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In conversation with Pearl Nyaosi, Master of Finance alumna

Pearl Nyaosi joined the Master of Finance (MFin) programme in 2017 having previously worked for nearly five years within risk consulting and deal advisory departments. Since her time on the programme, Pearl has since returned to Kenya and is working in impact investing.

Pearl Kwamboka-Nyaosi (MFin 2017)
Pearl Nyaosi (MFin 2017)

Why the Cambridge Master of Finance?

I chose the Cambridge MFin as I felt it was the best platform for me to gain international exposure and expand my network on an international scale. I could also build upon my financial skills and knowledge.

What valuable lessons did you learn during your time on the programme?

A big lesson I learnt is to have courage – we must face our fears. Moving to a new country where I knew absolutely no-one was obviously very daunting at first. The MFin is a full-time programme so the thought of not having an income for a year was also something I was a bit anxious about. Looking back, I am so glad I made this bold step as I settled in well, made great friends and was able to see the world in a whole new way.

Another important lesson is persistence and diligence. I learned that in order to get the job I was aiming for, a lot of interview preparation had to be done. I didn’t pass every interview I went for, but that is part of the process you go through to find a new job. I had to keep applying for new opportunities alongside working on improving the way I prepared for, and how I performed in, interviews.

Time – the MFin was an intensive programme which made the year fly by. My advice to future applicants is to enjoy Cambridge and all it has to offer. Join clubs, make friends, use the sports facilities, visit all of the Colleges, use your free time in the holidays to study but also make a bit of time to travel and explore the UK and Europe.

What aspects of the programme did you find most valuable?

There were so many aspects that were hugely valuable from my MFin experience. One of those things was the support of the careers service, mainly careers coaching. Being coached by experts on things like interview communication and preparation, where to look for certain jobs and workshops on performance were all very helpful. The support I got from this helped me to redefine my career goals, apply for jobs that were suitable for me and, of course, adequately prepare for the interviews.

Networking is also another huge aspect. There were so many opportunities to network, starting with my MFin classmates and students from the MBA and then getting to meet MFin alumni and other students across the University of Cambridge. Another valuable networking opportunity I got was though the City speaker series. It was very useful in helping me to see the breadth of the financial world and the various career options I could pursue after the programme.

How has your career progressed since the MFin?

Since my time on the MFin programme I have moved into a career in impact investing. It was a field I wanted to pursue and the MFin helped make that come true. I am passionate about investing with purpose and for good reasons. I am now working for one of the leading impact investors in East Africa. It’s a great feeling knowing you are working to make a difference to people’s lives in your everyday work.

Where do you hope to go next in your career?

I greatly look forward to building up my network, particularly with indigenous female investors in Africa. I am also passionate about contributing to the rise of women in more mainstream roles and sectors across the continent, and contributing towards the wider goal of helping professionals be able to see Africa as a place of immense opportunity. I am happy to be part of those professionals contributing towards opportunities for tangible transformation of people’s lives, ideas and organisations.