Stefan Ciesla

Country: Poland
Sector: Other Industries
Subject of study: Law with European Study
Year of graduation: 2011
Type/Level of study: Undergraduate

Current Employer/Organisation Name

Ayora

What have you been doing since leaving Exeter, and what are you doing now?

I spent over a decade in corporate finance and worked on many really interesting transactions and projects. I took a particular interest in the financial and professional services industries and had the privilege of working with some amazing organizations in those spaces. Examples of my experience include advising on landmark M&A transactions as an investment banker, helping transform a private equity-backed company from within as a corporate development specialist, and even playing a role in the setup of the British Business Bank, the UK’s development institution. Subsequently, I decided to swap finance for tech, and after a stint as an operator with a fast-growing fintech business, I co-founded my own startup. We’re on a mission to empower multitasking knowledge workers and solve some of the challenges my team and I experienced firsthand.

Why did you choose this career? And what do you enjoy most about your work?

I’ve always enjoyed fast-paced, intellectually stimulating environments, and both finance and tech provide that in abundance. Additionally, I appreciate collaborating with others, and both industries attract many smart and interesting people.

Please tell us if you were a member of any societies, groups or sports clubs?

Yes! I was a member of quite a few societies, and was even on the committee of one of them.

Were you part of the Exeter Student Ambassador Scheme at any point during your studies?

Yes

What did you enjoy most about your programme and what was the biggest highlight?

Amazing learning opportunities and the opportunity to spend a year abroad in Switzerland.

What did you enjoy most about studying here?

There are so many great things about studying here – the social scene, the location, the academic opportunities… Most importantly though, I met my wife at Exeter!

Why did you choose to study at Exeter?

I followed a simple formula: great academic credentials + a great location = amazing university experience.

What skills and experiences have been most useful for your career?

People skills and storytelling, sprinkled with a bit of maths.

What advice would you give to a current student who wishes to pursue your career?

A genuine interest in the field is key – it’s a marathon and not a sprint.

What are your plans for the future?

Continue scaling my start-up!

 

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