Economics & Business Economics, Utrecht University
Staff Audit & Assurance SFO, EY
What work experience/internships did you have before beginning with Imperial College Business School?
Before starting at Imperial College Business School, I worked in the financial industry in the Netherlands in a range of roles, including an internship in Public and Government Affairs for NN Group for six months, as an Assistant Specialist Derivative for Rabobank Group for another six months, and an internship in Audit and Assurance FSO at EY for six months.
Why did you decide to study an MSc Finance & Accounting at Imperial College Business School?
There are many reasons for my decision to study the MSc Finance & Accounting programme at Imperial College Business School. Firstly, I think the combination of finance and accounting is a must for any finance professional, no matter what side you are on - if you work on the finance side, an in-depth knowledge of financial statements and underlying principals will surely enhance your valuations. Working on the accounting side, preparing and analysing financial statements (e.g. audit) and having familiarity with financial valuations helps you to see what the most important aspects are. Aside from this ‘technical part’, there are several other reasons for choosing this programme at Imperial, including having the international experience, studying in London, the capital which is the financial heart of Europe, Imperial College’s excellent credentials, as well as the Business School’s great opportunities and contacts, amazing atmosphere, and its leadership in technology and innovation.
What aspects of the programme do you most enjoy the most?
I enjoy how complete the programme is in terms of the content it covers. It provides you with everything you need to become an extremely-well equipped finance professional. Moreover, there are a lot of opportunities of enhancing and developing soft-skills, which are becoming ever more important in current times.
Which has been your favourite module so far and why?
It’s challenging to choose just one module. Each respective module had its own outstanding and interesting characteristics! Things that stood out were Investments and Portfolio Management, for which we had a very knowledgeable and extremely charismatic professor. Additionally, he provided real-world examples that I found extremely helpful. Also, Advanced Corporate Finance gave me valuable industry insight and has been a great help for job interview preparations. Advanced Accounting provided very rigorous expertise and familiarity with more in-depth accounting topics, as well as explaining significant events that have happened in the past along with what may evolve in the future.
What has been the most rewarding part of the programme?
The most rewarding part of the programme has been really experiencing that you have learned valuable things and feeling that you have grown and evolved over the year.
What has been the most challenging part of the programme?
The programme is rigorous, challenging and full, so do expect to be investing extra hours in some weeks.
How would you describe your cohort at Imperial?
The cohort at Imperial is very diverse and vibrant! It is a truly international environment that is collaborative, driven, fun, respectful and full of (positive) energy. It’s been a great foundation for long lasting friendships.
Did you have a favourite professor/lecturer and why?
It is difficult to choose one favourite professor. Each professor is very knowledgeable and skilled. Some are more theoretic where others more practical, I have enjoyed having the mix of teaching styles.
What has been the greatest opportunity you have had at Imperial?
The greatest opportunity I have had at Imperial has been developing my skills combined with excellent opportunities for networking in various industries. Also, gaining new insights in different topics and industries.
Which workshops, events or guest lectures at the school have been useful in developing your skills and knowledge?
Many employers came to universities in special organised evenings. It has been very useful to see their insights and get the opportunity to get know them and get an insider's perspective on what they are working on.
What clubs, societies or other activities have you been involved in at Imperial?
At the beginning of the year I joined the Leonardo Fine Arts Society, with which I got the opportunity to follow various, interesting art courses throughout the year – a great way to relax, show your creative side and have fun after a long day ‘behind the screen’!
How have you benefited from being part of the wider Imperial College London community?
Imperial College London has a strong, well-known brand, which is easily recognised by many. This is been a great asset during the job application process. Additionally, there are many interesting people to meet, which is a great way to hear about other people’s insights from across the Business School.
What are your future career goals and how have they been realised since being at Imperial?
My future career goals are to become a financial professional and completing the programme at Imperial provided me with sound finance knowledge, great industry insights, and many necessary skills that I need for my professional and personal career.
How did the services from Careers help you secure employment/in your professional development?
The Careers service have been very helpful in securing employment in several ways. Not only did they provide great industry insights, but also the other services have been a great support! I have been given advice regarding my CV and cover letters, as well as technical and soft-skill interview guidance.
Do you think studying in a central location such as London is beneficial for networking and career opportunities?
Studying in London, as mentioned before as ‘Europe’s Financial Hub’ is beneficial for networking and career opportunities. Apart from being able to see the broader perspective, you are exposed to many different aspects. Some examples of what Imperial organised was a trip to Canary Wharf along with many career events and employer events. Also, for finance professionals there are many opportunities, and living in London means living a vibrant and fast life, with early industry insights and developments.
Where do you live in London and why did you choose to live there?
I live in Fulham. The distance to the university is quite good and the area is very lovely and relaxed, with some little parks, pubs and much more.
When you’re not studying, what do you enjoy doing?
When I’m not studying you can find me getting involved in sports at the Imperial gym, sightseeing, shopping, dreaming in Harrods, drawing and painting with the LeoSoc Imperial club, visiting museums, going out for a fabulous brunch and extravagant afternoon teas, spectacular dinners, or having a cocktail while looking at a great London view.
If you had to move to London for the programme, what have been the benefits and challenges of moving to London?
Try to use your network when searching for a room and join clubs which interest you to meet new people. Most importantly, emerge yourself in London life and the Imperial culture. Don´t let Brexit scare you off, the experience in London and at the Business School is worth it.
What advice would you give someone who is thinking about applying for the programme?
Look at the programme properly and do your research. On your application, go further than stating why you’re a good fit for the programme and put more of your energy into writing more details about what makes you unique. I would also look into the specific English CV and cover letter standards, to give yourself an edge. Make sure you apply early, the programme is rigorous and interesting.