Nora Puhala

Nora Puhala

Name                         : Nora Puhala
Current job title      : Exchange student at Melbourne Business School                                                         (March 2018)
Year of graduation : 2018
Nationality               : German and Hungarian

Why did you choose this MSc?
"I immediately liked the concept of having a small selective class with only around 40 students. This is a major advantage compared to the other programmes at RSM because the exchange of ideas and opinions is facilitated – not just between the students and the professor, but also between the students themselves. The programme uses a hands-on approach in all of its subjects, which is extremely helpful for our future careers. Theory is of course important, but actually being able to apply this knowledge provides us with a huge advantage when starting our first job. As many of our projects were in collaboration with the programme's corporate partners, we also got insights into the companies and work closely with them. This was a great way to broaden our network, discover career paths, and step out of our comfort zone.”

How would you describe the programme and RSM?
“The programme is very challenging and demanding, there is no doubt about that. But the learning curve is very steep, which makes the whole experience very rewarding. The programme is well-balanced and does not solely focus on pure financial topics. Several subjects like business ethics or management skills, as well as the study trip and the incorporated internship, complement the core subjects. Also, the practical assignments for each subject make an excellent addition to our theoretical skill sets. I perceive RSM as a prestigious school where committed students are provided with excellent academic opportunities, and where they are challenged and inspired. I enjoy the school's diverse community, its distinguished network with reputable companies, as well as its unbeatable price-quality ratio.”

What was the biggest challenge in this master?
“The biggest challenge was managing the high workload. The large amount of assignments had to be mainly worked on in teams. When you have multiple assignments going on at the same time, but with different teams, time management becomes somewhat difficult. I very much enjoy teamwork, but it’s definitely more time-consuming than individual work. So the main challenge was to optimise each team's working methods to be able to create the most efficient and high-quality results. Each team has different dynamics, so sometimes this process is quite easy, but sometimes it can be very hard. Overall, this very much prepared us for our working lives, because being able to work efficiently in a team is a prerequisite for all career paths in business.”

What made the greatest impression?
“The three ‘living management’ cases made the greatest impression on me. These were realistic cases with information and data provided by the programme's corporate partners, which we had to solve in teams of roughly five students. The topics of these cases were very diverse and interesting, and we received real feedback from the companies as well. It was refreshing to see how the companies valued our efforts and what points of improvement they suggested. Since in all three cases we had to present our final work at the respective offices, we could also practise our presentation and PowerPoint skills at the same time.”

How did your studies at RSM shape your career?
“I completed my BSc in International Business Administration at RSM too, which gave me a thorough overview of all the functional areas in business. I realised that I was interested in finance, so RSM gave me the opportunity to specialise in it with the new FI-A programme. This programme in turn provided me with core theories, taught me how to apply them in real-life settings, and also equipped me with multiple soft skills for the field. In this manner, I have completed my first internship during this programme in the field of sustainable finance. Overall, I can say that RSM has provided me with a versatile, well-rounded and balanced higher education which opens up doors for me in my future career.”

What are your future plans?
“I’m currently extending my MSc with an exchange semester at Melbourne Business School in Australia. I’m completing my financial knowledge with several marketing subjects which explore, among others, retail management and consumer behaviour. In my eyes, this semester is an excellent opportunity to fine-tune my visions for my future career path, so that I can kick-start it later this year. I’m interested in optimising financial operations for companies in the retail industry, as well as integrating finance with sustainability efforts.”