Kieran Forest

Kieran decided to take up BA (Hons) Modern Languages - German and Arabic at UCLan because during his school years he would often go on student exchange programmes to Germany and enjoyed the time he spent in different cities. He wanted to become fluent in German so he could interact easily and possibly spend more time there in the future. Growing up Kieran had Moroccan neighbours and gained an interest in Arabic so intends to visit an Arabic speaking country in the future.  

After graduation in 2014 Kieran returned to France, where he grew up, and studied a Masters in International Business where he grew an interest in finance so decided to further his studies on a MSc course in Financial Markets and Investments in a French business school in the USA, graduating in 2016.

Kieran currently works in trade finance on investment funds in Luxemburg, dealing with German and other European clients. In his job role he settles deals for investment funds on equities, fixed home products, ETF’s, FX and swaps. “I must use the language skills I acquired at UCLan on a daily basis, as I communicate with German speaking clients in the DACH market, as well as with team members based in Munich.”

Kieran tells us about how his studies helped him to get where he is today. “I believe what helped me stand out from other candidates was the fact that I had spent one year in Dusseldorf in my third year at UCLan. Thanks to UCLan and the Erasmus programme, I was given the chance to work in Germany for one year, which obviously helped to improve my language level significantly, and prepare for my final year on the Bachelor’s degree.”

To anyone wanting to do something similar, his advice would be: “Do not underestimate the value of languages. It is a skill which sets you apart from the thousands of jobseekers worldwide. If you have the opportunity to move and work in a foreign country for a year or so, do it. Not only will it improve your language level, it will also create a lot of opportunities for you in the future. If languages are not your strong suit, no matter what you study, try to find a way to differentiate yourself in a way that will make a company not just want you but need you. An example could be learning to code, or specialise in a specific domain through the use of an elective subject or training programme. Most importantly, do what you enjoy.”

Kieran adds that because he studied at UCLan, this has had an impact on his employment opportunities as British university degrees are highly valued on an international level. He ends by saying “Make the most of your time at University. Those three or four years will feature among the best moments of your life.”