Why did you decide to study MSc Economics & Strategy for Business (ESB) at Imperial College Business School?
I had been considering several programmes across Europe, but was really drawn to the ESB programme because the curriculum was so well-rounded, looking both at economic theory as well as corporate finance and strategy. I also think that Imperial College’s reputation for cutting edge scientific and technological research inspires Business School programmes to bring new material and an innovation focus to traditional courses of study.
What makes MSc Economics & Strategy for Business at Imperial College Business School unique?
The focus on both theory and its application to real world problems is what makes this programme stand out. ESB courses always consider how economic models have worked in practice and tried to map key theories to recent events in the spheres of global business, financial markets or economic policy. I think this balanced approach helped prepare me for using what I had learned when I began my graduate job.
What aspects of the programme do you most enjoy, and find most rewarding?
I really liked the emphasis put on participation. Most of the professors would try to facilitate dialogue and debate in their lectures which often brought up new questions or introduced new perspectives.
Did you complete a Consulting project? If so, what was your project about and who did you work for? Was this valuable experience for your career?
My group worked on a market analysis project for a major French energy company. The main objective was to assess the commercial viability of a new product offering and then complete market analyses to see what the most profitable first launch markets would be. We pulled all our findings together into a presentation and a report with strategic recommendations that we delivered to the client’s senior management. It was a really fun experience and excellent preparation for my current role in management consulting.
Which seminars, events or guest lectures at the Business School were useful in developing your skills and knowledge?
The ESB programme team organised a great series of valuation tutorials by a former investment banker that showed us how to quickly model and forecast enterprise value. Imperial College also frequently hosted internationally famous academics and public figures who gave guest lectures on their work that were open to Business School students. The events weren’t always relevant to my course of study, but I always left having learned something new and met students from other programmes.
Imperial places a large emphasis on group work, what did you like the most about working in this type of environment?
The central focus on teamwork was, in retrospect, one of the best parts of this programme. Working with the same group over a range of projects forced us all to learn how to effectively coordinate tasks between group members, leverage each member’s strengths and work through team conflicts. The team working skills I learned have come in handy every day since at my job, where I interact daily with both internal and client teams.
How would you describe your cohort?
My cohort was incredibly diverse, not just in terms of the many countries we came from but also in our interests and backgrounds, both which definitely enriched the course. Outside of class, students often organised traditional events from their home countries, like a big Thanksgiving dinner and a Chinese New Year party.
How have you benefited from being part of the wider Imperial College London community?
Being an alumnus of Imperial Business School plugs you into a personal and professional network of fellow students, professors, and alumni that is truly global. I benefited from this network as a student while exploring work opportunities for after graduation, and I know the network will help with my future career moves. I have also stayed in touch with my Business School classmates who have stayed in London since graduation and we all try to hang out regularly.
Did you benefit from the services provided by the Careers and Professional Development Service?
Career services really helped me organise my job search as a student and navigate the application process. I probably got the most out of the 1-on-1 counselling and mock case interview sessions as well as the extensive reference library.
How has your career developed since completing the programme? What role did the programme play in your career?
Since finishing my MSc I have been working at BearingPoint, a European management consulting firm, as an analyst consultant. So far I have been on some great projects in the manufacturing, automotive and telecoms industries often focusing on change management, strategic planning and implementation. The ESB programme definitely helped prepare me for my role and in particular how to work as part of a project team.
Do you think studying in central London is beneficial for networking and career opportunities?
Central London has lots of networking opportunities for recent graduates. I have attended several Imperial College networking events which were a lot of fun and always held at interesting venues. But London is also a great city for branching out and meeting new people from a variety of industries. I recently joined Chatham House as a young member which has given me a chance to explore new interests and broaden my network.
What advice would you give someone who is thinking about applying to study MSc Economics & Strategy for Business?
There is a lot of great information about the programme on Imperial College Business School’s website, but I would recommend reaching out to programme staff, professors, current and former students if you have specific questions. Speaking to those with a connection to the programme is the best way to learn about the curriculum, student life and opportunities after graduation!
In what way is remaining connected to your alumni network important to you? What value do you get out of your connections with the Business School and your fellow alumni?
Staying connected as an alumnus is very important to me. I think that the Business School alumni community offers so much to those that are a part of it, from potential contacts in your industry (or an industry of interest) to potential new friends to explore the city with. My undergraduate alumni club has been a really central part of my life as an expat since leaving the US and I hope my Imperial network will play a similar role in the years to come!