Your time at Imperial College Business School
Why did you choose to study your programme and why specifically at Imperial College Business School?
Having a technical background, I gradually developed a desire to understand business and economics and become a better project manager in the oil and gas industry.
My first Masters' at Imperial helped me develop my career in the oil and gas industries and opened doors for me that would otherwise be closed or difficult to ‘open’. Given that I had experienced employers’ enthusiastic view on Imperial graduates, and I could see that I was making a difference in the workplace due to my Imperial education, it was natural to choose Imperial again. You don’t change a winning team.
What was the most important thing/learning point you took with you from the Business School?
I took a better version of me both personally and professionally. That is what happens when you start a degree at Imperial College Business School. It’s not about the learning material per se. What makes the difference at Imperial is their capability to teach you and train you on how to disseminate this information, focus on what is important and prevent you from getting lost in a world flooded with data, oftentimes of limited value. This makes a difference at work where time is limited, and complexity awaits you at every corner.
How did you find the online nature of the programme – how easy was it to bond with your cohort?
To me, it is the future of education. Having graduated from both a ‘traditional’ and online programme I strongly prefer the latter. However, not all online degrees are made equal and Imperial’s platform actually makes online learning more relevant to the modern world, modern needs and interaction habits. The way the programme is structured requires significant teamwork, as well as a few weeks per year spent on-campus, this was a great opportunity for me to bond with some of my peers on the programme, meet and learn from other professionals of my cohort.
What advice would you give to a prospective student considering studying the same programme as you?
Having successfully made a career change from oil and gas to financial consulting services thanks to Imperial College Business School, my advice is ‘stop considering and start preparing yourself for two years that will change your life for good’. And I say prepare because top university degrees are not a walk in the park and shouldn’t be. One needs to put the effort in, study hard, leverage Imperial’s global network of alumni and contacts, before harvesting the fruit of success, which in the case of graduating from Imperial College Business School is certain since it acts as a strong differentiation card for any professional.
Tell us about your current job
How were you hoping the programme would help your career trajectory?
I initially enrolled with the aim to progress as a manager in the oil and gas industry. After getting exposed to accounting and finance, however, I was tempted to make a career change. As I was progressing throughout the programme and meeting professionals working in financial services, I started to become more confident that a career change is possible. By carefully selecting my electives and thesis with a focus in finance, I managed, right after graduation, to secure a few interviews and finally landed a job with a big auditing firm. It is important to note that the career change occurred in Greece, which currently suffers from double-digit unemployment figures and competition for vacancies is fierce.
How do you plan to use the skills and knowledge you gained during the programme going forward?
Business education helps you understand much better the world around you. On a professional level, I will use the skills and knowledge gained during the MBA as a foundation to excel as a business consultant. Even though I had no exposure to this line of business I feel that Imperial College Business School has equipped me with the right tools and mindset to make it happen.
What do you enjoy most about your current work and what are the main challenges that you face?
I enjoy my current work the same as I was enjoying learning at Imperial. The applicability of the learnings from Imperial to the real-world business problems is startling, meaning that I did not spend two years of my life learning things that I would never use in practice. This gives me the satisfaction that I did the right choice with Imperial and I feel confident to perform at work. Time is always the biggest challenge.
In what way is remaining connected to your alumni network important to you?
It feels that you are part of a big family with common interests and understanding. All alumni have gone through the same process of working hard to receive their degree and appreciate each other’s effort and the way Imperial has changed their life. It is a great way to meet new professionals too, who tend to progress well in their career, making them valuable contacts and friends.