Yasmin-Amber Malik, MSc Economics & Strategy for Business 2021-22, student at Imperial College Business School

Programme: MSc Economics & Strategy for Business

Nationality: British

Education: BSc Economics & Management, University of Bristol

About you

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

My most recent internship was in Private Equity with Advent International, which I completed in the Summer prior to starting my Master’s at Imperial. During this internship, I had the fantastic opportunity to evaluate key players across industries including technology and payments, build full financial models including discounted cash flows, comparable company analysis and valuation benchmarking alongside creating and presenting an investment recommendation of a social media company generating $2.5bn in FY20A revenue to an investment committee.

Why did you decide to study MSc Economics & Strategy for Business at Imperial College Business School?

Having been awarded a First Class Honours in BSc Economics & Management from the University of Bristol, I gained a strong understanding of key theoretical and quantitative concepts. I learned about how companies operate within markets and how such markets are affected by government policies in an increasingly connected world transformed by geopolitics. However, I wished to extend this in a more practical manner, which I believed MSc Economics & Strategy for Business at Imperial could offer.

The international industry-focused Master’s at Imperial appealed to me since it would facilitate my development of a more strategic perspective to analytical thinking, better aligned to addressing complex real-world business challenges through informed decision-making.

Furthermore, the programme’s Summer Consulting Project provides valuable experience in working for a real client, which is relevant to my long-term career goal of securing a strategic or management consulting role. Therefore, I believed the programme at Imperial would empower me with the tools to pursue a career in consulting across a dynamic globalised business landscape.

Did you receive a scholarship?

I was very fortunate to receive an Imperial Excellence Scholarship for an ‘excellent application, demonstrating academic merit, strong professional or internship experience, clear career plan and leadership potential.’ Not only does this reward me with the recognition of my achievements to date, but it also provides financial benefits in terms of a fee reduction. This is particularly great given that living and studying in London for a full year can be expensive.

I would encourage any future scholarships applicants to really take their time to produce a high-quality application that refers to their relevant personal achievements and convincingly conveys their motivations for wanting to pursue a Master’s at Imperial. This extends to all aspects of the application process, given that this is viewed holistically, including the personal statement, career-based questions, interview and scholarship interview.

Programme

Which has been your favourite module so far and why?

I have really enjoyed Corporate Strategy due to the constant application of theories to business case studies, for example, the fall of Enron. The teaching style of the module through open discussion, numerous supporting readings and a variety of assessments, really prompted me to engage with the material throughout the entire module.

What has been the most rewarding part of the programme?

Given how international the community is at Imperial, it has been great to meet very bright, interesting and like-minded students on my programme and in the wider Business School. The spectrum of modules on the programme is varied and has given me new exposure to finance-based knowledge. In this way, the programme really is extending my knowledge base from my undergraduate studies, rather than just repetition at a higher level. Overall, I have found the programme content incredibly interesting and useful.

What has been the most challenging part of the programme? 

The term and module structure differs from my undergraduate studies in that the level of content and modules covered in a year is higher. Also, working across teams for coursework has presented challenges since some students have been delayed in travelling to the UK due to COVID-19 complications. This has meant that I have had to coordinate, manage and complete coursework across different times zones. Generally, Imperial offers so many fantastic opportunities across careers, social and programme related events. Sometimes it can be a lot all at the same time! I have found that it is really important to prioritise tasks, stay organised and make the most of the various opportunities.

People

How would you describe your cohort at Imperial?

Bright, interesting and engaged.

Opportunities

Which workshops, events or guest lectures at the school have been useful in developing your skills and knowledge?

I have found the Careers events and workshops to be the most helpful in developing key skills that employers look for. Imperial runs an efficient scheme whereby students can book into sessions, for example, writing tailored cover letters, preparing for case study interviews and assessment centres.

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

I have been most involved with the Consulting Club to gain more industry exposure and get involved with the training programmes including the in-house Case Study Club. 

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

Yes, although with COVID-19 I think this has been a little more difficult than it perhaps was previously. The start of the term provided the most opportunity to socialise across programmes, particularly at Imperial’s student union and bars. Imperial is due to host a Business School-wide social event in March, which should be a great opportunity for this. I also got to meet some students on other Business School MSc and MBA programmes at the Dean’s Scholarship Reception, which was lovely!

Career

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

I plan to work within a Management or Strategic Consulting role in London, with the hope of moving into Private Equity after I have gained a few years of experience. As an entrepreneurial individual, I also envision setting up my own company after working in the corporate world.

 

Have you received any job offers since commencing your programme?

I have recently verbally accepted an Analyst Consulting Graduate Scheme offer from a large firm in London.

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

The Careers services at Imperial are excellent and have helped me to build links with employers, learn more about available roles and develop relevant industry skills. The Careers team assist with CV and cover letter screening, interview and consulting case study preparation, the latter of which I have found to be incredibly useful.

London Location

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

The London based campus is particularly ideal for an introduction into preparing for the world of work. It is inspiring to study and be situated in the city of London, a key financial centre of the world. It facilitates building strong networks with other young professionals and Master’s students.

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

While on my gap year, I founded and managed my own business ‘Montagu and Amber’, which produces and sells luxury home fragrance décor. This includes scented candles, diffusers, hand soaps and hand creams that are eco-friendlier in terms of waxes, chemicals and packaging used. Throughout my undergraduate and current postgraduate studies, I have thoroughly enjoyed running the company. My responsibilities include financial management, communication with clients, companies and events managers, website development and social media/marketing management.

I am also particularly interested in art and languages. I am also continuing my languages studies in Chinese (Mandarin) and Arabic.

If you had to move to London for the programme, where did you decide to live?

I live by Hyde Park, very close to Lancaster Gate and Paddington tube station. Some of my classmates also live close to me, and it has been an ideal location! I get to walk through Hyde Park to get to university and I am close to the White City Campus (via the tube) where I have had lectures one day a week.

I think my location is perfect because I am also within walking distance from Marble Arch and Oxford Street. Other locations, where some of my other classmates live, that I would recommend are around South Kensington, Hammersmith and Fulham.

Tips

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

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Imperial did not hold any on-campus information sessions prior to my application. However, I did attend one online webinar session in the summer before my application. I would highly recommend this as I found it to be very reassuring and insightful. I also found the Admissions team to be exceptionally helpful in answering the multitude of continuous questions I asked them throughout the process.

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

I would highly recommend applying! The Business School offers some really great programmes so ensure that you choose the one which is right for you and that you are genuinely interested in perusing further studies in the subject matter since your studies can become quite intense at times. Really take your time to produce your best possible application, do your research and be sure to include what is unique and personal about your application.

You are most welcome to reach out to me via LinkedIn with any questions, should you wish to do so.

Programme: MSc Economics & Strategy for Business

Nationality: British

Education: BSc Economics & Management, University of Bristol

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