Keith Bonjour

Programme: MSc Finance & Accounting

Undergraduate education: BSc Economics, Queen Mary, University of London

Keith Bonjour was an MSc Finance & Accounting class of 2016 student. After graduating from Imperial College Business School, Keith accepted a role as a Senior Associate at Mazars UK.

Academic and industry experience before Imperial

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

During my first year of undergrad, I interned at KPMG India and in my second year I interned at Hemera Financial Services.

Why did you decide to study an MSc in Finance & Accounting and why specifically at Imperial College Business School?

After doing an undergrad in Economics I wanted to deepen my knowledge of the finance sector in order to broaden my career horizons. Imperial College Business School is one of the highly ranked business schools in the UK. I choose Imperial due to the practical element in the progrmmes.

Studying MSc Finance & Accounting

What makes the MSc Finance & Accounting at Imperial College Business School unique?

Some of the most renowned people who are currently working in the finance industry teach at the Business School.

What aspects of the programme do you most enjoy, and find most rewarding?

The other students that are studying with me and being able to network with the leading firms and banks that come on campus for recruitment events.

What has been the most challenging part of the programme?

Getting to grips with the pace of the Business School, especially in the first semester.

Guest speakers

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

Networking events and guest lectures from leading personalities.

The Faculty

Did you have a favourite professor/lecturer and why?

Emiliano Pagnotta, who taught us Corporate Finance in semester one. He made it interactive, exciting and took the initiative to make us interested in the subject matter.

Your Cohort

Imperial places a large emphasis on group work; what did you like the most about working in this type of environment, whether it be group assignments or class discussions?

It helped me to personally develop my team working skills, an invaluable trait to possess for my future career.

How would you describe your cohort at Imperial?

Very friendly, helpful and sociable. They are also a mix of people who have past experience in the finance industry as well as those who have just recently graduated.

Opportunities from studying at Imperial

What has been the greatest opportunity you have had at Imperial that you wouldn’t get anywhere else?

I think being around industry specialists and also making friendships that could prove to be vital contacts in the near future.

How have you benefited from being part of the wider Imperial College London community?

You can contact the Business School alumni, who can sometimes be vital contacts that you can use in your application forms. Furthermore, if you have any questions they are more than happy to help you out, as they have themselves gone through all this.

Career goals and jobs

How have you benefited from the services provided by the Career and Professional Development Service?

I have learned how to write an effective CV in addition to keeping up-to-date with all the deadlines, especially when the first semester at Imperial is so hectic.

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

I want to have a career in investment banking. I personally think that the course is structured in a way that allows you to easily recognise what really interests you.

Have you received any job offers since commencing your programme?

I have received an offer from Mazars as an Internal Auditor. I would be joining Mazars on a three-year programme. I want to gain some experience working in the financial sector before joining an investment bank.

Life as a student in London

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

London is a financial hub with the majority of the big banks and firms having their headquarters here.

Where do you live in London and why did you choose to live there?

I live in Muswell Hill (North London). I have a house here and live with my parents.

What can a weekend in London look like for an MSc student?

It really depends which time of the year it is. At the start of semester one, I personally had no time during weekends to go out and socialise. There is so much going on in the first term, including exams, networking events and coursework so I was pretty much occupied with that. I used the weekends to catch up on anything that I had missed. However, it does get much more relaxed in the second and third term and this is when people start to go out more around London during weekends.

In your opinion, tell us about the most exciting, undiscovered place in London. 

Little Venice (it is near Camden Town – secret). It has waterside cafes, pubs and restaurants.

If you had to move to London for the programme, what have been the benefits and challenges of moving to London? What advice would you give to someone in a similar position?

Benefits would be the diverse range of people you get to meet. You also step out of your comfort zone, which helps you develop personally. A challenge is managing everything alone and being independent. Just be yourself and enjoy every moment of your time in London – student life in London may never come back again for you so make the most of it.

Advice for future students

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

It is a fantastic programme, which covers major accounting and finance concepts with much more stress on the practical aspects.

Looking back to when you were applying for the programme, did you attend any online or on campus information sessions? Did you find these a useful part of the recruitment process? Would you recommend that prospective students attend these events?

I personally did not attend any open days or on campus information session as I did my undergrad in London so had a fairly decent idea of what Imperial was like. However, I would definitely recommend prospective students to attend any of these events, as embarking on the programme is a big decision and you must be absolutely certain that you are willing to commit to it.

Share with us a handy hint or trick which makes campus life that much easier!

Be yourself and be friendly and helpful in nature.

Programme: MSc Finance & Accounting

Undergraduate education: BSc Economics, Queen Mary, University of London