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A drive for success takes UCLan graduate global

A degree in Government and Politics from UCLan set Martyn Terpilowski on a journey that took him from his home town in Cumbria to a role in high finance in Asia.

“Originally I fancied studying journalism,” explained Martyn. “However I thought it might be a bit specialised, so I decided to do a course that might prove more transferable. I’d always held an interest in politics, so I thought the Government and Politics degree covered all bases.

“I really enjoyed the course. The tutors were all very informative and had a genuine interest and passion for their subjects. This was especially true to Keith Faulks. I was fortunate to be taught by him a lot, and found him excellent. Away from the academic side, UCLan was a great place to be - the social side was such fun!”

Upon graduation, Martyn moved back to Cumbria and started working on a government sponsored scheme with a local bank. Martyn recalled: “The job was fine, but there were no real career prospects. Therefore, I attended night school to gain a management qualification, basically just to add to my CV. This paid off as I eventually received a job offer from Prudential as a Financial Advisor. I spent a year and a half there and gained great work experience, but it wasn’t really the role I was looking for. I had become increasingly interested in the investment side of the business and wanted a role which could make my interest into my career.”

After seeing a role for an Investment Broker in Tokyo advertised in a national newspaper, Martyn applied for and subsequently landed the role. “A month after applying, I was in Tokyo,” he recalled. “I spent over 11 years working there for a couple of different companies, selling investments to the high net worth market. My last job in Tokyo was as an Associate Director for a company covering mainly Japanese clients and in November 2011 my boss asked me to move to Hong Kong to try and spread our business to other parts of the region. Although based in Hong Kong, I spend about half my time travelling, from Singapore, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpa and back to Japan. It is certainly interesting for a boy from Cumbria”.

He added: “UCLan certainly played a part in getting me here. Initially, the degree helps get you through the door, but your time at university helps shape your whole outlook. For example I became increasingly interested in politics, and with that comes the close tie with economics, something which is still of use today and very much tied to my job.”

TOP TIP FOR UNDERGRADUATES: Don’t give up and never stop thinking you can achieve your dreams - you just need to be driven and do what it takes. Be that gaining further qualifications, spending time breaking into the necessary professional networks or simply taking jobs that aren’t your dream job, just so you have some good work-experience.