Viktor Bertilsson

Viktor BertilssonNationality: Swedish

Institute and subject studied for Undergraduate degree: Lund University, BSc Service Management

Work experience/internship(s): During my undergrad I worked part-time in commercial banking. After graduating I also spent one year working within Corporate Finance for one of northern Europe’s biggest conglomerates before commencing my studies at Imperial College Business School.

Greatest academic, professional or personal awards/achievements: I’m very proud of having been the valedictorian of my undergraduate programme, and of the results I’ve achieved during my previous work experience. My previous achievements have awarded me both scholarships and several rewards. However, I don’t like to live on old merits so I’m focused on what I want to achieve next.

Programme

Why did you decide to study your programme and why specifically at Imperial College Business School?
There were many reasons for why I chose Imperial over other universities I held offers from. The two main reasons were the focus on the fusion of business and technology that Imperial offers, and the practical approach of the programme. Having worked in many different settings before joining the Business School I have realised how important it is with a focus not only on theory, but also on how to use and implement it in real business settings. The ESB programme really balances these aspects in a great way and that was an important reason for why I chose to join the Business School.

What makes the MSc Economics & Strategy for Business at Imperial College Business School unique?
I believe that this programme stands out in many ways. First of all, there are very few programmes that combine economics and strategy. Secondly, compared to similar programmes at other universities, this programme is not all about theory. It actually teaches you how to apply theoretical concepts in real business settings and this makes you very employable, even in a competitive city like London. Finally, the programme and the Business School is a part of one of the world’s top ranked universities. This gives you the opportunity to meet people from various areas of study and create a valuable network for the future.

What aspects of the programme do you most enjoy?
I enjoy the fact that we actually spend a lot of time on understanding real business situations, and how to approach them with both economic and strategic thinking.

What has been the most challenging part of the programme?
For me, the most challenging part of the programme has been the high workload. It is much higher than during my undergraduate degree and the layout of programmes in England are in general quite different from what I am used to. It has therefore been a bit hard to adapt at times. However many of my classmates have faced the same challenges, which has made the experience much easier.

What has been the most rewarding part of the programme?
The most rewarding part of the programme has actually been meeting all the brilliant people from more than 40 different countries around the world. It is an incredible learning opportunity and I have made friends for life.

Which has been your favourite module so far and why?
Even though I have enjoyed most of the modules so far, I must say that Macroeconomics for Business has been my favourite so far. It is the most complicated and demanding module we’ve had but the way it has taught us how to understand and apply economic thinking on real world events has been extremely interesting and useful.

People

Which seminars, events or guest lectures at the school have been useful in developing your skills and knowledge?
I have been to several events organised by the different career clubs within the Business School. They have all been very interesting, and they really facilitate the interaction between the different programmes within the Business School. I have learnt a lot about digital marketing, important issues that start-ups face and how data analysis can be used in various industries. The learnings from these events are definitely something I will have great use for in the future and I therefore try to ensure that I remember as much as possible.

How would you sum up the Business School faculty?
The Business School faculty is world-class, as you would expect at a university with the reputation of Imperial. Most of our professors come from very impressive backgrounds, both academically (e.g. MIT, Harvard, Princeton etc.) and professionally (e.g. central banks, investment banking, economic councils etc.).

Did you have a favourite professor/lecturer and why?
All of our professors are very knowledgeable within their field, and we have had many great lecturers. I’m not sure that I have one favourite but I really liked Dr Kosova, Dr Haskel, Dr Valletti and Dr Eisingerich. What they have in common is that they all are very knowledgeable and passionate about their subjects and they are all very good at communicating it to us students.

Imperial places a large emphasis on group work; what inspires you the most about working in this type of environment?
The opportunity to learn from others with more knowledge than me within certain areas is really one of the most valuable parts of all the group work. We complement each other, learn from each other and provide different perspectives. It is also a great way to learn how to work with people from different countries and cultures.

How would you describe your cohort at Imperial?
It is a very diverse cohort, with people from more than 40 different countries. And although everyone has different goals, we are all very motivated and have a drive to succeed. I must admit that it is very inspiring to be part of such a setting.

What clubs, societies or other activities have you been involved in at Imperial?
I am a part of the Entrepreneurship Club and the Digital and Marketing Society within the Business School. They organise many interesting events with interesting people, my favourite was when Jeremy Waite from Salesforce came to talk about Big Data and its application in various industries. I am also part of organising the first student-led conference at the Business School, focusing on the fusion of business and technology. Although it has been a lot of work, this has been a very rewarding opportunity that I am sure will help me a lot in the future. On the more social side, I have also tried out archery in the Imperial College Archery Club (part of the student union at Imperial). This has proven to be a great way of interacting with other students from across the College, and it has also been a lot of fun to travel around with the team to other universities for competitions.

Opportunities

What has been the greatest opportunity you have had at Imperial that you wouldn’t get anywhere else?
The opportunity to combine my interest for business and technology.

How have you benefited from the services provided by the Career and Professional Development Service?

I think the Careers team is one of the competitive advantages of Imperial College Business School. They offer you guidance through the entire recruiting process and they have a lot of different events. For me personally, I have mainly been to the organised company presentations and used the online modules to develop a great CV.

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.
One major advantage of Imperial is that the College is located very centrally in London. It is located in a beautiful area (South Kensington), where you also can find several museums, embassies and the Royal Albert Hall. The main advantage is however that basically all big employers have offices in London. This makes it much easier to get these people to different events at the College, and we have had people from all the major companies coming to Imperial to recruit and/or network. It is also great to have these companies nearby when you are in the application process for jobs. Combined with the alumni network of Imperial and the Business School, this gives you a great opportunity to connect with the employers that you are most interested in. For me, this gave me an opportunity to meet with people from Amazon and learn more about the company culture. This proved very useful when I later interviewed for, and ultimately secured, a position within the company a few months later.

Career

What are your future career goals and how have they been realised since being at Imperial?
I want to combine my interest for business and technology also in the future. Studying at Imperial have given me exposure to many employers and made me realise even more clearly what I want to do in the future.

Have you received any job offers since commencing your programme?
I have received a job offer from Amazon’s European office in London. At the time I got this offer, I was also in the final stage of recruitment for a few other companies. However, since Amazon was my number one preference from the start of the programme, I chose to withdraw from the other processes and accept my offer from Amazon. I have been given a great opportunity that I am very excited about, and it almost feels a bit too good to be true that I will go on to work for a company that I really admire. I am also extremely thankful that I got accepted into this programme at Imperial College Business School because I know that I wouldn’t have made it without that brand name on my CV.

Location

Whereabouts do you live in London and why did you choose to live there?
I live in Fulham, which is in southwest London. From here, it takes roughly 25 minutes to get to campus. It is a very nice and central area, which I really enjoy. I live in private accommodation, and I chose to do so mainly because it gives me an opportunity to really be a part of this amazing city, and it is a bit cheaper than the alternatives.

What can a weekend in London look like for an MSc student?
That is the best thing about London: there is no such thing as a typical weekend. When you live in a city like London, there is always something going on. One weekend you may visit one of the many food markets, the next there is probably some kind of festival or other event, or you can just go out and have a great afternoon with friends. However, there will be times when you will also have to spend part of your weekend in the library, but the library is nice so you don’t have to worry.

In your opinion, tell us about the most exciting, undiscovered place in London.
Unfortunately I can’t disclose that information, then that place wouldn’t be as exciting and undiscovered anymore. All I can say is that London is a big city with a lot of places to discover ¬– that is part of the charm with this amazing city.

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?
Being from a tiny village in Sweden, it is quite a contrast moving to a city like London. There are many positive aspects with living in a big city like London; you can find everything here and there is always something to do. However, I sometimes feel the need to get away from all the stress and the noise in the city. I have therefore been on a few trips outside London and explored the beautiful English countryside but even within London there are places you can go if you need a break from all the noise and stress. One example of a retreat that is a relatively short way from South Kensington is Richmond Park and even though this huge park is part of London, it still gives you a completely different perspective.

Tips

What advice would you give someone who was thinking about applying for the course?
This is a great programme and a great university, but it is also hard work. If you are willing to work hard to reach your goals then you should definitely apply and I am sure that your investment in this programme will pay off.

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?
Since I was working back in Sweden, it was hard for me to attend any of the recruitment events that were organised. I did however spend a lot of time on the website, investigating all different aspects of the programme, and I found almost everything I was looking for on the page. I asked the recruitment team about the things that I was more curious about and I got all the information I needed.

Share with us a handy hint or trick which makes campus life that much easier!Don’t forget to have fun! You are here for one year, and one year passes incredibly quickly. This is probably your last year as a student, and you are surrounded by brilliant people from all around the world, make use of that opportunity! I have met a lot of amazing people within my programme and we have had a lot of fun together. Without them, my everyday life would be really boring. So don’t forget to have fun and get to know the people within your programme, which will make your life at campus so much easier!