

Why did you choose Kent Business School?

After years trying to find the best business school, the one that offered the best programme for me, I came across Kent Business School and it was love at first sight! It was as if the International Business and Management master’s was handmade for me, so I applied for a place and have no regrets. It was a great decision.

What did you most enjoy about studying at Kent?

By far, learning everything within an international environment was the best part. I got to meet people from all over the world, with diverse backgrounds and cultures; we were constantly sharing experiences and learning from each other. The biggest achievement for me is to have completed my Master’s successfully, as a non-native English speaker, part of the challenge for me was the language itself.

How do you think the programme could be improved?

It offered exactly what I was looking for, so I really don’t have any recommendations. Just keep going!

What have you been up to since graduating?

I was looking forward to starting work immediately. Unfortunately, Covid restrictions meant it took me a while. In the meantime, I kept acquiring skills through online courses and received a job offer from Natixis in April and moved to Portugal in June. I’ve been working in Porto since then.

What does your role involve?

I work in the Madrid back-office team, under the Global Financing Operations EMEA for Natixis Bank. We work with the syndicated and bilateral loans, and agencies portfolio for corporate clients. I love my job. I am part of an international team, with people from all over Europe, Asia and the Americas.

How do you apply the knowledge and skills you gained during your studies in your job?

During my Master’s, I learnt that although the theory may be the same across the world, perspectives and practice are influenced by context, legislation and people, as well as many other things. In my role, although I work for the Madrid team I also work alongside the London, Milan, Dubai and Paris teams and seeing how the theory is applied in different contexts and countries is pretty amazing.

What careers advice would you give to fellow alumnir

Be patient and take a positive and constructive attitude to any feedback you receive on your CV, cover letters and from recruiters. This feedback can be the thing that makes a difference on your next application. And the most important thing – networking is key.

What are your future plans and aspirations?

I really like my job, so for now I’m looking forward to continuing to learn and grow in the area I am working in. I dream about becoming an executive in Natixis, in charge of business projects suitable for all the branches in our network and applying what I learnt at Kent.

What advice would you give to current students doing your course?

Give yourself time to do your assignments, attend your seminars as lecturers give valuable insights into how your assignments can be done. Time management is key, plan your reading and studying hours in advance, so you are able to submit everything on time. Talk to everyone, make friends, attend meet-ups and socials, part of the experience is to get to know all the people who are going through the same experience as you are. You will create beautiful memories, enjoy.

Valeria studied MSc International Business and Management at Kent Business School.

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