David Elias

David EliasNationality: Dutch

Institute and subject studied for Undergraduate degree: Finance and Business Economics

Work experience/internship(s): After I completed my Bachelor’s degree at New York University in 2014, I took a gap year in which I did two internships in the Netherlands. From September to November 2014 I worked at the investment bank Lazard, where I was part of the Benelux M&A team. From February to June 2015 I worked in the Strategy Consulting practice of Accenture, where I mainly conducted research studies on the world’s best performing companies and prepared business development materials for the firm.

Greatest academic, professional or personal awards/achievements: I am most proud of the social projects I have been part of in my home country of Curacao, including helping set up a local soccer academy. At NYU I am proud of having my essay being published in its annual publication of best student written essays and which is used in its Creative Writing courses.

Programme

Why did you decide to study your programme and why specifically at Imperial College Business School?
After having studied finance for four years I wanted to gain a better understanding of the overall strategic decisions that firms have to make, since I always also showed more interest in matters such as business development rather than purely financial ones. Imperial College Business School offered a fantastic opportunity to gain this knowledge in the heart of London. The school is also driven by a very engaging mission of improving business for society as a whole.

What makes the MSc Economics & Strategy for Business at Imperial College Business School unique?
First of all, there are only a few programmes out there that combine pure strategy and economics. Most schools still only have Master’s in Management. ESB also provides an ‘MBA’ style experience at an earlier stage of our careers. There is a lot of emphasis on practical skills such as teamwork and presentations whereas most other schools still rather focus on theoretical models. ESB’s practicality is highlighted by the real-life consulting project we will do this summer.

What aspects of the programme do you most enjoy?
The most fun aspect of the programme has been the people I have met. I have developed a very close bond not only with my syndicate team but also people from the other streams that come from all over the world. It has made the learning experience much more engaging and fun.


What has been the most challenging part of the programme?

The most challenging part of the programme by far was balancing searching for jobs with school in the fall semester. Having said that, the careers teams at the Business School were extremely helpful and made life much easier through their training and advice.

What has been the most rewarding part of the programme?
The most rewarding part of the programme has been successfully completing several projects with my syndicate team. In the beginning of the year we still had to get used to each other since we all came from vastly different cultural and educational backgrounds. My team includes people from India, Nigeria and China. After a couple of weeks together we have developed a very cool team dynamic and it’s very fulfilling to see the work we have done together.

Which has been your favourite module so far and why?
My favourite module so far has been Strategic Marketing. Not only did I find the material very interesting, but Andreas Eisengerich teaches with a lot of passion, which made the class very enjoyable.

People

Which seminars, events or guest lectures at the school have been useful in developing your skills and knowledge?
I would say that all workshops from the Career Centre were very useful in developing my interview skills. The case workshops hosted by OC&C and 55 also provided a better insight into what employers expect from graduates.

How would you sum up the Business School faculty?
The Business School faculty is very experienced and teaches with passion. Our professors also come from very diverse backgrounds.

Did you have a favourite professor/lecturer and why?
Andreas Eisengerich has been my favourite professor this year. His teaching is very captivating, relying on a lot of interaction with class. He truly enjoys marketing and making it relatable to our daily lives.

Imperial places a large emphasis on group work; what inspires you the most about working in this type of environment?
The group work has by far been the most rewarding part of the ESB program. It feels really great when you successfully finish a project with your team after you’ve spent days working to perfect it.

How would you describe your cohort at Imperial?
My cohort at Imperial is incredibly diverse. Everyone has a very interesting background. Furthermore, everyone is very ambitious and wants to make an impact in their home country.

What clubs, societies or other activities have you been involved in at Imperial?
I am Student Ambassador for the ESB program and I also helped organised the first student-led conference at the Business School. Other than that, I have attended many events hosted by the VC, Entrepreneurship and Digital Marketing clubs.

Opportunities

What has been the greatest opportunity you have had at Imperial that you wouldn’t get anywhere else?
The greatest opportunity that Imperial provided me was face-to-face contact with some of the top consulting and VC firms in the UK through various network and company events. I would also say that the ESB consulting project where we get to advise a real company is a great opportunity.

How have you benefited from the services provided by the Career and Professional Development Service?
The Career Service team has helped me immensely in preparing for interviews and polishing my CV. I was guided in several areas including case interviews and personal storytelling. Working with the Careers team definitely increased my confidence during the job search process.

How have you benefited from being part of the wider Imperial College London community?
Through the various student clubs, especially those based on entrepreneurship, I have met very inspiring students from outside the business school who are starting their own businesses.

Do you think studying in a central location such as London is beneficial for networking and career opportunities? Please share any positive experiences you have had. Absolutely. Virtually every famous company has a presence in London and there is also a vibrant startup scene in Shoreditch for those more interested in entrepreneurship. While organising a conference on Big Data I realised how many influential people live in the city and are accessible to you.

Career

What are your future career goals and how have they been realised since being at Imperial?
My long term goal is to start my own business. In the near future though I would like to work at an established company to gain an overview of the daily realities of running a business. I always wanted to start my career in London and during my time at Imperial I secured my first job for after graduation.

Have you received any job offers since commencing your programme?
Yes, I will be working at Amazon starting this September.

Where do you see yourself after completing the programme?
In the long run I hope to start my own business. I have always had an affinity for film so to work in the media and entertainment industry will always interest me. In the short run though it’s all about gaining concrete experience.

Location

Whereabouts do you live in London and why did you choose to live there?
I live in Chelsea because it is very close to the Business School.

What can a weekend in London look like for an MSc student?
The city is incredibly diverse so every weekend can be drastically different, whether it’s going to a football match or a dance party, there is something for everyone. As an MSc student, expect to spend a lot of time in bars with your classmates.

In your opinion, tell us about the most exciting, undiscovered place in London.
East London is incredibly popular but every Sunday you have a lot of cool pop-ups and cool new venues that do record (vinyl) sales. There is always something to discover if you lose yourself in the alleyways around Brick Lane.

If you had to move to London for the programme, what have been the benefits and challenges of moving to London? What advice would you give to someone in a similar position?
The main challenge is definitely having the right apartment at the right price. I would suggest looking at least a month in advance to get a feel of how the market works. Also getting the paperwork sorted out (council tax) is quite a hassle. I would ask the international students department how to deal with it because they are very helpful. Setting up internet, electricity and water, if you move in to a completely new apartment, are very easy to sort out. I would also suggest getting a place close to the tube or bus station since London is quite big and it does make a difference in travel time to school.
The benefits are endless. London is a city with many unique vibrant areas. You have access to amazing restaurants, cinemas and music venues.

Tips

What advice would you give someone who was thinking about applying for the course?
Think carefully about how this program helps you with your career goals and do keep in mind that finding a job in London is quite hard. Be prepared to put a lot of time in the job hunting process so the earlier you start with preparing your CV the better.

Looking back to when you were applying for the programme, did you attend any online or on campus information sessions? Did you find these a useful part of the recruitment process? Would you recommend that prospective students attend these events?
The online interview was very informing to me.

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