Hongwei Qiao MSc Finance & Accounting 2020-21, student at Imperial College Business School
MSc Finance & Accounting

Finance, Accounting and Management, University of Nottingham

About you

What work experience/internships did you have before beginning with Imperial College Business School?

Before coming to Imperial, I had done a market research internship at a management consulting firm. I also worked in a CPA firm as a risk management intern. I also have one project experience, which is related to financial valuation.

Why did you decide to study MSc Finance & Accounting at Imperial College Business School?

MSc Finance & Accounting is a holistic and interesting programme. I want to be a financial advisor in the future, and the curriculum of this programme will equip me with further knowledge, such as assessing investment projects, valuation, etc. The large range of extra workshops and networking events held by the Business School will help me extend my networking skills, which I think is vital for business students. MSc Finance & Accounting is well integrated into my academic interests and career development goals.


What aspects of the programme do you enjoy the most?

I think the curriculum of this programme is really practical. During the lectures, tutors would use real business cases to help us understand the theory. Some tutors have industry experience, and they would share with us their personal experiences, such as how one specific accounting standard is applied in a real business context, which is very helpful.

Which has been your favourite module so far and why?

I liked the Fundamentals of Derivatives module, which is taught by Dr Savitar Sundaresan. I have already learned derivatives during my undergraduate degree, and this module further explored the magic of derivatives. For example, it involves the optimal derivative usage, the logic behind derivative pricing. I also find the coursework interesting, which was to firstly act as a market maker in derivative trading markets and trade, then write a report based on the trading results.

What has been the most rewarding part of the programme?

This programme involves a lot of groupwork. This provides a good chance to make friends with fellow students who are from different countries with different backgrounds.

What has been the most challenging part of the programme?

Time management. Since as a postgraduate student, apart from academic study, I also need to focus on my career development.

How have you found the multi-mode teaching delivery?

The Programme team has tried its best to make sure the quality of the modules are not affected by multi-mode teaching delivery. For example, to let students participate during the lecture, tutors would set up some break out rooms for us to have small group discussions.


How would you describe your cohort at Imperial?

People are supportive and willing to share their previous experience. This is beneficial for us to make progress together.

Did you have a favourite professor/lecturer and why?

My favourite professor is Dr Emiliano Pagnotta, who teaches the Corporate Finance module. During the lecture, he would use practical examples to help us understand the theory. One part that I like the most is the recap of each week’s content that Dr Pagnotta writes.


What has been the greatest opportunity you have had at Imperial?

The Business School often holds workshops and invites alumni who work in top companies to share their experience of finding a job. These workshops provide useful guidelines for our students and give insights for our career path.

Which workshops, events or guest lectures at the school have been useful in developing your skills and knowledge?

I would recommend the workshops from Careers. Here I learned some useful tips for group case interviews which I can apply in my future interviews.

Have you had opportunities to work/socialise with students across programmes within the Business School?

During group projects or career workshop discussions we have the chance to communicate with students from other programmes. We also have virtual social events that allow students to meet and communicate online.


What are your future career goals and how have they been realised since being at Imperial?

I plan to work as a financial advisor. Careers helps me to explore my past experience and identify my gaps and areas of development.

How did the services from Careers help you secure employment/in your professional development?

Imperial College Business School Careers offers services that cater specifically to the needs of Chinese students. We have an official WeChat group that sends recruitment information from Chinese companies nearly every day. We take part in one-to-one sessions that have helped me to increase my understanding of suitable roles and career paths.

London Location

Do you think studying in a central location such as London is beneficial for networking and career opportunities?

Yes of course. Many leading global organisations are located in London. Meeting and networking with the world’s top companies helps us present ourselves with confidence.

When you’re not studying, what do you enjoy doing?

I hang out with my friends in London’s shops, and also visit some famous spots in the city.

If you had to move to London for the programme, what have been the benefits and challenges of moving to London?

London is one of the world’s most important financial centres. Moving to London is beneficial for career opportunities.


Looking back to when you were applying for the programme, did you attend any online webinars or on-campus information sessions?

I did not attend any webinars, but I found some alumni on LinkedIn and networked with them. I think this is a useful tool as we can gather first-hand information about this programme through direct communication with alumni.

What advice would you give someone who is thinking about applying for the programme?

Imperial College Business School will help you grow as a person. Apply as soon as you can! This programme will exceed your expectations.

Interested in applying for a scholarship to this programme?

MSc Finance & Accounting

Finance, Accounting and Management, University of Nottingham