Lorraine Li studied MSc Finance & Accounting at Imperial from 2014-15 and is a Research Analyst at J.P. Morgan. In this profile, Lorraine describes what inspired her to work in finance and what she misses most about studying at Imperial College Business School.
Current work experience
What skills do you use as Research Analyst at J.P. Morgan?
The skills that are most important in my job role are research ability, accounting and finance knowledge, communication and data application.
When did you first decide that you wanted to work in finance – and what inspired you to want to pursue a career in this sector?
I attended a lecture on finance during my undergraduate studies, and found it fascinating to learn how different companies operate and how they are affected by variables such as the economic environment or industry trends. That’s when I decided to pursue a career in this sector.
What skills and experience does your employer value most when they hire graduates?
J.P. Morgan looks for relevant internship experience, a good academic background and attention to detail in candidates.
Studying MSc Finance & Accounting at Imperial
Why did you choose to study MSc Finance & Accounting at Imperial College Business School?
Imperial College Business School is known for focusing on nurturing students’ practical ability as well as a good base in theory. That’s what I looked for in preparation for a career in the finance industry. The location in London was really attractive as well.
Looking back on your time on the programme, what do you miss most?
I miss working with team members on various projects. It was a wonderful experience and I had exposure to different working practices. It was a really valuable experience to learn communication and team work skills. Also, in my case, we became very good friends – a wonderful ending to the team experience.
What skills did you pick up on MSc Finance & Accounting?
The programme developed my practical skills and prepared me for working on projects. For example, on the Private Equity & Venture Capital elective, we carried out company research, modelling and capital structure tasks. This gave me a good insight into managing projects. The other skill I learnt on MSc Finance & Accounting was how to work in a team – it’s definitely something I need every day in my job.
How did you benefit from the services provided by the Business School’s Careers & Professional Development Service?
I met up with a couple of Careers Consultants to take a look at my CV. The Consultants were very experienced and were always able to help add more detail and prioritise information. I also attended several career events to hear from the employers about the finance and accounting sector to help me decide which career path was for me.
Experience of a Business School Student
Did you get involved in any extra-curricular clubs?
I joined Sport Imperial’s women’s basketball team. It was a great experience to compete with other London universities with the team as part of the London University Sports League. It’s a really good way to get involved in the college community.
How important was it to your experience on the programme to be located in London?
When you study MSc Finance & Accounting in London, there are lots of opportunities to attend events that will help you with your career. A lot of financial institutions (especially the big ones) hold company events or career fairs in their London offices or at Imperial College Business School. At these events you have the opportunity to network with people who work at the companies you’re interested in, and get first-hand company insight and tips for your application. On top of that, London is a vibrant city to live in with amazing stuff to enjoy.
Advice to Prospective Students
What advice would you give to a student considering a career in finance or accounting?
1) Business awareness is important. Keep on top of industry news that interests you and follow key players’ operations.
2) Do carry out the plans that you have made. Planning is just words on paper until you execute them.
3) Make full use of the Career & Professional Development Service.