Owais Mohammad, BSc (Hons) Accounting & Finance, 2007
Vice President – Corporate Banking Relationship Director
Barclays Bank Plc
Please tell us about your journey to the University of Bradford
I chose Braford for a number of reasons including the diverse culture the university offers as well as city’s vibrant ecosystem. Bradford as a city was a smart choice from an affordability point of view as well given the City has everything to offer. Being an international student and coming from Pakistan, it was quite an experience to see first hand and learn about how the generations of the Pakistani migrant community has settled into the region and helped shape the City to be what it is today. My experience at the university was exceptional as it not only allowed me to gain good quality education, it also allowed me to pursue my passion for music by getting involved with the Tasmin Little Music Centre.
From an academic point of view, I was fortunate to have tutors
who were passionate about my development and took a keen interest which allowed me to successfully achieve an upper second class result which was pivotal for me in securing a place at a top tier banking graduate program. As such I can confidently say that my educational experience at Bradford as not only allowed me to pursue a career with a top tire Bank but become successful in it and thrive.
What are your most vivid memories of your time at the University of Bradford?
My fondest memory is of the university are associated to my time spent with the Tasmin Little Music Centre. It gave me an opportunity to pursue my passion for music and do something about it. As a result, I formed the university’s first ever south Asian pop rock band and played at various university events as well as beyond. We were also invited to play at the University’s 40th anniversary. That experience had a significant impact for me as it tremendously helped with my character building and confidence. My involvement with that led to me featuring on the university’s prospectus front over in 2006 as well as feature on the advertising campaign. Two events that follow have given me and my family some vivid and lasting memories. One was when the University’s advertisement in a Paksitani newspaper (DAWN) had my photo on it. When my parents in Karachi came across it they were pleasantly surprised and ecstatic. The second instance was when a few of my friends and I were eating out at the famous Mumtaz restaurant in Bradford and all of a sudden we saw the First Direct bus driving past us with my image all across it as part of the university’s advertisement.
Please tell us about your job search journey.
I have always wanted to pursue a career in Banking and the obvious route to develop that was by getting onto the graduate scheme for a top tier bank. Graduate schemes are extremely competitive to get onto and I have had to go through many rejections. So much so, I took 2 years out post graduating to work in Dubai within the real estate sector to gain some experience before re-applying for graduate jobs in UK and finally made into a couple of them at the time. In terms of advice to current students, I would highly recommend trying to get onto the internship programs to gain invaluable experience before you get around to applying for graduate schemes. Also develop a strong professional network and I would also strongly recommend getting involved with extra-curricular activities as they would give you skills and experiences that will help you through the assessments.
Please provide information about your current job.
My jobs as Vice President – Corporate Banking Relationship Director involves managing some complex and high value clients for the bank within the professional and financial services sector. The job involves getting to know the clients and their priorities and help them achieve their goals and playing a part in it by supporting them with the right banking services with view of helping them realize their organizational goals. It requires me to develop a solid understanding of the banking products, services and principles to be able to better serve the client needs as well as develop a good working knowledge of the sector to be able to better understand clients and the challenges they face. It also requires me to develop a strong professional network outside the bank to be able to successfully originate new business. I have always wanted to be a corporate banker and for me this is the best job I have had in the bank as it allows me to add value to our clients as well as work with various other parts of the organization. To be successful in such a role, one needs to have strong interpersonal skills as well as a good working knowledge of banking products and services as well as the key financial principles which are fundamental to banking.
Please tell us about any hobbies and interests you have and did you develop any of these at Bradford while being a student?
My hobbies and interest include sports (Cricket, F1, Snooker) and music (mainly rock n roll). During my time at University, I was able to play music a lot more as well as snooker which was surprisingly very popular in Bradford.