Brexit, a major economic event in the year 2020 which saw the United Kingdom (UK) departing from the European Union (EU), created shockwaves across the continent and Nishyodhan Balasundram was at the centre of it through his involvement in the Bank of England.
Under the EU, citizens of member countries get to move and do businesses across borders with little to no restrictions. However, the UK opted for Brexit to regain greater control over their national sovereignty, including the ability to set their own laws and regulations without being subjected to EU mandates.
Serving as a senior policy analyst in the Bank of England, Nishyo said he was lucky to be a part of an important organisation tasked to chart a new course for the UK, in terms of economic policy.
As the saying goes, “luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity”. Having served in Malaysia’s central bank, or more commonly known as Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) for six years, Nishyo had the skill set and was at the right place, at the right time.
Nishyo started his career in BNM’s insurance supervision and later in the prudential financial policy department.
In BNM, he contributed in shaping major economic policies which affect everyone in the country.
Armed with a strong education background, Nishyo graduated with a BSc economics from University College London (UCL) and later earned a master of public administration from the London School of Economics (LSE).
The start of Nishyo’s higher education journey was in Kolej Tuanku Ja’afar (KTJ) where he was given early international exposure.
Building a solid foundation in KTJ
Awarded with the prestigious BNM scholarship, Nishyo was given the opportunity to study in KTJ, one of the region’s premier international schools in Mantin, Negeri Sembilan.
“Studying in KTJ enabled me to broaden my way of thinking through the friendship with people from around the world,” says Nishyo, adding that during his time there, he was introduced to English literature and drama, on top of the subjects he took such as accounting, mathematics and chemistry at A Level.
According to Nishyo, KTJ also provides immense support for university applications, from writing personal statements, organising talks by representatives from different universities to assisting in the application process every step of the way.
KTJ ensures its students are well prepared to secure placements in top institutions in the world. Many KTJ students went on to study in universities such as Oxford, Cambridge, London School of Economics, Imperial College London, University College London, Harvard, Princeton, Wharton and Columbia University.
Studying in London
Nishyo explains that the rich blend of culture within the KTJ community is what prepared him for the life in university, and later on his career in the UK.
Studying in UCL and LSE also means living the life of a Londoner. Nishyo loves this city due to its diversity, leading him to make a career move to the Bank of England.
London is a place with rich history and opportunities within a vibrant social scene. It is famous for its nightlife, music and cultural events. There is always something happening in the city, whether it is a concert, festival, or sporting event. Here, students can easily socialise, make friends and explore the city.
In LSE, Nishyo pursued a master’s degree programme in public administration. “I loved that LSE offered a two-year programme instead of one like most other master’s degrees. The additional foundation year provided ample time to understand the complex policies that we studied”.
Many pathways to a destination
Nishyo has always wanted to develop his career in the international scene and specialising in economic policy.
In getting there, Nishyo worked and studied various fields.
After studying public administration in the LSE, he applied to five different organisations. Fortunately for him, he was offered a job in the Bank of England which was his preferred choice.
Being relentless in getting what you want
According to Nishyo, there are many people with incredible abilities who discount themselves, causing them to miss out on opportunities. That is why he encourages everyone to always try.
“If you never try, you will never know”.
When applying for universities and jobs, Nishyo advises to do as much research as possible. LinkedIn is a platform where you can connect with those who can shed light on your career and education pathways .
There, you can seek information about an organisation’s work culture, values, application process, performance measurement and talent development programmes.
While Nishyo is content with what he has achieved, he remains curious of what the future holds and committed to shaping it.