Igors Pašuks - The Hero of Finance

This year it was Igors Pašuks who has outperformed all the previous years’ results in Financial Economics with 184 points. We decided to find out Igors’s recipe for success.

Igor, did you expect to become a top score in FE?

No, I did not expect it at all, at least in the beginning of the course. I did not intend to beat everybody, though people were rumoring that I will have a top score (smiling). All I needed was a decent pass to secure my summer internship and not to return back next year =). To tell the truth, I was deeply surprised when Peter Hogfeldt (the lecturer) contacted me to congratulate on achieving the highest grade.

Do you have a specific strategy on preparation for the FE exam?

The best strategy is a combination of various methods and tools although I would like to point out at some important aspects that may be useful. First of all, you really have to focus on the subject itself and learn to become self-disciplined. This is the time when you should limit your presence on Facebook and other social networks, watching regular TV episodes, movies, and so on. I must admit that it is terribly hard to do this in the beginning. Teamwork is really helpful as well. In my team, we divided the articles for reading and each of us was responsible for making a summary. Besides, we made learning cards for ourselves where we outlined the key points of each article. It helped a lot because I was looking through them while going to and from school. It is even more useful to have one of your teammates or friends on your way home in order to revise the material together and simply discuss it. Trust and reliance is important and having awesome teammates also makes the whole process even fun. Finally, you have to study regularly. This is the key to success. That is how it works not only in FE but in other subjects as well. The minimum benchmark that I set for myself in any course is being prepared for every seminar, no matter whether I have to spend the previous night solving it.

In your opinion, what is more important for FE course, exceptional brain or hard working spirit?

In the case of FE it is definitely hard work and self-discipline. Even though many would consider it modesty, I personally do not consider myself in any way talented or distinctive from others. The only talent that I might possess is the ability to grasp new things very fast.

Do you consider FE to be the most difficult course at SSE?

From the very beginning it seemed like that. Now, when I look back at what we actually learnt during the two months I would not rank it as the most difficult one. But definitely as the most intense one.

Is it true that you have started to learn FE in advance?

It is partially true, I must admit. I had gone through 1 of the articles before the course started, so one may consider I had a small head start in the course, which I still do not consider to be a major deal breaker in the end.

What are your plans for the future?

I am completely sure that at least in the forthcoming few years I see myself in the finance field. I hold an internship offer from Merrill Lynch (an investment bank) in London so I believe a lot will depend on the outcome of the summer spent there and whether I will land a full-time offer. Furthermore, I am planning to go on exchange for some cultural exploration and travel. At the same time I still try keep some of my options unexercised as life can have many turning points so one must always be ready for new challenges that may arise in the future.

Tanya Ciumacova & Olja Holub


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