L-R: Old Boys Fergus Rees (2015), John ‘Jack’ Howard (2016) and William Anderson (2017) were 2019 recipients of the Churchie Foundation ‘Overseas Study Scholarship for Old Boys’. They each attended the London School of Economics and Political Science and have penned the following recollections of their experience.

Fergus Rees (2015)

It’s an odd thing living in London for an extended period. Undoubtedly things are familiar in a sense – the language, streets, food and even the drinking culture – yet things are different. The city is ambitious and diverse but respects its history and identity. I was struck by similar feelings walking through Churchie on a recent visit. The spectacular Centenary Library now overlooking the school chapel. It is rewarding to see that the school’s developments still retain the age tested morals of Canon Morris. There is growth with substance.

In London I undertook a program in managing financial risk with a particular interest in credit derivatives (FN202). I thought I’d take the time to pass on some of the lessons I stumbled upon:

  1. Learn widely and enthusiastically

I was, once upon a time, an arrogant student who thought that he’d never have to consider mathematics after school. After all, humanities had always been my forte and I looked forward to a career in law. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

In the final exam for the program, I had to unpack successive differential equations and apply index laws for the first time since high school. Horror. Panic. All that learning content I had once dismissed had come back to haunt me. Remarkably, as my brain stewed over the seemingly impossible, Mr Coyne’s teachings in Magnus came back to me. The lesson gentlemen – respect everything you learn in school, be it mathematics, arts or sciences. You have no idea where you will end up in life.

  1. Keep an open mind to opportunity

Sometimes a learning opportunity will present itself in odd ways. In London I had the opportunity to meet up with some other Old Boys from my graduating class. I was invited to a family dinner. Surprisingly, I found myself sitting across from an executive of a leading investment bank – a friend of a dad in the group. Over dinner I learnt more about the London Stock Exchange than any lecture. Unfortunately, what your teachers say is true – learning doesn’t stop at the classroom.

I have to thank the generosity and support of the Churchie Foundation for facilitating my experience. I also have to thank other Old Boys who provided planning advice and personal tips on studying overseas. I encourage all boys to continue to push their personal boundaries and take opportunities overseas.

John ‘Jack’ Howard (2016)

Throughout school it was always a dream of mine to attend the London School of Economics, viewing it as one of the best universities in the world to learn and study finance.  Hence, when the opportunity came to engage in a short-term exchange over the winter break I jumped at the chance.

Over three weeks I studied a course in the analysis and management of financial risk from esteemed professors Georgy Chabakauri and Cameron Peng.  It was everything I hoped it would be; both engaging and insightful.  Not only did this experience further my university studies but it broadened my perspective and affirmed my aspirations of one day working overseas.

Without the Churchie Foundation Old Boys Scholarship I would have been unable to complete this course or have this experience.  I would encourage any Old Boy thinking of studying overseas to apply – it enabled me to live out a childhood dream!

William Anderson (2017)

To study overseas was always an aspiration of mine and the Overseas Study Scholarship allowed me to fulfil such goals. Regarded among the elite Universities around the world, the London School of Economics truly lived up to its lofty standards.

Over the European summer I studied a three week course in Financial Risk Management. Learning from professors at the very top of their field was an unreal experience and extremely motivational. The university’s prime location in the centre of London allowed me to immerse myself within one the busiest and most efficient cities in the world.

While only staying for a short period of time, I managed to meet up with friends and spend a weekend in Paris which was only a bus ride away!

All of this would not have been possible without the financial assistance of the Overseas Study Scholarship. The opportunity to rub shoulders with the world’s best and study under them was truly an unbelievable experience and I would encourage any Old Boy aspiring to study overseas to apply.

The Overseas Study Scholarship for Old Boys is managed by Churchie Foundation. Applications for 2020 are now being received. The scholarships are open to Old Boys of the School and students in Year 12 for undergraduate or post graduate study in either the United States or United Kingdom. Please click here to read more. Applications close on Friday 29 May 2020.