With five Finance programmes on offer, deciding which of Imperial’s uniquely developed Master’s is right for you can be a difficult choice.
Depending on your career goals, background, skillset and interests, you may be interested in one or more of either:
- MSc Finance
- MSc Finance & Accounting
- MSc Financial Technology
- MSc Investment & Wealth Management
- MSc Risk Management & Financial Engineering
We spoke to some of this year’s Finance students to find out what motivated them when making this important decision and why they chose their programme at Imperial College Business School.
Ana Inês Pereira, MSc Finance
There were two main factors that motivated me to pursue MSc Finance, my career goal of working for a top tier private equity firm, and my personal interest in finance as a subject.
In my opinion, Imperial stands out as among the best Finance Master’s programmes for three main reasons: firstly, Imperial’s programme pays special attention to the development of quantitative skills and computing applications in finance. Second, besides instructing its students in technical financial knowledge, the Master’s provides language modules and international experiences, enriching our curriculum and empowering us to succeed in an increasingly globalised world. Finally, Imperial’s worldwide reputation, remarkable position on the rankings, and location in one of the worlds’ most renowned financial poles are extremely appealing.
The Business School is also very focused on helping students to fulfil their professional ambitions. The Careers team provides students with an incredible number of online resources and access to in-person training and workshops, happening virtually every day. Furthermore, in the Spring and Summer terms, we are able to tailor our study paths and align them with our career goals.
I would advise prospective students to explore their professional ambitions before applying to Imperial, so that they can make the most out of the programme once they get here.
Vincent Geoffroy, MSc Finance
Finance and numbers are topics which I have enjoyed since the beginning of my undergraduate studies. After learning more about the industry and its different disciplines, I quickly understood the area I wanted to work in was corporate finance, and more specifically private equity funds. For this purpose, Imperial’s MSc Finance was the best opportunity to strengthen the skills I had already acquired, while customising my curriculum by choosing the relevant electives for my career plans.
Despite knowing the sector I wanted to target for my career, I want to broaden my knowledge of finance which is why I chose MSc Finance over the more specific programmes.
I chose Imperial College Business School because I really wanted to live and study abroad. I had already lived on my own abroad in the US for an exchange programme, and it was by far the most thrilling experience of my life. Therefore, finding an outstanding programme at a prestigious foreign school was my number one goal.
As an aspiring finance professional, I felt like London was the best place to study and begin my career. I applied to various schools in the city, but Imperial was by far my favourite, due to its location and the entrepreneurial spirit it embodies. The incredible diversity of clubs and events also weighed a lot in my decision, as I wanted to make the most of this experience for my very last year as a student, before making the big jump into the professional world!
My biggest piece of advice to prospective students would be to do it! Besides the outstanding academics, Imperial's strong brand within the job market and the incredible experience make it more than worthwhile. Most students I’ve met at Imperial are international and so do not know a lot of people in London. As a result, everybody sticks together a lot at the beginning of the year, and within a few weeks, your new friends already feel like your new family.
Hristina Tashevska, MSc Finance & Accounting
Although I mastered the basic elements of finance and financial management during my undergraduate studies, in order to become a fully skilled professional, I felt I had to stand out from the crowd by having a critical mindset, expertise in the field and advanced knowledge of modern financial markets.
My desire for academic improvement led me to Imperial College Business School, where I was confident that I would be able to gain the skills needed to continue my career path in finance. I chose Imperial not only for its exquisite rankings and reputation but also due to the MSc Finance & Accounting programme itself. Having the possibility to learn from my peers, hear about their perspectives on certain matters and analyse their way of thinking offers me an experience that no case study or book can. The authenticity that every student brings to the class and their own opinions are truly valuable to the programme. These factors, combined with the teaching of world-class professors and professionals in the field, made my decision even easier.
To every prospective student that is considering applying to Imperial, I would say do it! Take time preparing your personal statement, explain why you would be a great fit for the programme, and don’t be afraid of asking questions. Broaden your network by learning about the Imperial experience from current students or alumni, and lastly, believe in yourself and your capabilities.
Arinze Nwanna, MSc Financial Technology
Coming from a non-finance background, and with some experience in programming, my first reason for choosing to study MSc Financial Technology was to develop a strong foundation in finance whilst exploring novel techniques and ideas occurring in the marketplace. Having seen the current trajectory of commercial finance with the uprising of many fintech startups, it was clear that financial technology will be increasingly important in the coming years. I therefore decided it was key for me to understand these fundamentals early on in my career. What was specifically motivating was the programme’s many applied modules, like Business Valuation, Markets & Securities, Corporate Finance, Machine Learning and Artificial intelligence. The well-rounded mix of subjects permits a strong foundation in the fundamentals of finance and also gives good scope to explore advanced current and futuristic concepts.
Having secured a job offer from J.P. Morgan and networked in their fintech division, it was clear they highly rated Imperial’s MSc Financial Technology and advised it would be valuable for me, especially if I was to consider a role in their fintech banking division after a few years in traditional investment banking.
Imperial is renowned for its culture of excellence and expertise, especially in the technology field. The credibility of the institution and the community of great minds it fosters gave me the confidence that I would leave the university far more knowledgeable than when I arrived.
To anyone looking to do the same, my advice would be to know why you want to study the programme and be sure the reason is powerful enough to compel you to demonstrate the discipline and focus required to be successful.
Finally, be versatile and open-minded. The programme can be demanding and so remembering the power of networking and developing your personal brand through events and extra-curricular activities (such as the Student Investment Fund) is important. It’s also important to engage in society and come out of your comfort zone to try new things.
My passion to study MSc Investment & Wealth Management at Imperial stems from my interest in the ever-evolving financial markets. The significance of finance as a way of achieving social and economic wellbeing is greater than ever before, and this is my main motivation to explore the field. When studying my undergraduate degree in economics and finance, it was my 'mathematics for finance’ module in my first year that truly cemented my drive to study finance at Master’s level.
The ascendance of emerging markets fuelled me to visit China on an economics trip in my undergraduate studies. I capitalised on the opportunity to learn about the difference between how finance in emerging markets is so different to that in developed markets. This inspired me to take on investment and portfolio management as one of my final year modules, where I was able to construct and manage my own asset portfolio using real financial data. With this topic being central here at Imperial College Business School, I believe I am well equipped to build on the scientific foundations of quantitative finance I have learned.
Outside of academia, there are so many things to get your mind off work with social events, leadership roles and the Student Investment Fund, all of which are wonderful!
I would tell prospective students to just go for it! I was very hesitant when applying and wondered if I was ‘good enough' and ‘smart enough to be here. But I believe if you want it enough and you really love the modules and programme, that you should go for it and not look back, because it will undoubtedly be an amazing opportunity for you.
Bryan Ma, Risk Management & Financial Engineering
I chose to study MSc Risk Management & Financial Engineering as I was motivated by my past experiences and career plan.
My career target is to become a consultant, assisting enterprises in conducting feasibility analysis and evaluating investment decisions using risk control theories and my sensibility to the digital financial market. Studying the programme helps me enhance my understanding of risk management, widen my network in the financial field, and learn from others in my cohort with the same aspirations.
This Master’s prepares me with a hands-on understanding of risk management and financial engineering on the strength of its close and ongoing relationships with major employers in the finance sector. I am particularly interested in the state-of-the-art software facilities, including Bloomberg, Reuters Eikon, and Datastream, which enable me to access real-time data for asset managers in leading financial organisations and analyse data sets. In addition, the excellent Careers service benefits me a lot by providing career coaching, training for case studies, help with mock interviews and organising career fairs with renowned companies.
To those looking to do the programme, I would say firstly to do ‘due diligence’ to determine whether it aligns with your interest and professional goals. Then, actively communicate with the ‘insiders’ (current students, alumni, recruitment, etc.) for first-hand experiences. Take advantage of your own experiences and be confident in yourself, and finally, be prepared for the programme as it is technical and intensive but ultimately very rewarding.