Matthias Knuepfer graduated from MSc Finance & Accounting in 2016. He now works as an Investment Banking Analyst at Morgan Stanley. In this profile he shares how MSc Finance & Accounting taught him the skills and gave him the industry experience to get a job in investment banking.
Current Work Experience
Tell us about your current job role.
I spent seven months as an Off-Cycle Analyst at Morgan Stanley, which was like an internship. It was converted into a full-time role in the Investment Banking Division team, where I work mostly on mergers and acquisitions.
What skills does the job require?
It’s an analytical role and no day is like the other. The skills needed are knowledge acquisition to understand the topics I’m working on and a general interest in the industry.
What’s your proudest achievement in the job role so far?
An energy project I was part of in Germany made the news! I’m also proud of the work I did at the beginning of my career, trying to learn the industry and pick up different skills. That learning is the biggest achievement on this journey.
Studying MSc Finance & Accounting at Imperial
Why did you choose Imperial College Business School?
A good friend who studied at Imperial recommended it to me and they found a good job after their studies. When I researched it, I could see it was a super successful and prominent university and the Business School ranked highly in all the rankings. Amongst all the programmes I looked at, the content and lecturers on MSc Finance & Accounting at Imperial were a lot stronger and were impressive.
What was the highlight of the programme?
The Private Equity & Venture Capital elective. It was very useful because the lecturer previously had a long career and extensive experience, so we were given a detailed insight of the industry. Learning theoretical knowledge from someone who has worked in the industry made the course stand out.
The programme balanced theoretical knowledge with real-life problems where you have the opportunity to apply that knowledge. The balance of theory and practice was done really well.
What practical skills did you learn on MSc Finance & Accounting?
The industry skills and knowledge I learnt on the MSc are used in my current job role, especially the work I do with mergers and acquisitions. I had a fairly good understanding of finance from my undergraduate programme but the industry knowledge I learnt on the MSc was applicable, for example in my interviews.
Experience of a Business School student
Did you join any extra-curricular clubs or societies?
I was a member of the Imperial College Hockey Club where I played half back. I used to play semi-professionally. It helped clear my mind so I could focus on my studies.
How important was it to your experience to be in London?
London is a financial hub and a melting pot for all nationalities. I wanted an international programme based in Europe but, amongst all the cities, London stood out in terms of education. It is also the most happening in terms of restaurants and things to do, which drew me to Imperial’s unique location.
Did you build a network on your programme cohort?
I am still in contact with a lot of my fellow students on MSc Finance & Accounting. We are in the same industry so it’s a good network to keep in touch with. It’s great to move around the industry and know people who are working there. It will become more useful in a few years’ time and it could help you get the right insight and advice to move into the right position.
Advice for prospective students
What advice would you give to a student who are considering the MSc Finance & Accounting?
MSc Finance & Accounting offers the best of both worlds. It is highly quantitative, covering markets and corporate finance topics which are relevant for a career in mergers and acquisitions. However, it also gives you the tools for other jobs outside of the classic investment banking front office roles.
The course is well-structured and has a good induction period where you get to meet you class mates, make good friends and build a superb network. My advice during the programme would be to take part in as many extra activities and courses as possible. Try to engage with professors outside of class as well to benefit from their experience.