BA Accounting & Finance, University of Strathclyde
Assistant Transactions Manager - Real Estate, Aberdeen Standard Investments
What work experience/internships did you have before beginning with Imperial College Business School?
I have previous experience at PwC and Investec.
Why did you decide to study MSc in Finance & Accounting and why specifically at Imperial College Business School?
I decided to study at Imperial as it is a world renowned university providing a truly exceptional experience. I wanted to be part of the best university in the world with like-minded people, all striving to be the best.
What aspects of the programme do you most enjoy, and find most rewarding?
The best aspect of the programme has to be my cohort. We had individuals from 37 different countries. Being with such a diverse group of people made the university experience so enjoyable and I have been able to gain an amazing group of friends from it.
Which has been your favourite module so far and why?
Topics in Fintech Innovation was my favourite module. Every single week we had guest speakers come in, from Starling Bank to the FCA. The lecturer, Helene Panzarino, was exceptional, providing the students with such a broad depth of knowledge.
What has been the most challenging part of the programme?
The programme had a lot of coursework, sometimes four pieces in one week. This was a huge obstacle and required a great deal of time and commitment.
How would you describe your cohort at Imperial?
Truly diverse. It was interesting to learn about different cultures and I have had the privilege to be able to visit friends from Imperial in their home countries. Learning from such individuals only makes you a greater person.
Did you have a favourite professor/lecturer and why?
Helene Panzarino was my favourite lecturer because she went over and above to ensure the students of her class had a great experience. Every week she would bring in different guest speakers to educate us on the different topics of the module, with interaction also allowing us to ask any questions we had. I thoroughly enjoyed her approach to teaching and she would constantly get students involved in class discussion and ensure all the topics in the module were relevant to what is currently happening around the world in relation to fintech.
Which workshops, events or guest lectures at the school have been useful in developing your skills and knowledge?
I especially enjoyed the workshops and lectures hosted by Imperial College Business School Careers. They had different speakers come in on a weekly basis to help individuals achieve their goals. The ‘Asset Management in Focus’ and ‘Building Resiliency’ events were truly useful for me in getting to where I wanted to be. I was able to utilise the knowledge gained from these events to perform well in interviews and build a conversation with industry professionals.
What clubs, societies or other activities have you been involved in at Imperial?
I was on the Imperial College Business School Investment Fund as an Equity Research Analyst in the Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) sector. This was a great experience to learn first-hand how to make investment decisions and create analysis for such decisions.
How have you benefited from being part of the wider Imperial College London community?
I was able to build such a strong network through being part of the Imperial College London community. Everyone is so helpful in providing guidance on how to get to where you want to be and the steps necessary to get there.
What are your future career goals and how have they been realised since being at Imperial?
I strive to be working in the Investment Management industry. Since being at Imperial, I attended various employer events relating to this industry and as a result, it allowed me a much greater insight into the industry than what can be achieved through just reading the Financial Press.
Have you received any job offers since commencing your programme?
Over summer, towards the end of my Master's, I completed an Investments Internship at Aberdeen Standard Investments, the largest active manager in the UK, within Economic Infrastructure. Upon completion of my internship, I received a full-time offer to join the graduate programme in Investments, starting in Private Equity.
How did the services from Imperial College Business School Careers help in your professional development/securing employment?
They organised various employer related events with huge Asset Managers. On top of this, there were specific workshops hosted by Fidelity to allow me an in depth understanding of what I needed to know, the key trends in the market, the key areas in the role and factors to succeed in this career. Also, I had one-on-one guidance from Careers in relation to the enhancement of my applications and interview preparation.
Do you think studying in a central location such as London is beneficial for networking and career opportunities?
This is the greatest thing about staying in London; the networking and career opportunities. London is one of the greatest financial hubs on the planet. By being so close to all the big firms, it makes it so much easier to speak to individuals that are working towards the same goals as you. Through actually being able to see your dreams in front of you every single day, it only provides you with greater motivation to succeed in your chosen field.
Where do you live in London and why did you choose to live there?
I live in Griffon Studios (postgraduate accommodation). This was very convenient for me as it is really close to Imperial, amongst other places such as The City, Oxford Street, Piccadilly Circus, Covent Garden and Shoreditch. It created an excellent balance between life at the Business School and the social life outside of studying.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time in London? Have you had opportunities to travel?
Since London is central to Europe, I have had the opportunity to travel to various cities around Europe at ease.
The night life in London is truly amazing, with every area providing a different atmosphere meaning you never run out of ideas and places to go to.
I am an avid football fan and with a large amount of clubs in London, I was able to enjoy going to a number of Arsenal games, both home and away.
What have been the benefits and challenges of moving to London? What advice would you give to someone in a similar position?
I found it easy to move to London from Glasgow because of the people in the city. It was easy to settle in, moving away from home, because there is so much to do, the city never sleeps and you are constantly part of the thrill the city brings.
I would say to enjoy yourself because there is no city quite like London. It may be daunting at first, since it is so big, but you’ll soon settle in and begin to love the city.
What advice would you give someone who is thinking about applying for the programme?
If you are thinking of entering the financial services industry then Imperial College Business School is the place to be. It offers all the services you need to get to your goals, whether that be in Investment Banking or working in a start-up. Imperial College has it all. The programmes are specifically designed to teach you essential skills required to excel in the industry. The knowledge gained is invaluable and with such a high level of experience from the lecturers, your experience will be great. It is not by coincidence that Imperial College is one of the best universities in the world; they ensure every student has the qualities and skills to succeed in any given career and they provide help in every step of the journey.