Socks to That!

This past weekend was a creative one. My wife decided to turn a cashmere jumper into socks. Said cashmere jumper had previously gone into the wash and tumble-dried, promptly shrinking and too small around the shoulders for her to wear. Rather than attempt to stretch, and with the temperature outside in the single digits, felt that new socks would be more suitable.

So began a weekend of cutting, sewing and general squealing (on her part) while she made two pairs of passable socks. Or attempted to. Like a knight in shining armour, I had to save the day and sew them together as the use of a sewing machine seems to be beyond her skillset.

On the bright side it did help rekindle my love of making things and, having been storing in a box for the past year, found a project I’d started but had put aside – a linen notebook cover. Welp, it was my first attempt and the end results were not as expected. Still, there’s always next time. I’ve plenty of material left – enough for another three covers and I’ve learned now not to sew the long side so far out before folding (in hindsight it was obvious, and I ask myself how I did not realise it sooner).


Unfortunately university assignments take priority for now, but as soon as they’re done I’m breaking out the sewing machine once more.

End of the 2017 Intern Programme

Last month saw the end of the 2017 LAIBS Intern Programme, it’s been a busy 8 months with a varied training programme and activities (including an away day, climbing the O2 and a summer social that involved painting room for a homeless charity). We were also allocated mentors from a variety of professional roles (one per intern, not multiple each).

The training covered a number of different topics, including:

  • Networking,
  • Team Building,
  • Effective Communications,
  • Speed Reading,
  • Problem Busting,

The training alone made the programme worth joining as it allowed us to build on and improve the skills we’d started to develop since starting our courses, and the training (and social activities) allowed for the chance to get to meet people who I otherwise would not have, particularly from the Chelmsford campus.

Regarding our mentors, some were more active than others (I’d heard of one who just disappeared after a few months!), I was fortunate as my mentor, while not local to Cambridge, was able to meet me and we maintained regular email contact.

I also won an award for Inspirational Work Ethic, to go along with a personalised letter from the Dean of the business school and a certificate for taking part in the programme.

What Does the Future Hold? Part 1

The future has been on my mind a lot recently, specifically post-graduation and my fiancée.

All thought of staying in the UK seems to have vanished, particularly as my fiancées mother is keen for us to move to China. While my fiancée would, I hope, have few issues getting readjusted to living in her home country, the question on both of our minds is how would I adjust?

My first, and foremost, thoughts are to adjust my plans that I originally laid out before getting engaged and adapt them to China:

  • To continue my studies to postgraduate level,
  • Failing the above, to find suitable employment,

Two simple choices, without speaking the Mandarin finding employment will be difficult (although I suppose that I could always teach English, TEFL?)

Looking at postgraduate courses four criteria arise:

  1. Location – Preferably Shanghai due to fiancés family,
  2. Course – Business related would be nice,
  3. Taught Language – Taught in English preferred, which does limit the number of courses,
  4. Costs – Specially how would I pay the course costs and cover my living costs,

Ignoring costs for the moment (more on that later) my research is narrowed down to the parameters:

  • A Shanghai based university,
  • Taught in English,
  • Business related (including Finance and Economics),

Looking at universities, between Google and my Fiancé, I’ve narrowed my choices to:

  • Fudan University,
  • Shanghai University,
  • Shanghai University of International Business and Economics,
  • Shanghai Jiao Tong University,

In terms of course availability in English, looking at the English language sites for the universities some are clearer about what they offer than others, although this looks like pure translation issue and in one case the website not loading the applications page!

Looking at the courses by university that are taught in English:

Fudan University

The School of Economics for English-taught MA’s (EMA) offers two tracks:

  1. Chinese Economy,
  2. Finance,

Shanghai Univeristy

The School of Economics offers six postgraduate courses:

Academic masters:

  • Theoretical Economics,
  • Applied Economics,
  • Statistics,

Professional Master Programs:

  • International Business,
  • Finance,
  • Finance MBA,

There is also a School of Management however at present I’m unable to determine which courses they offer.

Shanghai University was, out of the four, the most difficult one to research both because I was unable to determine which courses are taught in English but also because when attempting to connect to the admissions page, among others, the page wouldn’t connect. There was also no response to emails.

Shanghai University of International Business and Economics

For postgraduate courses four appear to be available:

  1. International Trade,
  2. International Finance,
  3. International Law,
  4. International Corporation Management,

Shanghai Jiao Tong University

The Antai College of Economics & Management offers a Master of International Business while the Shanghai Advanced Institute of Finance offers a Master of Finance, both also offer MBA course (International for the former college).


Applications appear to open for all four universities in late November/early December and close around April. Guidelines for the next academic year admissions will be released when the admissions period begins.


Costs are an element that I’m continuing to research, looking at scholarships, grants and bursaries. Look out for part 2 where I’ll go over what I’ve discovered so far.


There’s nothing like coming down with a fever during the hottest June in years. Unfortunately that is what happened to me. Aside from being bed ridden for a week and than spending the next month and a bit out of sorts it’s been a good couple of months.

I attended the Africa Together 2017 conference in June (post to follow), found suitable employment for the summer, and have plans set in motion for the upcoming academic year. Bring it on!

End of Second Year and Planning for the New

The second year of university has come to an end, now it’s time for rest and relaxation.

Since finishing my assignments I’ve encountered a case of writers block, seemingly struggling to put my thoughts to paper and when trying petering out after a few words. Having my girlfriend’s mother visit hasn’t helped either, especially as I was meeting her for the first time!

Despite this however I have had some thoughts on a few posts, especially as I plan to spend the summer on a couple of personal projects and on reading in preparation for the new academic year. I’m finding though that the more I learn the more my free reading is focusing on economics to the extent that I was recently in the Cambridge University Press bookshop and eyeing copies of Keynes work.

Fortunately this reading is helping to keep me in a good frame of mind due to some setbacks over the past few months, namely when applying for internships. Due to health issues during my A-levels I did not achieve as well as I could have done. These health issues persisted until my early 20’s. This resulted in a low UCAS score that falls under the requirements for the majority, if not all, internship roles that I’ve looked at. When taking the risk and applying anyway I’ve found myself rejected at the first stage with either a “too many applicants to give feedback” or “do not meet requirements”, further communications centred on the UCAS score.

Coming up at the start of June is the Africa Together conference on Saturday 10th June ( which I’ll be attending and than I’m taking part as a Junior University mentor with the Transformation Trust’s ( Which? Junior University programme. I’ve also started to look at postgraduate opportunities, both within the UK and abroad and will continue over the summer looking at courses.