Today, 17 November, is the annual Day of the International Student. The perfect moment to put one of our international scholarship students in the spotlight!

Last August, Nathan Davis Dempsey from Ireland graduated from the Master’s programme International Business – Sustainable Finance at Maastricht University, made possible by the Candriam Scholarship Programme. The programme makes scholarships available to first generation students who wish to pursue a master’s degree at the School for Business and Economics. As a leader in sustainable finance, Candriam recognizes the importance of ensuring that future generations continue building on the elements of sustainability, as well as inclusivity. The organization interviewed Nathan about his experiences in Maastricht.

‘The financial support from Candriam meant that I devote my full attention to the Master’s program and get the most out of it without worrying about how I was going to support myself.’ –
Nathan Davis Dempsey

As the first one in his family to go on to higher education, Dempsey was keen to build on his undergraduate degree in actuarial science by finding a Master’s course which would complement his undergraduate work while also fulfilling his keen interest in sustainable finance. While he already had some grounding in sustainability issues, the Maastricht course hit home with him on a number of key points, especially when it comes to reallocation of capital. “It’s an eye opener when you think about how much money is in the capital markets and how reallocating just a small percentage of those funds could go a long way towards solving problems like climate change. Unfortunately, so many companies and investors still don’t long at long-term solutions and fail to recognize climate change for the crisis that it is. Some companies are genuinely committed to sustainability while others are still in box ticking mode.”

The Candriam scholarship covers the tuition fee at cost, an allowance for study materials per year paid at the beginning of (each) academic year and living expenses at €950,00 per month for the duration of the scholarship as stated in the scholarship award letter. The period of the scholarship starts and ends at the dates mentioned in the awarding letter. “The financial support from Candriam meant that I devote my full attention to the Master’s programme and get the most out of it without worrying about how I was going to support myself.”

A native of Ireland, one of the things that Dempsey enjoyed most about the programme was the diversity of students. “When I did my Bachelor’s degree at university in Ireland, nearly all the other students were from Ireland. At Maastricht, there were students from all over the world, some of whom have now become friends.”

Once he completes his thesis, Dempsey plans to study further in Australia, then look for opportunities abroad. “The Maastricht programme really whetted my appetite for further study,” he explains. Dempsey is particularly interested in looking at insurance modelling and how climate change affects emerging markets.

Dempsey plans to make use of Maastricht’s strong alumni network and other resources for finding a job. “One of the many advantages of this network is that you have well-connected lecturers and career days, as well as job postings.  Maybe I won’t find the ideal role that combines my actuarial and sustainable finance knowledge but that doesn’t really matter as I think that what I learned at Maastricht is going to enhance any future position that I take on.”