“I remember that I had written on a piece of paper when I was little that I wanted to become an economist – so I guess I can say that my childhood dream came true.”
A significant inspiration for Denis was his father, who is a professor in Finance. This contributed to Denis developing an early interest in the field, and he already knew in elementary school that he wanted to become an economist.
"Finance allows me to combine my understanding of numbers, knowledge of the world we live in, along with the human aspect. Understanding this interplay is both challenging and rewarding."
In the spring of 2022, Denis Zakamulin completed his combined Bachelor's and Master's in Business economics with a specialization in finance at BI Norwegian Business School. Today, he works as an Associate in the M&A Transaction Services department at RSM Norway.
RSM is Norway's leading audit and advisory firms for SMBs with their core business being audit services. The M&A department aids companies in acquisition processes, including the analysis and verification of pricing assumptions. They also support companies with various tasks, including transaction processes, acquisition strategies, valuation, and services for the capital markets.
“I was surprised by how much I could transfer from my studies to my job. A lot of what I do today is based on the same principles covered in the lectures at BI," says Denis.
Actively involved alongside his studies
Denis got involved in student associations early on, from his first year of bachelor's studies all the way through completing his master's Being involved in student associations has provided him with several skills that he uses in his current role and played a contributing role in securing his current position:
“Having taken part in student associations throughout my studies has been very educational, especially BISO Invest, where you are able to gain knowledge about valuation, presentation skills, and more, which I still use in my job today. At the same time, you're surrounded by people who are passionate about the same things, and you can learn from each other.”
Denis also had several part-time jobs that were relevant to his studies. He initially started at RSM in a part-time position before later being offered a full-time position at the company:
“I worked at Nordea as an Investment Specialist, and also at KPMG where I was an AML Assistant. Additionally, I was a Learning Assistant at BI for statistics. I started my part-time position at RSM in the last six months of my master's.”
Denis encourages students to get involved in student associations to expand their network and meet potential employers:
“Suddenly, someone from the student association can become your colleague in the future. At the same time, it's important to emphasize that you have to work hard to achieve the academic grades required by many employers,” he says, adding:
“Finance is also becoming increasingly technology-driven, so spending time or taking courses that focuses on technology, programming, or similar subjects is something I believe sets students apart positively both now and in the future.”