BSc Geography (International Programme), University College London
Summer Internship, University of Cambridge Digital Innovation (CDI) Centre
What work experience/internships did you have before beginning with Imperial College Business School?
Prior to joining the Business School, I worked part-time for the events staffing company At Your Service and as a nanny whilst studying for my undergraduate degree at UCL. In my final year, I volunteered at the Essex Wildlife Trust and participated in the National Otter Survey in order to collect data for my dissertation.
Why did you decide to study an MSc Climate Change, Management & Finance at Imperial College Business School?
The interdisciplinary nature of MSc Climate Change, Management & Finance provides the skills necessary to enable well-informed decision making in tackling the environmental challenges facing our planet today. The main driver in my choice to study this programme was the exciting prospect of tailoring my scientific understanding of climate change issues into a practical business context.
What aspects of the programme do you most enjoy the most?
One of the best things about the programme is the diversity of the cohort and the utilisation of group-based learning. There is wide variation in the academic background and career experiences within the programme, which creates a great atmosphere for class discussions and group projects.
Which has been your favourite module so far and why?
I particularly enjoyed the Sustainable Management and Strategy module in the second term of the programme. Each week our lecturers set a different case study as pre-reading which we then discussed and analysed in class. The collaborative nature of these classes was really enjoyable, and the use of real-life cases made the material very engaging. Plus, there was a field trip for the last class which was a great way to end term!
What has been the most rewarding part of the programme?
The most rewarding moment of the programme so far was receiving my exam results after the first term exams and seeing that (with great relief) all the studying had paid off. Several modules including Financial and Carbon Accounting and Reporting were initially quite out of my comfort zone, but with the aid of knowledgeable Professors and helpful classmates I managed to get to grips with the material quickly. Having little prior knowledge of subjects like accounting has meant that I have gained much over the course of this programme.
What has been the most challenging part of the programme?
The most challenging part of the programme has been keeping up with the volume and pace of material delivered. Having only studied GCSE Maths, the pre-course online primers were essential to develop my knowledge in this area. It is an intense but rewarding programme from the outset. As classes get going quickly in at the start of term, you need to manage your time well and prioritise your commitments.
How would you describe your cohort at Imperial?
Some of the words I would use to describe my cohort are passionate, welcoming and highly intelligent. There is definitely a ‘we’re all in this together’ feeling within the cohort. People are always happy to help each other out and share information, whether it be a faster way to solve an equation or an interesting climate-related article.
Did you have a favourite professor/lecturer and why?
Many of the Professors in the Business School and Grantham Institute are leaders within their respective fields and it has been wonderful to learn from people who are so enthused and knowledgeable about their subjects. If I had to choose, two of my favourite lecturers are Dr. Enrico Biffis and Jeremy Fernando. Both have a great sense of humour and led well-structured, engaging lectures from which I gained a lot in a short period of time.
What has been the greatest opportunity you have had at Imperial?
During my first term on the programme I had the amazing opportunity to have a look inside the Carbon Capture Pilot Plant at Imperial College, courtesy of Dr Colin Hale. The four-storey pilot plant, situated in the Chemical Engineering Department, allows students to gain hands-on experience in the mechanics behind post-combustion carbon capture. It was a great opportunity to see first-hand how Imperial are championing innovative technology.
Which workshops, events or guest lectures at the school have been useful in developing your skills and knowledge?
One of the best things about the programme is that there are weekly guest speaker presentations that enable us to gain exposure to different companies, industries and sectors. A particularly interesting guest speaker was Michael Wilkins – Head of Sustainable Finance at S&P Global Ratings. It was great to learn more about the financial implications of climate change and the growth in support of the Taskforce for Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD) within the financial sector.
What clubs, societies or other activities have you been involved in at Imperial?
There are so many interesting opportunities outside your studies to take part in at the College. I attended several events organised by ‘Responsible Investment Imperial’ and I am a Student Ambassador for MSc Climate Change, Management & Finance.
Have you had opportunities to work/socialise with students across programmes within the Business School?
Yes, there have been several events throughout the year that have brought together students from different programmes. Most recently, I partook in a Zoom quiz with students from my programme against others from MSc International Health Management and MSc Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Management.
How have you benefited from the Business School’s connection to the Imperial College London community, and the programme’s connection to the Grantham Institute?
Being part of the wider Imperial College London community has enabled me to connect with researchers in different fields which has been really useful during class assignments. Moreover, I am sure the network that I have built at Imperial will be invaluable as I start my career.
How have you found the unprecedented switch to remote delivery due to the COVID-19 pandemic?
All of my final term lectures are currently delivered online. The transition has been pretty smooth so far. Obviously it isn’t an ideal situation, but the Business School has dealt with it well. Some of my Professors have shortened the length of their lectures and we get regular breaks to stretch our legs. The quality of teaching is still very high, and the Professors are working hard to keep us engaged.
What are your future career goals and how have they been realised since being at Imperial?
My career aspirations have evolved over the past year as I have been exposed to new people and organisations. What is most important to me is making a positive environmental impact in the area I choose to work it. Sustainability is a developing field, cross-cutting numerous sectors and I believe with the skills I have developed on the programme, I am well equipped to undertake new, exciting opportunities within sustainability.
How did the services from Careers help you secure employment/in your professional development?
The Careers team at Imperial have been extremely helpful over the last year. Students are able to book 1-2-1 sessions to review CV/cover letters, practice for interviews and assessment centres and enhance their LinkedIn profile. Moreover, the Careers team regularly organise interesting company events held on campus or digitally which exposed me to new opportunities.
Do you think studying in London is beneficial for networking and career opportunities?
I definitely think the central London location is an aid to networking and career opportunities. London is both a business and cultural hub and is a wonderful place to study and live. Being at the heart of the city exposes you to great opportunities such as company networking events, speaker events, climate conferences and meetings with potential employers. Some of these benefits will be more limited as we emerge from the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Where do you live in London and why did you choose to live there?
I live with family in Amersham, Northwest of Central London. It has been lovely living with family whilst studying at Imperial – homecooked meals are a real joy! I probably have the longest commute out of my cohort, but it gives me time to sit and read which is helpful relaxation to bookend a busy day.
When you’re not studying, what do you enjoy doing?
When the weather is fine I like to go for walks around where I live or sit in the garden and read. I spent my undergraduate years in London. There are so many bars, restaurants and parks to explore within the city, which I love to visit with friends when I have the time.
What advice would you give someone who is thinking about applying for the programme?
Do your research! Studying for a Master’s degree is a big commitment and requires a lot of time and dedication, but I am confident that the reward will be worth it. If you want to learn more about MSc Climate Change, Management & Finance from current students, I would highly recommend reaching out to people via the Unibuddy platform.