Dabble, discover and rediscover

Marthinus Strydom studied on the Joint BBA Degree in Business Economics with Columbia University School of General Studies, and has joined the trade finance team at Deutsche Bank in New York City. Here are Martyn's highlights – along with his career tip.

By Marthinus Strydom

Picking a highlight of my time at CityU and Columbia is impossible because I was fortunate to have so many opportunities. Whilst at CityU, I had the opportunity to travel to Singapore and Germany for conferences, South Korea for a study tour and be subsidised by the College of Business to attend summer school at the London School of Economics. Through Columbia I then had the exceptional experience of studying art and music in Paris for an entire summer. I am thankful to both my universities for providing me with these international opportunities.

Although for most of the last four years, I was set on a career in academia or at an NGO such as the World Bank or United Nations (there is a College of Business video to prove this), I now look forward to starting my career in the trade finance team at Deutsche Bank in New York City. I am truly excited about the work I will be doing because it involves the intertwining of the private and public sectors.

More important than why my own job excites me, is a valuable lesson that I have learnt whilst navigating a particularly complex process of career selection. It is a lesson that I wish to share with all students at CityU.

Do not stick dogmatically to a single career path

Your time at university is both about finding yourself and about crafting yourself into someone you are proud to be. I strongly encourage students not to stick dogmatically to a single career path from day one. Instead dabble in different ideas, discover and rediscover what interests you and what drives you. Don’t pursue a particular path for its money or prestige, but at the same time, if the work of a lucrative and prestigious field truly interests you, do not be hesitant or shy about relentlessly pursuing it. Stay true to your own interests and strengths, it is your best chance of being successful.

Marthinus Strydom
Joint Bachelor's Degree Program