International Business, Vienna University of Economics and Business
Analyst at Speedinvest
What work experience/internships did you have before beginning with Imperial College Business School?
Before starting at Imperial, I gained experience in venture capital, consulting and startups. During my undergraduate studies, I did a digital marketing internship at a Berlin-based startup, which fostered my interest for this dynamic industry and led the path for a further placement with a VC fund. As I enjoyed the combination of an analytical approach and working with passionate people, I decided to stay with them for one year before completing another internship in strategy consulting.
Why did you decide to study an MSc Economics & Strategy for Business at Imperial College Business School?
I decided to study on the MSc Economics & Strategy for Business programme for three main reasons. The first was I was looking for a programme that combines quantitative and qualitative aspects in a balanced manner and is not solely focused on finance. The second is the great reputation that Imperial has, which allows doors to open for their students and alumni. Lastly, the London location offers endless opportunities, on both a personal and professional level.
Did you receive a scholarship?
Yes, I received a scholarship from a small fund in Austria but not from Imperial. My advice would be to look into funding options in your country – you never know what is available and this could be beneficial to you.
What aspects of the programme do you enjoy the most?
My favourite part of the programme has been getting to know my classmates. I met some incredible people from all around the world with different cultural and professional backgrounds, who I now call my friends. Even though we have only known each other for a few months, we spend a lot of time together have gotten very close. I cannot wait to visit them in the near future and continue our friendships after the programme has finished.
Which has been your favourite module so far and why?
My favourite module was “Strategy Implementation” with Dr Sarah Otner, mainly as I enjoyed the case-study-based class discussions and the direct application of theory, which allowed for a better understanding on the subject. Furthermore, I think Sarah is a great teacher and very knowledgeable about her field of research, which allowed her to answer any student’s question in detail.
What has been the most rewarding and what has been the most challenging part of the programme?
We started our winter semester with a Business Analytics module, which required basic knowledge of statistics and econometrics in order to do some data analysis. I was slightly overwhelmed by the content during the lectures and had to put in a lot of extra work to actually understand what was going on, while others had a more relaxed time benefiting from their past econometrics classes. Finally, when we then had to apply what we have learned in an exam-like setting, I found myself discussing with my classmates and demonstrating a similar deep understanding of the topic. This showed me that you can learn anything if you just put a lot of time and effort into it.
How would you describe your cohort at Imperial?
I would describe my cohort as diverse and multinational. As mentioned earlier, we all come from different countries, academic, professional and personal backgrounds, but still have similar interests. Moreover, all of them are super nice and we have all become close friends.
Did you have a favourite professor/lecturer and why?
I very much enjoyed as mentioned before the Strategy Implementation module with Dr Sarah Otner, as you could feel her passion for her research subject. Plus, she was able to answer any questions that arose, and I personally found the topics we covered, ethics, power and leadership quite interesting.
What has been the greatest opportunity you have had at Imperial?
The greatest opportunity I have has at Imperial is building a Venture Capital Club and offering an additional platform for interested students. As a student you have a great level of freedom in forming your own society and in our specific case the programme managers, Enterprise Lab and the Careers team were happy to support us with our goal to implement this club. This was a cross-programme project and helped me build a network across Imperial but also across the VC ecosystem in London. The most rewarding moment was when we found out that our first event was sold out and the waiting list had reached a three-digit number.
Which workshops, events or guest lectures at the school have been useful in developing your skills and knowledge?
I think for me the most useful events were still our self-organised VC focused evenings, as they provided us with valuable insights about the industry, which I would not have obtained otherwise.
How have you benefited from being part of the wider Imperial College London community?
I benefited from the wide network that Imperial College London has, this made it a lot easier getting in touch with alumni, who work at interesting companies and VCs that are coaching Imperial startups or getting speakers to present at our events. Furthermore, it creates a deeper connection with the Business School, and you feel like you are contributing to the community too.
What are your future career goals and how have they been realised since being at Imperial?
I am aspiring to start my career in venture capital and see were that takes me. Since studying at Imperial, I have investigated various industries, attended numerous events and have spoken to lots of different companies. All the presentations and coffee chats helped me realise that I fit best into a VC environment, where I believe I will be able to best apply my skills.
Have you received any job offers since commencing your programme?
Yes, I will start an internship as an Investment Analyst at a venture capital fund in London, focusing on fintech startups. Additionally, I am also in talks with some other funds.
How did the services from Careers help you secure employment and help in your professional development?
I benefited a lot from Careers, as they helped me with the recruitment process by setting up a career strategy, preparing me for interviews and they giving valuable advice on how to polish my CV and LinkedIn account.
Do you think studying in a central location such as London is beneficial for networking and career opportunities?
London, as a European metropolis is ideal for professional and network development. I benefited a lot from just having coffees with people and then being recommended or introduced to others that could support me with my future career aspirations.
Where do you live in London and why did you choose to live there?
I lived in Angel, which I enjoyed. It’s nice studying in the West and living more East, as you get to experience two sides of London. I lived there because I was fortunate enough to take over the apartment from a friend of mine, which saved a lot of time looking for flats.
When you’re not studying, what do you enjoy doing?
I enjoy spending time with friends, playing sports (ideally outside if it’s not too cold!), trying new foods and listening to good music. It’s easy to do all of this in London, as it offers a great variety of things to do. Whatever you enjoy doing, you will be able to find it here!
If you had to move to London for the programme, what have been the benefits and challenges of moving to London?
I really enjoy living in London, as you can do anything at (nearly) anytime here. I like the multicultural experience of the city, where you can find restaurants, bars, clubs and on the streets; there is always something new to learn. Of course, if you move here from a city like Vienna, which has a very high living standard at a lower cost, you have to accept to cut on comfort and the size of your apartment. Plus, eating and drinking out can be more expensive here too. However, I would recommend anyone moving to this city to take full advantage of this one year studying in London; try as many new cuisines as you can, go to different gigs or museums and make lots of international friends. You won’t regret it.
What advice would you give someone who is thinking about applying for the programme?
If you are looking for a programme which merges economics and business within an international environment, then this is for you. It might seem a bit overwhelming in terms of programme content and in the beginning long-recruitment cycles, but the Imperial team is here to help you in any situation and the workload does get more manageable.