BSc Economics, University of Southampton
Summer Analyst, RLC Ventures
What work experience/internships did you have before beginning with Imperial College Business School?
Before joining Imperial, I gained experience across consulting, start-ups, and marketing through several internships throughout my undergraduate degree. These experiences gave me two crucial perspectives: how start-ups internally fuel growth and how VCs and consultancies blend creativity, financial analysis and strategic foresight to accelerate company growth. Seeing these dynamics helped me decide that I want to explore the opportunities open within venture capital during my time at Imperial.
Why did you decide to study an MSc Economics & Strategy for Business at Imperial College Business School?
My undergraduate degree in BSc Economics was mostly theoretical and quantitative; an aspect which I incredibly enjoyed, but going into my third and final year, I knew I wanted to find out how the models and theoretical foundations which I had learnt could be applied in a corporate setting. Having spent weeks researching, I found that Imperial was the only university that offered this unique blend of Economics and Strategy through studying MSc Economics & Strategy for Business. Combined with the fact that Imperial College Business School has employer relations and extra-curricular activities, I knew Imperial was the only place I should apply for.
What aspects of the programme do you most enjoy the most?
I’ve really enjoyed meeting and getting to know such a wide variety of people with such diverse backgrounds, whether that be in nationality, academic backgrounds or even career interests and hobbies. It’s a great feeling to be able to share common interests with people from all across the world, but to also learn and explore new things from those same people as well. I’ve also really enjoyed the modules studied so far; not only have they been directly relevant to the industries I want to pursue a career in, but they’ve also opened my eyes to roles that I may also enjoy, such as Strategy Consulting.
Which has been your favourite module so far and why?
My favourite module is a tie between Strategic Marketing and Corporate Finance. Our Strategic Marketing coursework asked us to pitch an idea for a start-up in any industry; I really enjoyed how broad the task was and found the process of designing an app prototype and pitching the start-up to be incredibly exciting! As for Corporate Finance, the module taught me key technical skills that I knew would be applicable to a career in finance or Venture Capital, such as financial modelling and valuations.
What has been the most rewarding part of the programme?
The opportunities presented and the experiences I have gained are most certainly the most rewarding part of the programme. Getting exposure to industries I have a passion for through great career events and networking opportunities alongside very relevant modules has helped me progress considerably through my desired career journey; leading me to obtain a summer position in venture capital; an industry I’m incredibly passionate about. As for experiences, I’ve really enjoyed being able to work hard and socialise with an incredible group of people; all with a similar work ethic and passion for making the most out of this great opportunity. These extend to not only being able to socialise with an incredible group of people but also the experiences of going through challenging parts of the programme.
What has been the most challenging part of the programme?
Balancing the demanding workload alongside extra-curricular commitments, job applications, going to the gym and getting enough sleep has been the most challenging aspect; especially during exam season. These experiences have helped me grow as a person, however; seeing myself go through challenging aspects of the programme and exceeding my own expectations while doing so has given me the confidence that I am well-equipped to face such challenges in the future.
How would you describe your cohort at Imperial?
I believe ‘diverse’ and ‘talented’ accurately describes my MSc Economics & Strategy for Business cohort. It’s great to be able to meet people with such a varied background, whether that be in terms of nationality, education or even hobbies. The diverse cohort also means that students have such a varied skillset and bring different skills to the table, especially when it comes to group coursework; overall making for a great experience where you can socialise with incredible people and learn from them too.
What has been the greatest opportunity you have had at Imperial?
I am very grateful to have been a part of the Business School’s Student Investment Fund as an Equity Research Analyst. When I started at Imperial, I wanted to pursue a career in equity research, and so I was focused on getting into the fund. Over the past eight months I’ve been able to participate in a number of stock pitches, work with my team to create equity research reports and built my financial modelling and valuation skills; all things I was keen to develop before starting. Even though my career ambitions have turned towards venture capital, the skills I have learnt through this opportunity have helped so much.
What clubs, societies or other activities have you been involved in at Imperial?
Aside from my involvement in the Student Investment Fund, I was also a Student Ambassador. Once I had been accepted to study at Imperial, I was keen to become a Student Ambassador as I was incredibly grateful for all the help those before me had provided with my application; it only felt right to pay it forward. Being able to help students with a similar ambition and on a journey I was once on is a privilege and is something I really enjoy; especially when I’m able to interact with them at our on-campus events or over a webinar.
Have you had opportunities to work/socialise with students across programmes within the Business School?
The best experience I’ve had of socialising with students across other programmes was during the Business School’s welcome event in the Natural History Museum. I’m sure I met at least one person from all programmes that night, and with the music, the decorations, the socialising, it really was a night to remember.
How have you found the unprecedented switch to remote teaching due to the COVID-19 pandemic?
The Business School have handled the transition to remote teaching in a great way from my perspective. Our exams were suddenly transitioned online, and with only a few weeks to go until sitting them, we got the necessary support and information channelled to us to ensure we were well-equipped to do the exams. As for lectures, I’ve quite enjoyed having them online mainly because of its convenience; the quality of teaching is just as good and I get to save myself from a long commute onto campus! Overall, it’s clear the programme team are committed to making sure the rest of our term is as smooth as possible, so I am confident that the remainder of our degree will be an equally great experience.
What are your future career goals and how have they been realised since being at Imperial?
My aim is to pursue a career in venture capital upon graduation. Over the years following, I aim to develop a deeper understanding of a sector I find interesting and, in the long-run, transition into a strategic role within a start-up operating in that space. Starting at Imperial, I had a variety of roles that I was interested in and was unsure of which industries and roles I should focus on pursuing, so I thought it would be best to speak to one of the Business School’s Career Consultants. My first career planning consultation helped me identify my roles of interest which best aligned with my personality and career ambitions. Having done this, we worked on identifying which areas of my skillset need to be filled in order to be successful and the best next steps, which have so far proven to be very useful.
Have you received any job offers since commencing your programme?
In February 2020, I became a Venture Scout for RLC Ventures; a London-based, early-stage venture capital fund investing in start-ups within AI, gaming, fintech, and enterprise. I have since been offered a Summer Analyst position with them where my main responsibilities will involve sourcing new start-ups and conducting due diligence alongside the team.
Do you think studying in a central location such as London is beneficial for networking and career opportunities?
Studying in London has given me an incredible amount of exposure to the industries I was keen to explore through the events put on by societies, our Careers team and my own efforts. With several prestigious firms across a range of industries in close proximity to Imperial, it makes it a lot more convenient to attend networking events and arrange networking coffee chats. Through this I’ve been able to meet so many people within the venture capital industry which has not only helped me prepare to enter and learn more about the industry but begin building professional relationships with people already on a similar path.
Where do you live in London and why did you choose to live there?
I live in North West London with my family and so chose to stay with them for the duration of the MSc as well as, having spent three years prior living closer to university, I thought it would be great to be able to spend some more time with them.
When you’re not studying, what do you enjoy doing?
From a young age, playing sports have been a huge part of my life, so I try and maintain a regular gym schedule outside of studying and love playing tennis as much as I can. I’m also an avid reader; especially for anything related to physics, start-ups and artificial intelligence. And of course, I love spending time with family and friends as much as I can, whether that be having nice dinners, watching fun movies or just listening to music together – having time to unwind is just as important as working hard!
Looking back to when you were applying for the programme, did you attend any online webinars or on-campus information sessions? Did you find these a useful part of the recruitment process?
Before starting my application, I attended the on-campus information session. After networking with Student Ambassadors and hearing more about the Business School from the faculty, I was already set on applying only to Imperial College Business School for my MSc. Whilst writing my application I attended a webinar specific to the application process. I found this really helpful as it helped me answer more general questions, such as how the application will be assessed and its various components, and provided key details on how each section of the application should be answered which was extremely insightful. Finally, just before submitting my application, I attended one of the coffee chats with the Recruitment team in London; this really helped me refine my application as I could ask more detailed questions specific to my case. Overall, I firmly believe taking these steps helped me submit as strong as an application as I could and played a key role in receiving an offer.
What advice would you give someone who is thinking about applying for the programme?
Firstly, I would highly recommend getting as much exposure to and learning as much as possible about the Business School and the programme you wish to join. To achieve this I would encourage you to attend the relevant on-campus information sessions as this will give you a chance to interact, face-to-face with the people who will be teaching your programme and those already studying it, alongside further opportunities for interaction such as webinars and coffee chats. Furthermore, make the most of the chance to talk directly with the Student Ambassadors via UniBuddy; they’re always happy to answer any questions you have about the application process and our experiences in general. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, think carefully about (1) what your future career plans are and (2) how studying MSc Economics & Strategy for Business at Imperial will help you achieve your future goals. These questions are important aspects of the application process and will help you craft a clear and precise application which accurately conveys your passion to study MSc Economics & Strategy for Business.