BSc (Hons) Economics and Finance, Queen Mary University of London,
Corporate Finance Intern, Invenio Corporate Finance
What work experience/internships did you have before beginning with Imperial College Business School?
I worked as a Financial Advisory Services Intern at Deloitte during summer 2017 and as a Trade Finance Intern at BB Energy Trading London in 2016 before starting at Imperial.
Why did you decide to study an MSc Finance & Accounting at Imperial College Business School?
The MSc Finance & Accounting programme at Imperial perfectly fitted my career goals. I had my eye already on the programme ever since my first year of undergrad. The modules altogether were going to provide me with a right set of marketable skills, from the quantitative to the technological to networking aspects. I would also be benefiting from the practical facets offered inside and outside the classroom, such as programming workshops and interaction with city experts and top academics. Overall, the programme had all the driving elements that would allow me to become a well-rounded financial professional.
What aspects of the programme do you most enjoy the most?
I really love the applied side of the programme. I have learned a lot from the weekly finance-related real-world case studies and Excel-based assignments. Also, it was inspiring not only to hear the remarkable experiences that our highly-recognised lecturers shared with us, but to also to listen to regular talks by City experts on current affairs. All these combined served as a bridge for me between my more theoretical undergraduate degree and the real world of finance.
Which has been your favourite module so far and why?
I would say Advanced Corporate Finance because I enjoyed dissecting the practical Harvard Business School case studies every week with my team members. We were constantly challenged in conducting sophisticated financial analysis of companies, across various industries globally. This boosted my confidence to take on a corporate finance role after the programme.
What has been the most rewarding part of the programme?
The most rewarding part of the programme is all the intensive preparation and varied types of assessments with very tight deadlines throughout the year. I feel this whole process has built up my soft skills, my academic skills, and strengthened my personality to become a stronger candidate for the competitive job market, rewarding me with an internship in corporate finance in a boutique investment bank.
What has been the most challenging part of the programme?
The first term was the most challenging part of the programme, when we had to deliver so many back-to-back assignments, revise for the final exams and on top of that, attend all the networking events and write job applications.
How would you describe your cohort at Imperial?
They had the whole package! I very much enjoyed working with people who not only thrived in every aspect of their lives but were also so kind and down to earth.
Did you have a favourite professor/lecturer and why?
Dr Emiliano Pagnotta was my favourite professor, he has an impressive academic record. Moreover, since I aspire to work in corporate finance, I found his profound passion for the subject very enthusing.
What has been the greatest opportunity you have had at Imperial?
The connection that Imperial provided us with the job market at such an early stage in our career was an amazing opportunity. I took advantage of the variety of company networking events held at Imperial to interact with affluent financial professionals and to speak with successful Imperial alumni, who would provide valuable guidance on how to approach job applications and interviews. Imperial also has an exceptional Careers service ranging from putting together a striking CV for our target roles to preparing us for mock interviews through role play.
Which workshops, events or guest lectures at the school have been useful in developing your skills and knowledge?
Events like the Canary Wharf Away Day, the BP visit at Imperial and numerous investment bank (JP Morgan, Citi, Morgan Stanley, etc) talks broadened my knowledge of the finance industry and improved significantly my networking skills. Guest lectures in Private Equity & Venture Capital and Advanced Company Valuation, being very much applied and focused on real state of affairs, complemented concepts and financial theories studied in classes.
How have you benefited from being part of the wider Imperial College London community?
I have been able to reach out to Imperial alumni working at my targeted firms. They were very supportive and ready to provide valuable advice on the culture of the firms and how to stand out in the first phase of the application process.
What are your future career goals and how have they been realised since being at Imperial?
My aspiration is to become an investment banking/corporate finance professional and within 10 years, to be working as an executive at a major investment bank. Being at Imperial, with the intensive programme content and workload, has boosted my confidence and reinforced my beliefs that I can succeed in this highly competitive environment. The academic, practical and social aspects of the MSc Finance & Accounting programme contributed a lot to me securing my very first job in London.
Have you received any job offers since commencing your programme?
Yes, I have accepted an offer as a corporate finance intern, with the possibility of conversion to full time from Invenio Corporate Finance, a boutique investment bank in London. My role would involve assisting in the preparation of business plans and management presetantations, reviewing historic performance forecasts, researching client comparable transactions and potential investors.
How did the services from Careers help you secure employment/in your professional development?
At the start of the year, we were introduced to numerous workshops on CV and cover letter writing and how to act during interviews through role playing activities under time conditions. We could also easily book scheduled recruitment company events and visits through their website. More importantly, when I was called for interviews, it was easy to book mock interview slots with the Career services team who were always so friendly and prepared. I would say the Careers service that Imperial has in place for us considerably contributed to me securing a job placement after the programme.
Do you think studying in a central location such as London is beneficial for networking and career opportunities?
Yes, being in London allowed me to easily access every event I was interested in attending without long commutes. Besides the networking events, I also used LinkedIn as suggested by Imperial to connect with banking executives and was able to arrange meetings effortlessly in their London offices.
Where do you live in London and why did you choose to live there?
I live in the Wapping area, which is quite close to the City and Canary Wharf. I love the area because it’s quiet and has amazing river views. It feels like the City rush is miles away, although I am minutes from it.
When you’re not studying, what do you enjoy doing?
To escape from the intensity of the programme, you’ll find me exercising at the gym and having spa days with my friends and having dinner gatherings at each other’s places.
What have been the benefits and challenges of moving to London?
Go for it! Even though in the beginning it may seem intimidating, especially if you are leaving home for the first time, looking back I see how significant living in such a cosmopolitan city is, where opportunities are always opening up to you. It’s been a huge part in shaping the person I am today.
What advice would you give someone who is thinking about applying for the programme?
If you are really interested in going down the path of Corporate Finance/Investment Banking, as I was at the time I applied, I would say it’s the right choice. The programme is heavily focused on developing your financial modelling and analysis skills. On top of that, you get to choose from a variety of electives like Private Equity and Venture Capital, Advanced Company Valuation, Mergers & Acquisition and Topics in Fintech Innovation, which further consolidates your set of marketable skills.