Department of Engineering Science

Zabin Farishta

Bachelor of Engineering (BE) in Engineering Science / Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) in Economics (2013)

Photograph of Zabin Farishta

Masters student (2013)
London School of Economics, UK


I did a conjoint BE/BCom, and in my final Engineering year, I did an honours project on pricing water rights, and an internship at the Reserve Bank of New Zealand.

I had always dreamt of studying at the London School of Economics (LSE) given its prestigious alumni and great reputation and it just seemed like I had a good shot at it given the internship and honours project I undertook in my final year. I applied for the Management and Regulation of Risk major because it is extremely topical in today’s economic climate and the degree would give me the opportunity to develop my quant and qualitative skill set with an emphasis on finance/risk but also a chance to focus on softer side of risk, eg risk culture and management.

I got in, and I am the first New Zealander to take the once year Masters in Management and Regulation of Risk (now known as Risk and Finance) at LSE.

Starting out in a class of 30 or so students (ironically, with not one British student), we had a field trip just like our Engineering Science field trip to Rotorua. From there on we were bombarded with the usual course work and practitioner seminars. What was unique about LSE, and as I now gather, about the British education system was that course work usually is formative (does not contribute to the final grade) and exams (all take place at the end of the year) count towards 100% of your final grade.

The full LSE experience is not just the academia. The extra-curricular life and social scene give you a chance to engage with some extremely driven and visionary individuals and unparalleled opportunities to hear from and to question, some of the big names ranging from Kofi Annan to Eric Schmidt.

Apart from being an arts hub with its daily playing of musicals and plays, London for me is primarily an intellectual hub. For one, even the homeless are seen reading newspapers, and of course local newspapers are free too. It has definitely been an amazing year, so much learned, so much experienced. I have done my fair share of travel visiting 9 countries in the last month, that too within a student budget! Now, I am in my final month crunching away at my 10,000 word thesis on the Banker's Bonus Cap and its impact on Risk Culture within banks.

I plan to return to home sweet home NZ this September, and will take up a graduate position in Management Consulting with LEK in Melbourne in February 2014, bracing for another new city, another experience, another adventure!