The James Pantyfedwen postgraduate grant has made an enormous difference to my personal development. It has allowed me to bridge the gap between my undergraduate degree and long-term career goals, and for this opportunity I am extremely grateful.
With help from the grant I studied Management Finance MSc at Durham University from September 2020 to September 2021. The first term covered economics, accounting, finance and organisational psychology. This constituted the ‘broad basics’ needed for a career in finance. The second term focussed on more advanced topics such as financial management, corporate finance, and mergers and acquisitions. Finally, the course culminated with a 70-page research dissertation to be completed over the summer.
I chose to examine the performance of British Listed Firms during the first year of COVID-19. In detail, I conducted multiple linear regression analysis to determine the relationship between firm performance and several firm-specific characteristics. My research yielded surprising results. Larger, older, and healthier (pre-pandemic) firms did not perform better during the first year of COVID-19 as one might expect. Additionally, the negative sector effects of COVID-19 on my UK sample were almost identical to those reported in other countries.
Going forwards, my ambition is to help business shift towards truly environmental, social, and corporately-responsible practice. To this aim I view my postgraduate degree in Management Finance as irreplaceable. It provides a strong foundation in finance, and also an important qualification in an increasingly competitive world. I look forward to putting what I have learned into practice, and thank the James Pantyfedwen foundation once again for their unwavering support.