Students from Imperial College Business School’s four finance Master’s programmes were invited to expand their knowledge of investment banking at an event held on campus last month. Dubbed “Super Saturday”, a play on the assessment days many banks use to recruit, the day consisted of practice interview sessions, workshops and drop-in career sessions.
Kicking off with a welcome address by Diane Morgan, Associate Dean of Programmes, and Alex Michaelides, Professor of Finance, over sixty students attended the day-long event. The day was specifically tailored to students who have aspirations to work in investment banking (mergers and acquisitions (M&A) advisory and capital markets).
As part of the programme for the day, School alumni met with the attending students and held speed interviewing sessions with them to help them prepare for recruitment interviews at the major banks. The interview sessions focussed on the elements of interviews that students typically find most challenging – technical and commercial awareness interview questions.
The interview sessions proved to be a big hit. One student commented, “The alumni mock interview has been really helpful. They provided very constructive advice and were very nice and patient. Definitely the best mentors we could have.”
The students were also joined by an industry professional, Mihail Ivanov. Mihail delivered an IB Insights workshop in which he gave an overview of a real financial transaction, highlighting the technical elements involved and pointing to interview questions that students could face. Mihail is a Senior Associate with a boutique investment bank in London, focusing on technology M&A; previously he worked for a bulge bracket bank in London, as part of their Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) M&A team.
The value of hearing directly from an industry professional was evident in student feedback. “It is hard to choose which part of the day was most helpful, ”said one student who attended the day, “but the IB Insights workshop was a unique chance to hear how an insider and high level interviewer thinks about applicants’ answers.”
Students also had the opportunity to attend a drop-in session with a careers consultant and a member of the Information Services team to discuss their CVs and useful career resources.
The overall aim of Super Saturday was to provide students with an opportunity to gain a deeper insight into the industry and practice answering challenging interview questions in a safe environment, and the value of the day was recognised by attending students. “Understanding the whole M&A process can make a significant difference in interviews,” explained another student, “since we can show recruiters a deeper knowledge and commercial awareness of the industry.”