London student named Fintech scholarship winner

A student studying at City, University of London, has been crowned the winner of a Fintech scholarship, following a blog contest on the issues facing students in higher education.

Second year International Political Economy student Sabrina Abdow will receive a £1,000 bursary to help with her studies.  As part of her prize, Abdow also has the opportunity to take part in industry related work experience with fintech giant, Seopa – the firm behind one of the largest price comparison sites in the UK, Quotezone.co.uk.

The winning submission by Abdow focussed on the power of embracing financial technology and the opportunities available to students who champion it.

The price comparison experts behind the scholarship say the fintech industry is facing three main hurdles. Lack of gender diversity, tough criteria for graduate jobs and lack of finance for relevant university courses – all impacting career progression.

Historically, the fintech sector has been dominated by men. Women make up only 26% of the technology workforce in the UK, and just 27% of female students say they would consider a career in technology.*

The Fintech Scholarship is hoping to encourage more women into STEM jobs after graduating.

A recent study by Quotezone.co.uk found 73% of students in the UK were shocked at how expensive university was – with 76% of students needing to work part-time while studying to afford university, with over half of those students, 54%, saying it impacted their studies.

Students are also required to meet tougher criteria in order to get their first graduate job. A study revealed 51.3% of entry-level jobs require previous work experience, asking for an average of 2.7 years.**

With these hurdles in mind, Quotezone.co.uk designed their Fintech Scholarship to help students with their finances and give them vital work experience, while raising awareness of the vast career opportunities available for graduates within the fintech sector in the UK.

Greg Wilson, Founder and CEO of Quotezone.co.uk said: “It isn’t easy for students in the UK right now, with stretched finances and tougher graduate job criteria, it can be difficult for many to get started on the career ladder.

“We want to help alleviate some of that pressure for students while also raising awareness of the potential for graduates from all industry backgrounds. The fintech sector has highly competitive starting salaries, strong long-term career prospects and a wide network of opportunities for creative and technology-based skills.

“Congratulations to this year’s winner, Sabrina Abdow from City, University of London, who wrote a powerful blog, highlighting the limitless possibilities for students embracing fintech.

“Both our winners this year across NI and GB were women, it’s great to see female graduates exploring what the world of fintech has to offer. Historically data shows the fintech industry struggles to attract female employees with women making up just 28% of the UK fintech sector– so this is really encouraging.

“We want to help all students realise their potential and recognise the diverse benefits of a life in fintech.”