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Scholarship for Women in Finance: 2012’s Winner

By Staff Writer

Updated May 12, 2016 Updated May 12, 2016

Romanian student Rodica Timotin is the recipient of the 2012 Scholarship for Women in Finance, offered by Duisenberg School of Finance in partnership with QS. She shares how it felt to be accepted, her thoughts on gender imbalance in finance, and why she can’t imagine a better location for her MSc.

This year’s Scholarship for Women in Finance >

I first found out about the scholarship while researching programs at Duisenberg School of Finance.  I spent a lot of time on the website just to make sure I was aware of everything there was to know about the master’s program and all opportunities available for financing it.

The scholarship meant a lot for me in terms of financial support – it’s certainly made my life easier for a couple of years.

The feeling of being accepted was obviously amazing – I still remember how I couldn’t focus on anything else for a couple of hours after I had the phone call. While waiting for the results I went through all possible stages – from being very confident it could happen to having no hope at all.

Still, I never imagined just how special the news would make me feel.

An important issue

I also found the focus of the scholarship very inspiring. I am bothered by the fact that nowadays feminism is sometimes taken to an extreme level, so the proposed essay topic really made me think about whether the financial setting would have been different with more female representatives in top management roles. 

I believe that the gender imbalance in finance we are currently witnessing is a result of personal choices – women and men choose their profession based on their own preferences and priorities, and statistically it so happens that men are more likely to go for the financial field.

Still, so many people have asked me why I chose to study finance when there are so many other areas more “suitable” for a woman that I can definitely say I feel strongly about the issue.

I am bothered when people put labels according to a general rule rather than paying attention to other more important things. However, I can say for sure that it is not a huge problem – it is usually just a matter of time before others understand people are where they are because of a reason.

The perfect master’s program?

I am halfway through the year now and I’ve had a great time so far. We have very challenging and exciting courses, skilled teachers, very good exposure in terms of connections to the industry and amazing people to spend time with.

I can’t imagine what else one would expect from a master’s program. I think I love the atmosphere most – it is a perfect training for later working in finance – a combination of high standards, competitiveness, stress and lots of fun. 

In terms of preparing for future employment, I found a specific type of assignments very useful: case studies, which were new to me.

This is a very challenging way of putting into practice what you’ve studied beforehand. You really get the feeling of how it’s done in real life and you are also exposed to different areas so that you can figure out what kind of tasks you enjoy solving most.

There’s a lot of hard work involved, usually teamwork, but also a lot of satisfaction when tasks are completed. We also had several workshops with industry representatives, which are again very useful.

And finally…

It’s probably no surprise that I’m planning to find a job here in the Netherlands after graduation. This is a perfect environment to practice the skills I’ve developed this year and to grow to my full potential.

I love the fact that the job opportunities in finance here are very diverse, so it’s possible to choose any specific field you’re interested in and then focus on becoming very good at it.

This article was originally published in March 2013 . It was last updated in May 2016

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