Why did you choose to study and pursue a career in finance?
Benedicte is an Incoming Investment Banking Analyst Level Two at Danske Bank. She is a recipient of the Future Leader Scholarship Award and a Student Ambassador.
Benedicte: I chose finance because it’s the only industry where you get a very diverse set of skills and experiences, learn different industries and meet incredible people. As a young professional, it really gives you a good start to your career and a lot of good opportunities out of that.
Maeva: In France you decide your specialisation quite early on. I realised that finance was the most appealing for me. I have a lot of passion for it and it matches my personality, aspirations and ambitions of where I see myself in 5-10 years.
Yasemin: I have an economics degree and it covered a lot of topics, including macro and micro economics, and finance. I wanted to focus on finance which is where I felt the most confident. Finance is the basis of several sectors, for example fintech. That’s why it’s good to learn the quantitative background for whatever you specialise in in the future.
Anastasiya: During my time on the trading floor, a lot of my peers had studied finance and had a lot more knowledge and insight. It was a logical choice to study it.
Why MSc Finance?
Maeva is Incoming Investment Banking Summer Analyst at Morgan Stanley. She is President of Imperial Women in Business and recipient of MSc Finance Women’s Scholarship.
Maeva: MSc Finance is the most well-known finance programme at Imperial. It’s also the broadest. You learn about investment banking, corporate finance and market finance. For careers in these sectors, you need to know how finance in general works.
Yasemin: It’s a great programme if you are still deciding which finance track to pursue because there are electives for all specialisations, as well as strong finance training in Derivatives, Mathematics for Finance, and Investment and Portfolio Management. I chose a broad range of electives so I could keep my specialisation open but you can specialise based on which track you want to pursue. The other schools I looked at were more economics based with very specific tracks and there weren’t any options to be flexible.
Yasemin is Incoming Investment Banking Summer Analyst at Goldman Sachs and recipient of MSc Finance Brilliant Minds’ scholarship.
Yasemin: It’s a highly selective programme. Even though I had scholarship offers from other universities, Imperial has the ease of a visa extension for six months which gives you the freedom to find a job and build your network, giving you the best possible start to the sector. I also chose Imperial because of the people. The staff really care about the students and you can use the alumni network very strongly as part of the programme. I met with alumni before the start of the programme and they gave me insight into its background and scope.
Anastasiya: I sent one application in for MSc Finance to Imperial. Why? It’s the best. If you can get a place at Imperial, use the opportunity. MSc Finance at Imperial is one of the most prestigious programmes. It makes you stand out in both your career path and your knowledge.
Maeva: After my first degree, I realised I needed international experience and I wanted to study in an English-speaking country. I wanted to work in London after the MSc Finance and so Imperial was my top choice. At Imperial, you have true quality of teaching and it’s more quantitative. Even though I’m attracted to a career in investment banking, I think it’s important to have a strong analytical backing.
Benedicte: I also sent one application for MSc Finance and that was to Imperial. It’s the UK’s science university and I thought it was a unique opportunity to go to school with top class engineers.
Diane: I was trying to decide between LSE and Imperial. I wanted something practical so I chose Imperial. On the programme, we have practitioners from industry e.g. JP Morgan and Deutsche Bank. It’s important to learn the theory but you also want practical insight from industry. Imperial was also special because of the selection of modules available so you can really tailor your experience. I wanted to dig a bit deeper and learn corporate and other classical finance theories not just learn a market view.
What has been the highlight of studying MSc Finance at Imperial?
Anastasiya is Incoming Global Markets Full-Time Analyst at Deutsche Bank and has previously interned at Ernst & Young and Nomura International.
Diane: At Imperial, you meet incredible people. There is an amazing alumni network which is a valuable asset, and the level and qualifications of the lecturers is awesome.
Maeva: I have met some incredible people in my class. My experience at Imperial has taught me to look beyond what you see in people. The cohort is very rich and you are building a network today that you will use tomorrow. It’s very important to find the right people now at the early stage of your career.
What top tip would you give to someone starting MSc Finance?
Anastasiya: When you’re in the interview stage for a graduate job or summer internship, show that you are an interesting person and you have a life outside of studying. Imperial has an amazing student experience including Imperial Women in Business. In my job interview, they talked a lot about my social activities and my travels. Imperial values your personality and that’s especially true for female candidates.
Benedicte: Prepare. Try to decide now what you want to get out of the programme, why you want to study finance and which finance tracks you are interested in. The course is very rigorous, so once you start there will be less time to think about it!
Diane: Give a lot of thought about what you want to do in life. Think about where you want to end up after studying MSc Finance and practical things like how to structure your application. Enjoy it and I hope to see you here next year!