Philippa Stevens, MSc Climate Change, Management & Finance, 2019-20, student at Imperial College Business School
MSc Climate Change, Management & Finance

BA (Hons) Natural Sciences, University of Cambridge

Job after Imperial College Business School:

Associate, BCG

About you

What work experience/internships did you have before beginning with Imperial College Business School?

One year before joining, I completed a research placement in the Air, Ice & Climate team of the British Antarctic Survey, working on relationships between equatorial winds and stratospheric circulation. Last summer, I worked with the Green Investment Group at Macquarie Bank to evaluate European renewable energy projects.

Why did you decide to study an MSc Climate Change, Management & Finance at Imperial College Business School?

The programme is fantastically well connected with academics and industry professionals from across the sustainable sphere: in business, science (particularly through the Grantham Institute and management). This Master’s programme also allows me to engage with a wonderfully internationally diverse group of students and in London – a hub of sustainability action! 

Did you receive a scholarship? 

After applying for the programme, I unexpectedly received an Imperial Business Scholarship, which is purely a financial benefit.


What aspects of the programme do you most enjoy the most?

A real highlight has been the calibre, impact and stories of the weekly ‘external speaker series’, with speakers including Tom Daley (CEO Carbon Trust), Pete Miller (Co-founder of Octopus Energy), and Ed Hogg (Deputy Head of the Green Finance Team at the UK Government Department of Business, Energy & Industry Strategy).

Which has been your favourite module so far and why?

All of the modules have been interesting and very applicable to the climate crisis. For me, Sustainable Management & Strategy and Impacts & Adaptation to Climate Change were particularly fascinating. Beside the fantastic lectures, both of these modules had a creative group coursework task which was great fun - making a website and an open-ended outreach programme respectively. We’ve just begun a module in Clean Technology Investment, which has been really insightful so far!

What has been the most rewarding part of the programme?

Being inspired by everyone I have met: the cohort, the external speakers, the lecturers, and the opportunities at Imperial, everything from the Imperial Enterprise Lab and being a founding member of the Climate Entrepreneurs Club to being part of a student-led podcasting show – Green Minds! Do check out our shows on Spotify.

What has been the most challenging part of the programme? 

The cohort has a very diverse background, with around half from business undergraduate degrees, and the remainder from engineering, science and other backgrounds. Therefore, inevitably, there are some modules that are simplistic for some, but hugely challenging for others.


How would you describe your cohort at Imperial?

The cohort is incredibly diverse, culturally and academically. On the first day, we had a ‘yes-no’ exercise to get to know one another, and at the question ‘have you ever lived long-term in a country outside the UK?’, I believe I was one of the three (out of a cohort of 70 students), standing on the ‘no’ side of the room! In my coursework group for the winter term, two of us were British, one Portuguese, one Viennese and one Dutch; it has been eye-opening to learn and work with people who have such a broad range of perspectives.

What clubs, societies or other activities have you been involved in at Imperial? 

Within the Business School, I am a member of the newly formed Environmental Committee. I am not a member of any of the specific Business School Career Clubs (which require a membership fee to attend events that are similar to those we get through our programme). However, I am a founding member of the Climate Entrepreneurs Club for postgraduate students across Imperial College, play the oboe with Imperial College Symphony Orchestra and train with the Triathlon Club.

Have you had opportunities to work/socialise with students across programmes within the Business School?

There are many of these opportunities, that are largely organised by clubs, programme leaders and Imperial College Business School Careers. Last term, Careers coordinated a fantastic day-long workshop run by the founder of an Indian charity funded by the United Nations Development Programme. This was attended by students from several programmes in the Business School, but largely MSc Climate Change Management & Finance and MSc International Health Management.

How have you benefited from the Business School’s connection to the Imperial College London community, and the programmes connection to the Grantham Institute?

Several of our lecturers have been researchers at the Grantham Institute, and there have been several opportunities to network with the community there - talks, coffee mornings etc.


What are your future career goals and how have they been realised since being at Imperial?

I’m passionate about reducing anthropogenic climate and environmental change, and my future career goal is to have as large an impact towards this goal as I can – by listening to others, learning from their experiences and inspiring change. At Imperial Business School, I am surrounded by the business leaders of the future, and supported by my MSc Climate Change Management & Finance cohort who aspire to a similar goal. What better way to form friendships, and at the same time build a network to help you achieve your life goals!

How did the services from Careers help you in your professional development?

Imperial College Business School Careers are phenomenal. You can book an unlimited number of CV/cover letter/LinkedIn profile review sessions in-person or over Skype, and I was able to have several hour-long interview sessions with industry experts once an interview had been confirmed. I can’t imagine any better support elsewhere.

However, it should be said that the Business School are very focused on each student getting a great job. To begin one of our first lectures, we were told, “so we all know why you’re here – to get a job”. At the time, I remember feeling quite defensive – surely we’re here to help solve climate change! But in hindsight, it certainly helps to be fantastically well-connected (with security of a future role) while learning how to have an impact in the wider world.

London Location

Do you think studying in a central location such as London is beneficial for networking and career opportunities?

London is a fantastic place to network, attend interviews and company recruitment events. It’s also the centre of action for many climate conferences, strikes and talks. However, it’s also the third most expensive European city to live in and incredibly busy. I would advise that it’s worth visiting the city before spending a year here, but if you love city life, you’ll love London!

Where do you live in London and why did you choose to live there?

I am living with family and friends this year. Several students in the cohort are living together, and many within a 20-minute walk from campus.

When you’re not studying, what do you enjoy doing?

There are a number of business and non-business school activities to get involved with at Imperial. Outside of studying, I’m part of the Imperial Triathlon club, Imperial College Orchestra, tutor students regularly to pay my way, and run an infographics social media page – Emissions (check it out on Facebook!) – to clearly share the positive environmental impacts of a sustainable lifestyle.


Looking back to when you were applying for the programme, did you attend any online webinars or on-campus information sessions?

Pre-application, I just sent in the application and attended (and enjoyed) the short Skype interview. Post-offer, I talked to someone on the programme via the UniBuddy messaging system on the website. This conversation was one of the key factors that encouraged me to accept! I also attended the post-interview information session on campus, but it’s no problem if you can’t make it.

What advice would you give someone who is thinking about applying for the programme?

Check out the programme documents online, and get in touch with someone on the programme (I’m very happy to chat to anyone) over email or LinkedIn.

MSc Climate Change, Management & Finance

BA (Hons) Natural Sciences, University of Cambridge

Job after Imperial College Business School:

Associate, BCG