In September, we welcomed more than 500 dynamic and diverse students across our suite of finance programmes, as they start their one-year journey at Imperial College Business School. Our finance programmes include:

Gender Parity

The Business School is committed to achieving gender parity and we’re delighted that this year 44% of students on our finance Master’s are female. We are especially proud to announce that 50% of MSc Finance students are women. Programme Director Dr Lara Cathcart says,

Female students

We are proud to have achieved a 50:50 gender balance on MSc Finance. Our focus has been on talent and we haven’t compromised on quality. This is a very encouraging sign that things are changing and the finance industry is becoming more and more attractive to women.

Empowering ambitious, talented women with the skills, business acumen and network to achieve their potential in graduate finance education and beyond is a crucial step to tackling the global issue of gender equality in business and leadership.

A truly diverse cohort

Across the finance Master’s programmes, students come from a range of academic backgrounds and countries. 60 nationalities are represented across the programmes, a diversity that will enable students to grow a valuable network.

The myriad of backgrounds students have access to will expand their global awareness and learning opportunities, as they are exposed to a variety of business cultures and working practices, especially as students collaborate on group projects throughout the year.

MSc Finance student Katie Kwong says, “I enjoyed participating in the speed networking session with other peers within the MSc Finance cohort. It was a fantastic opportunity to get to know a diverse range of individuals from a multitude of academic backgrounds, geographies and cultures, and share our mutual interests in the finance industry.”

Each student on the finance Master’s has achieved academic excellence in their respective educational background. 59% achieved a first-class (or international equivalent) for their undergraduate degree and 20 students studied their undergraduate programmes at Imperial College London before joining the Business School. Across our finance programmes:

  • 40% of MSc Finance students have studied economics previously.
  • 39% of MSc Finance & Accounting students have studied finance or accounting previously.
  • 38% of MSc Investment & Wealth Management students have studied finance or accounting previously.
  • 48% of MSc Risk Management & Financial Engineering students have studied mathematics previously.

Induction

In September, we welcomed students onto the finance Master’s with a series of induction activities designed to introduce students to their programme, each other, Imperial and London. In addition to enhancing the students’ academic skills and knowledge, the Business School is committed to teaching students interpersonal and teamwork skills, essential for an international career in the finance sector.

Students took part in a host of team-building induction activities to prepare them for group projects on the programme and to build networks across the Business School, including the Imperial Scavenger Hunt and the annual Imperial College Business School quiz.

Offering a warm welcome, Dean Professor Francisco Veloso, and the Programme Directors, greeted the new class on the first day of their induction with an introduction to Imperial College London, the Business School and an overview of what they can expect in the exciting year ahead. Professor James Sefton, Programme Director of MSc Investment & Wealth Management and MSc Finance & Accounting, says,

Now that MSc Investment & Wealth Management and MSc Finance & Accounting have been running for four years, our alumni network is strong and they have landed top jobs in the sector. As the number of applications continue to rise, we expect the reputation of these programmes to continue to rise every year.

MSc Finance celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. When asked the biggest achievement of MSc Finance, Dr Lara Cathcart says, “Its biggest achievement is that it has always maintained a strong ranking, going up in the rankings in the UK and worldwide”.

As part of their induction, finance Master’s students visited Canary Wharf where they met alumni in the finance sector who had invaluable advice on pursuing a finance career track and making the most of studying at Imperial. Alumni included finance professionals from Credit Suisse, J.P. Morgan, Citi, RBS, BlackRock, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank.

MSc Finance student Julia Laskowska on the team-building aspects of the away day:

For me, the best part of the induction was the Away Day at Canary Wharf. It gave me a great opportunity to improve my interpersonal skills and discover my cohort. It helped me learn how to work together effectively, the spaghetti tower building was really fun and it enabled us to get to know each other better before we start group assignments.

Students were exposed to cutting edge research from faculty experts at the Imperial Business Insights 3:20 event, and networked with top banks and companies at the Finance and Consulting Careers Fair organised by our Careers & Professional Development Service, including BNP Paribas and Société Générale, and consulting firms EY and McKinsey & Co.

In addition to the induction activities, students also had the option to attend master classes hosted by the Careers & Professional Development Service, including a “Success at Selection” session from EY and a talk from Lombard Odier’s Head of Family Office Ahmed Husain. MSc Risk Management & Financial Engineering student Hubert Shek, says,

I am amazed at the number of career resources available at Imperial. From 1-to-1 sessions with Careers Consultants to review your CV and cover letter, to networking events at the Finance & Consulting Careers Fair and the many company information sessions. The amount of career resources goes on and on.

Meet some of the students across our finance programmes:

Katie Kwong has just started on MSc Finance. Previously, Katie was a Global Markets Summer Analyst at Nomura and a Global Markets Summer Analyst at Credit Suisse. Katie chose Imperial because she was “attracted to the quantitative nature of Imperial’s MSc Finance programme, its broad variety of electives, and its cultural diversity which will provide a springboard to develop a global network within the finance industry.” When asked who her role model in business is, she says, Warren Buffett. I’m inspired by his story and he possesses a well-sought-after mix of attributes: endless patience, uncompromising discipline and the ability to distinguish value.

Benoit Collin joins Imperial’s MSc Investment & Wealth Management programme after a couple of years experience in Buy-Side and Sell-Side Equity Analyst positions in companies such as HSBC and OFI Asset Management. Describing his experience at Imperial so far, he says, “I really enjoyed the induction day. The activities are chosen to bring together the students of the programme very quickly and a group spirit is formed. My cohort is very diverse in terms of background and culture.” Benoit cites several reasons for choosing to study at Imperial: “The quality of the programme, its specialisation in asset management, the Careers and Professional Development Service, Imperial’s reputation, its strong corporate connections, and the Alumni network.”

Meng Hao is a student on MSc Risk Management & Financial Engineering. For Meng, the best part of induction was “meeting alumni at various information sessions which helped develop my networking skills and learn useful information about companies and positions in banks.” Meng was attracted to Imperial because of the structure of her programme, which covers mathematics, programming and finance modules. Imperial has a strong global reputation and is located in London, which means I would have more opportunities to advance in the finance industry. After her MSc, Meng plans to take a summer internship as a risk analyst in the UK and then a job in risk management in China.

Marcello Sternini joins our MSc Finance & Accounting programme. During his first month at Imperial, he says, “I was amazed by the strong support and guidance that I received.” Marcello chose Imperial because “aside from being a world-class university, it is an institution that truly invests in its students, making them feel part of a vibrant community.” When asked who his role model is, he said, Jeff Bezos is my role model in business. His long-term ambition and leadership style are simply outstanding.”

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