Advice from alumni: Meg Uthayophas
Full name: Mookroi Uthayophas
Home country: Thailand
Languages: Thai and English
EF Academy campus: Torbay
Grad year: 2012
Favorite subject: Economics
Career: Private Equity Analyst at Terra Firma Capital Partners
Meg Uthayophas from Thailand graduated from Torbay with A-Level qualifications in 2012. Today, she works as a Private Equity Analyst at Terra Firma Capital Partners. During her time at EF Academy, she earned the best A-Level score possible and in this Q&A she tells us how she did it. Read on to learn her secrets to success:
Why did you decide to attend EF Academy?
The story is pretty simple: I attended boarding school in Thailand and after a certain number of years at the same school, I wanted to explore the world, meet new people and engage with people from different backgrounds. EF was one the of the choices I had and I already knew I wanted to go to the UK. EF Academy was a good choice for me to start that journey abroad.
What is your favorite EF Academy memory?
The times I spent with my friends, inside and outside of class. I also have fond memories of my economics class because we had a great teacher who engaged his students in the class. I remember that we all had a white board that we used to write notes and he really encouraged us to think for ourselves. It was a lot of fun.
What did you find exciting and challenging about the A-Level program?
The excitement and challenge come from the same thing: taking a limited number of subjects. The excitement came from the fact that with fewer subjects you get to specialize more and you go deeper into the subject matter. I would have also liked to study more subjects though. Sometimes I was curious and wanted to learn more about a different subject; so what I found challenging was the lack of breadth.
You earned five A*s at the end of your A-Level program. What advice do you have for other A-Level students who want to achieve the grades you did?
Pay attention in class; focus but don’t study too hard, it’s important to have a good balance in life. If you’re happy and you balance everything well, you can get good results.
What is one thing you learned at EF Academy that prepared you for university and your career?
The ability to integrate in a diverse place. Currently, my firm is very diverse, they hired six analysts from different countries, but English is the common language. EF Academy helped me learn how to be aware of and deal with culture differences. It was also a great pathway for me to get into a university and I really appreciate that.
What is the accomplishment you are proudest of?
The accomplishment of getting into university. For me, coming to the UK was a big gamble because I could have gone to an American university but there were just a few universities that I wanted to go to and they were all in the UK. My parents were really proud of me too. Attending university in the UK allowed me to broaden my horizons and meet like-minded people, and I enjoyed exploring life there.
Why did you choose to attend Cambridge?
To me, it was about life throughout the three years. Not only is the school highly rigorous in terms of academics, but there were smart, driven people there who I could share and discuss your ideas with.
What are you doing now?
I did some internships in investment banking after I graduated college, but now I am a Private Equity Analyst at a company that invests in other businesses. What an investment bank does is it advises other companies about transactions. After the internships, I decided I wanted to be on the other side of investment banking, so I joined a private equity firm. The company looks to buy other companies but then restructures, transforms and improves it, and then sells it for profit five or six years later. I’m in a rotational program, so I get to see all the functions in the firm like legal and investor relationships. Right now, I look at new companies and come up with investment strategies, while also taking care of existing business and making further transactions.