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Monika Jurkiewicz

BSc Financial Economics

'I came to London from Poland to study business and marketing at another university. But after my first year I realised I couldn’t afford to live in London and study full time. The university didn’t offer part-time courses so I started researching and realised Birkbeck was the solution. Birkbeck being part of the University of London was a huge factor in my choice.

'At the moment I work in financial services, but I did a variety of different jobs while studying. For the last two years of my degree I worked for Visa Europe.

'I had to adjust to absorbing information in the evenings, but after a few weeks I really looked forward to it. It’s all about how you organise your work and personal life.  You spend your weekends studying, as well as the two or three evenings a week, and that has to be dedicated time.

'All my lecturers were good, and some were amazing. Looking at what they’d done before teaching at Birkbeck made me feel very privileged to have studied with some of my professors.

'Exams were quite a challenge because of my work commitments – I had to get time off or rearrange my hours but everyone at work knew and was proud of me for doing the course. Employers saw me as someone dedicated, more so perhaps than someone who had studied full time.

'I had a great social life at Birkbeck but studying gave me other things too. I’ve become more disciplined. At work I’m able to manage my priorities, and communicate and explain my ideas to other people – I learned this from doing assignments and preparing for exams at Birkbeck.  I’ve also developed time management skills.

'I certainly hope my degree will enhance my career prospects. I was 19 when I came to London, with no education or professional experience behind me. I’m not sure yet what I want to do in the future, but now I can look for new opportunities and apply for jobs that require a degree.

'Studying at Birkbeck gave me a determination to learn, while completing my degree has made me feel there is nothing I cannot do if I put my mind to it!'

Find out more about our finance courses.

'Completing my degree has made me feel there is nothing I cannot do if I put my mind to it.'