A vice-president of one of the world’s leading financial service providers has returned to De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) to talk about her incredible professional success story and share valuable advice to the current cohort of business students.
Bijna K. Dasani, FRSA graduated from DMU with a BA in Business Administration in 2005 and, with a lot of hard work and determination, has worked her way up in the business world.
Recognised as the International Women’s Day Young Achiever of the Year in 2006, Bijna has worked for some of the City’s key players, including Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs and State Street Global Advisors, working her way up the hierarchy to become Vice-President for Deutsche Bank.
Bijna admitted to being “overwhelmed and very humbled” returning to the university and meeting so many students who were interested in her story.
She said: “The university has undertaken significant effort to stage this event; I am very excited to be here, overwhelmed and very humbled. My sincerest thanks to all involved. I am truly appreciative of the effort.”
Bijna, who delivered a talk entitled “Sowing the seeds of leadership; My journey from DMU graduate to Vice President of Deutsche Bank”, said her time studying at DMU was “extraordinary”.
“The DMU experience and the affinity with the DMU family since graduation have provided a consistent trajectory for innovation, creative thinking and opportunity”, she said.
“The academic requisites for securing a graduate programme placement were entirely contingent on my undergraduate learning; the quality of which was evidenced and assessed during the interview stages.”
So what advice would Bijna give to students preparing to enter the world of work?
“Success is about encouraging and enabling a sustainable impact. Follow your passion with persistence and don’t be afraid to try something new, with a practical view – remember amateurs built the Ark and professionals built the Titanic. When someone else recognises capability and talent in you; it immediately becomes your responsibility accept, respect and rise to it!”
Bijna’s younger brother Shreeane Dasani was one of the current students who turned up to hear her speak. He is studying for an MBA Global.
Shreeane said: “I am quite fortunate in having a sibling who is such a success. She is a great influence for all of us and a fantastic role model.”
Bijna’s first introduction to the investment management and banking domain came during her penultimate year of study at DMU. She said: “I interned as an analyst at Investment Bank Credit Suisse, following which I declined an offer for permanent employment at the end of my term. Instead, I decided to embrace my curiosity and explore further afield after graduation.”
Following eight interviews, three exams and a very tenacious application process, Bijna later found herself in a cohort of 60 selected from 6,000 global applicants who were invited to join the Goldman Sachs graduate orientation, which began with training in New York.
Subsequently Bijna worked as a manager for Deutsche Bank’s Operations entity. She then spent a number of years working in strategy and programme management for State Street Global Advisors, before eventually returning to Deutsche Bank in 2011 to take up the role of Vice-President.
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Initially responsible for a UK, Middle-East and South African mandate, Bijna has always found it interesting to observe and experience the behaviour and market cultures of different regions. Later her role was realigned to give her responsibility for eight countries across North and Latin America and spent two years on Wall Street. Today she has a global mandate.
Although Bijna has the opportunity to discover many different places, she’ll always hold a special place in her heart for Leicester.
“Leicester is my hometown and as one of the most multicultural cities in Britain, it is always an exciting place to be. DMU has become the nucleus of the city and provides excellent opportunities to showcase talent. Studying at DMU remains very important to me - it represents an excellent standard of teaching and a fantastic calibre of peers. There is also an exceptional network of academics and alumni which it is a pleasure to be affiliated with.”
Posted on Wednesday 25th March 2015