My name is Fengyi and I'm a Master’s student studying MSc Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Management. I studied accounting and finance as an undergraduate, and throughout my undergraduate studies, my mind was buried in the numbers, excel sheets and financial reports. Although I felt content with my degree, I felt that something was lacking in my life.
I'm a curious person by nature, and I'm always looking for opportunities to do something different. During my second year as an undergrad, I had a chance to join an incubator programme in Liverpool to develop my idea for a business. I was ambitious, but also inexperienced. After the incubator programme, I realised that, although I excelled at accounting and finance, there were other areas of the business world that I lacked knowledge of.
The resources provided in Liverpool, in general, were not as exhaustive as I had expected. As my undergraduate life was about to finish, I struggled to decide whether to continue my current degree or start my business. No doubt jobs in accounting and finance are stable, but I wanted to continue work on my business idea to help myself and others be more confident with who we are. Besides, while starting my own business, I can also utilise my knowledge of accounting and finance, so it seems to be a much better idea.
I applied to Imperial College Business School as it is the most innovative university in Europe. I couldn’t wait to try out interesting ideas and new things at Imperial!
Why study at Imperial?
After studying nearly a semester and a half at Imperial College Business School, I think I finally understand the benefits of studying at a top university. Imperial provides many resources such as the Harvard Business Review that other universities wouldn't have access to. Many of these articles are far more comprehensive and incisive than your average Google search.
This leads to the second benefit, which is insight. There are many things that we are familiar with but lack knowledge of. For example, we are all familiar with gaming platforms, but I doubt many people would know the business model behind it. Professors at Imperial are well-informed about the latest trends. In each topic and session, they always combine knowledge with the latest practice to help us understand how things work in real life.
In the module Design Thinking for Innovation, there is a lot of teamwork, which helps us get ready for collaboration in the workplace. We were assigned to syndicate teams at the beginning of the semester, and our studies mainly revolve around group assignments. I was nervous initially, but now I'm very comfortable contributing to group discussions and I appreciate having a team supporting each other.
Working in a team not only helps me build confidence, but also learn from other people. We all have different work styles, different backgrounds, different knowledge and a different thinking process. Understanding and learning from other people helps me to find better solutions and understand my shortcomings. Lastly, people are an essential aspect of studying at Imperial. The Business School is full of very smart and hardworking students, many of them doing multiple projects, including running their own businesses. They inspire me to work harder and smarter.
What's the exam process like?
The exam process at the end of the semester is very unusual due to the pandemic. We all have online exams on a platform called Wiseflow. The whole process is very straightforward as we received training beforehand, and we get to do a mock test on the platform.
But don't think of the online exam as something you can get away with easily. The exams are timed as usual, and we still need to memorise everything just like a standard exam. In some ways, it's more difficult because I'm more used to making notes on pen and paper, but the platform has almost all the exam answering techniques we need. There is a button that allows you to "exclude the wrong options", and you are able to make notes and doodles across multiple questions, etc.
We could also submit a photo of the handwritten answers if we wanted to. Also, there are many teachers and assistants available throughout the exams, and they always respond immediately if you have any problems.
My career goal in the future
After I graduate, I want to combine my interest in programming with entrepreneurship to help solve banking problems. One of the skills I learned from entrepreneurship is solving problems, which is not as simple as it sounds. There are many problems in the world and our lives, and it can be difficult or impossible to find a solution that benefits everyone.
My job is to make sure the solution benefits as many people as possible and makes a difference in the industry. Finding a solution needs to be creative and driven by the needs of customers and the market, and there will be many iterations until it's good enough for different shareholders.
I believe my background in finance will help me better understand the problems in the banking industry and find solutions. I also want to continue developing my business idea, and other ideas that may come up during my studies to help people live a better life.