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Our students from Qatar

Students and graduates from your country share their experiences of living and studying with us.

Vikesh

Student name: Vikesh Gadhia
Course: Bsc Banking and Finance
Country: Qatar
Year of graduation: 1999
Current employer: Citibank, UAE

Graduating with a first class honours degree from Cardiff University opened important doors in the banking world for Vikesh.

Distinguishing himself with success in his banking career and currently a governor of the prestigious Doha College, Vikesh still cherishes his friendships in Cardiff and remembers fondly the university, the city and his tutors.

Why did you choose Cardiff University to do your BSc? Did it suit the all-rounder in you?

"Do not waste an opportunity to live in Cardiff. Whether it’s the University or the city, they are both amazing places and will remain lodged in your memory forever."

Vikesh Gadhia

Cardiff was a unique choice due to (i) my brother’s influence who obtained a degree in law from Cardiff (ii) Cardiff’s ranking in banking and finance (alongside the fact that they were offering banking and finance as one degree) (iii) a capital city where you get everything that one would want (but still not as busy as London).

I received a very rounded educational and personal experience at Cardiff. In fact, I made friends at Cardiff who are still very close and importantly, very successful.

Did graduating with first class honours open many doors for you? How did it improve your career prospects?

First class honours from a university that is well regarded as a business school did do well for my prospects. In fact, my first job interview was at a local bank in Kenya as a management trainee. In the job interview, I was only asked one question by the key shareholder of the bank: “Will you get a first class honours degree?”

I was pretty confident that I would and responded yes. He immediately offered me the job. That one incident stuck in my mind because it was a door opener at a very difficult time for the job market (in 1999).

Do you think Cardiff University equipped you with the necessary skills for your job?

Within the course, there were a number of elements and theories that I continue to use on my job. The lecturers were very good and professional (especially Don Barry who was also my tutor).

You’ve had an exciting career, and now you’re not only Vice President of the Global Transactions Services in Qatar, but also a Governor of Doha College. How do you feel about all of this, and what was the rationale behind each career move?

It certainly has been a fruitful ride so far in moving up the career ladder and contributing to society. However, it certainly would not have been possible without the understanding and support of family.

A strong educational foundation, continued learning on and off the job, a willingness to progress further in my career and community service have been the key drivers for my career. The most important thing to achieving a successful career is job satisfaction and making sure one is enjoying his/her job.

What does your job entail now? What are your responsibilities (both in Citibank and in Doha College)?

At Citibank Qatar, I head their Global Transaction Services Business that encompasses Securities & Funds Services (including Custody), Trade Services & Trade Finance as well as Cash Management & Services (such as liquidity management). I am responsible for the strategy, profit and loss, balance sheets, sales and product delivery of my department. Alongside that, I am part of the Management Committee that steers and executes the bank’s strategy to fulfil her ambition in Qatar.

At Doha College, the key responsibility of a member of the Board of Governors is execution of strategy, vision and good governance of the school.

What are the biggest risks about your job?

The biggest risk for any senior manager is not meeting the bank’s set targets. It can be with regards to revenues, employee satisfaction, customer satisfaction as well as franchise risks. Those refer to adherence to global and local regulators, internal policies and processes, compliance and legal frameworks.

What important lessons did you learn in Cardiff (academic or otherwise) do you carry with you until today?

Work hard, party harder (especially if you live in a place such as Cardiff). Always cherish good friends!

Do you have any words of wisdom to share with prospective students who are thinking about coming to Cardiff?

With the right educational platform, focus and most importantly – attitude, anything is possible. I still tell tales of my time at University to my wife and kids. It’s time I took them to Cardiff for a holiday – probably to Barry Island as my kids would certainly not enjoy pub crawls.