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The University of Southampton
Mathematical Sciences

James Melachrino BSc Mathematics with Finance, 2012

Corporate Credit Analyst - Barclays

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Hi, I'm James Melachrino and I studied BSc Mathematics with Finance within Mathematical Sciences at the University of Southampton.

Southampton offered a great selection of modules, especially in finance, that other universities simply didn’t offer

What are your main responsibilities and duties in your current role?

I am a member of the Specialist Risk Unit teams within Risk. I am responsible for supporting Associate Directors by monitoring and controlling a dedicated portfolio of limited recourse property development loans. In particular, I am responsible for evaluating and controlling the release of loan funds and the day to day management of the portfolio. My role is very customer facing, as I am the principal point of contact for customers within the portfolio.

What advice would you give current and prospective students who desire a similar career to yours?

It is essential for graduates to be able to differentiate themselves from the crowd; studying maths at Southampton is a great for employability, but to land the top jobs you need to do more. At the end of my first year I did work experience at Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation as a Credit Risk Analyst, which led to me being invited back to complete an internship the following summer. My internship and work experience were great for not only developing my skills and interest in the industry, but also proving my employability to future employers. Relevant work experience is essential in the banking industry.

What led you to study maths at Southampton?

I’ve always had a mathematical way of thinking; I like the objective ‘right or wrong’ nature of maths. Southampton offered a great selection of modules, especially in finance, that other universities simply didn’t offer. This meant that in my third year I could really focus on the finance related modules, after building a strong pure mathematical base in years one and two, to get me the job in finance I wanted. On top of that Southampton is a fantastic place to live, so much so, that I intend to move back one day.

How useful is your mathematics degree in your role?

Extremely useful; the mathematical finance modules I studied at Southampton have been invaluable in my job. Just as important have been the skills implicit to a maths degree. Analytical thinking, problem solving and patience have all been essential in my role. The ability to sit down, break up a problem and keep chipping away at it is an ability highly valued by employers.

Were you involved in any clubs or societies during your time at Southampton?

Yes, in my second year I was Treasurer of the University Investment and Finance Society and in my final year, I was President.

Would you recommend a maths degree from Southampton?

Southampton was a fantastic place to live and study; it offered me the perfect course for my chosen career path. I would recommend Southampton without hesitation.

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