The Future Economist - Ranul's UPIC Story
"They are always there to catch you when you fall, motivate and encourage you especially when your pace slows."
An Interview with Ranul | BSc (Hons) Economics
Country: Sri Lanka
Foundation in Business and First Year in Economics
Progressing to: BSc (Hons) Economics
What inspired your passion and interest in Business?
From the age of 13 or 14, I have always had an interest in understanding the stock market and its functionalities. However, initially I didn’t really want to pursue a career in Investing but after taking on an internship in a bank, the experience reignited my interest leading to me rapidly improving upon my small base of knowledge. The result of this experience was a desire to seek a degree in Economics.
What in your opinion sets apart the degree in Economics from other degree courses you may have looked at prior to final selection?
The most important thing for me was that the degree was intensive and fast tracked as I was approximately 6 or 9 months behind my classmates in my previous A level stream. This being the case, the foundation degree at UPIC suited my immediate needs and desires.
What I really loved the most about it was the guaranteed intensity and the availability of extra classes due to having started five weeks later than the rest of the class, which would further incentivize me to reach my goal sooner. This intensity was important for me as it helped propel me forward into the second year while I was in the correct mindset which would not have been the case if it hadn’t been a central factor.
Asides from technical skills, what other lessons did you take away from the foundation degree course? In addition, how and to what extent has this impacted your current work post?
To start with, I really feel as if I have become more independent and responsible as I realized early on that I would have to take care of myself and do everything on my own. This led to me developing a more stable identity that came with heighted confidence in public speaking, various communication, interviewing and presentation skills that I previously couldn’t make use of as I lacked the confidence to successfully execute them. These skills have become a part of me and thus are invaluable in my current work placement as they are frequently used.
Which aspects of the student experience at UPIC were most notable and valuable in your opinion and to what extent have they impacted you?
As far as the student experience is concerned, I particularly enjoyed the night life provided by the city of Plymouth and the fact that it is a warm, welcoming student city that possesses the knowledge and capability to cater to students of all backgrounds and nationalities was a big positive. It was quite interesting that although the weather patterns were different to what I was used to back home in Sri Lanka and a change in location as my home is basically an island, Plymouth also being a seaside city, was one of the main aspects I was drawn to. This whole experience has indeed greatly impacted me in an abstract fashion by molding and solidifying a base foundation of the person I hope to become.
In what ways has UPIC's culture stimulated your growth, and what is your opinion on the culture at UPIC?
UPIC is memorable and endearing as they are generally very friendly, engaging, and eager to assist. It feels like a home away from home as they tend to emphasize on nurturing good grooming habits and behaviour agreeable with society. They are always there to catch you when you fall, motivate and encourage you especially when your pace slows. I have observed that this tends to not be the case in some bigger university cities where they tend to focus on more ambitious and individualistic behaviour that could be rather detrimental to one’s personal development during one’s times of vulnerability in a new and unfamiliar location.
In hindsight, what is your general reflection on your experience and how would it positively affect and inspire future students in their varied paths on this degree?
Reflecting on the experience as a whole I would say that doing a fast tracked degree, while a little daunting is not as difficult as it first appears to be if you are in the right frame of mind and have a great support system like much like UPIC’s system in this case. The idea is simply to remain calm and draw on all the opportunities on hand for support which are readily available upon request regardless of how big or small you think the request mind be. Keeping this advice in mind will aid you in reaching your goal as smoothly and effectively as possible.
Sum up UPIC in 5 words and why?
When I think of the words that come to mind, I would say that UPIC is homely, academically proficient, supportive, exhilarating and heartwarming. As for the reasoning behind these words, it would be that these are the words that best summarize the depth of my experience with UPIC.
Lastly, what advice would you give to these future students, which you wish you had known whilst embarking on this journey?
The crucial advice I would have to give is that you shouldn’t wait until the last minute to apply to minimize the pressure induced by the process, prepare all the necessary documents in good time and make sure you arrive early so that you have time to settle and familiarize with your new surroundings.