Merve Sahin, MSc Finance & Accounting 2020-21, student at Imperial College Business School
Programme:
MSc Finance & Accounting
Nationality:
British/Turkish
Education:

BSc Economics and Finance, University of Surrey

Company and role secured after programme:

Summer Analyst, Amplify Trading

About you

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

I have been keen to experience the real-life application of finance from an age as young as 17. As a result, I have invested time exploring several sectors: investment banking at UBS, central banking at Bank of England, accounting at PwC, and insurance at Tokio Marine Kiln (a global specialist insurance company). Prior to this, I started my own business in the catering industry which I ran for several years before returning to my studies. All my experiences have been valuable in shaping my future aspirations and developing my skillset.

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

The Master's programme at Imperial is one of the best offered in the world and is perfectly in line with my future aspirations. In the final year of my undergraduate studies I researched various programmes, however, my heart was set on Imperial from the very beginning. The topics taught were in line with my interests and built on everything I had learned previously. The workshops, Careers support and electives offered were particularly appealing to me. Overall, I am confident I made the right decision.

Programme

What aspects of the programme do you most enjoy the most?

The practical application of every module taught is the aspect I appreciate the most. I have learned so much from the first week the programme began. I have improved my Excel skills, understanding of the markets and the necessary modules to study for different areas of finance. I particularly enjoy being taught by remarkable professors with a wealth of academic experience and knowledge. Having chosen the entrepreneurial route, I decided to take the Entrepreneurial Finance elective taught by a Harvard lecturer — Visiting Professor Ramana Nanda. Moreover, the guest lecturers presented in some modules are highly senior finance practitioners who have a great deal of industry knowledge. Everything combined has equipped me well for the world of finance.

Which has been your favourite module so far, and why?

My favourite module thus far has been Fundamentals of Derivatives with Dr Savitar Sundaresan. I thoroughly enjoyed deriving complex mathematical models . Dr Sundaresan’s teaching enabled me to feel engaged and challenged in an enjoyable environment constantly. He also made the module approachable to all students so that both experienced and inexperienced students could follow. Thus, Dr Sundaresan is also my favourite lecturer at Imperial.

What has been the most rewarding part of the programme?

Exploring different cultures and identifying with other members of the university is what I valued the most. The diverse culture embodied within Imperial is truly admirable. Also, once I graduate from Imperial College Business School, I will be the first person in my family to have obtained, not only an undergraduate degree, but also a postgraduate degree. I am highly honoured to be graduating from one of the best universities in the world.

What has been the most challenging part of the programme?

The most challenging aspect of the programme is the tight deadlines for coursework and exams, especially in the second semester. The ability to manage a part-time position tutoring mathematics, coupled with job applications and studying my Master's has enabled me to manage my time better and equip me for a front-office role. Furthermore, it has allowed me to become more resilient and deal better with high-pressure environments.

How have you found the multi-mode teaching delivery?

I appreciate Imperial for allowing us to attend lectures in a multi-mode setting, while most universities across the UK were delivered online. The multi-mode teaching was thoroughly planned, enabling the students to feel safe and gain in-person interaction with the professors.

People

How would you describe your cohort at Imperial?

Intelligent, international and interesting. Every individual I have met has a remarkable story and skills to learn from. Interacting with such a fantastic group has also contributed to my skillset and way of thinking and has allowed me to acquire a more diverse perspective. I have made some amazing friends that I will cherish for a lifetime.

Opportunities

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

The most significant opportunity I have had at Imperial is having access to study skills sessions with one of Imperial’s specialist specific learning difficulty tutors, Emma Morrison, where I have learned various skills and techniques to improve my learning. I have a specific learning difficulty — dyspraxia — so having access to these sessions improves my learning experience and enables me to manage my time better. There is also an extensive list of applications to enhance my learning and social events to meet other students in the university with learning difficulties. Dr Benita Cox has also been a key figure who has supported me in my learning from the very beginning.

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

I have had the privilege of meeting many students from my cohort and the other Finance programmes. In the multi-mode environment, I met many students online before we met in person. In the second term, we created a study bubble with five other students to exchange ideas and learn together. With lockdown lifting, I have had the opportunity to dine and socialise with many members of the cohort, which has enhanced my experience immensely.

Career

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

In the summer, I will be joining Amplify’s summer analyst programme. I first became aware of Amplify through a two-day trading simulation offered in the first semester. I am keen to improve my skillset before joining the workforce; thus, I am delighted with my chosen path.

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

From the start of the semester, my career consultant has supported me in developing my CV, building my network on LinkedIn and writing my cover letters. I feel highly supported by Careers, and I am joining as many webinars as I can every semester to develop my workforce skills further. This is particularly important to me as, in the past few years, I have been running my own business instead of applying to financial jobs.

London Location

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

I love spending time with friends from the cohort, learning about their culture and background over a glass of wine! I created a support bubble with fellow Imperial students as I love creating strong bonds with like-minded individuals. We toured London together, went out to eat and drink and managed to break down the barrier created by virtual classes. I also love boxing to relieve the weekly stress!

Tips

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

Many incoming students have reached out to me on LinkedIn to find out more about the MSc programmes at Imperial. I encourage all students who are thinking of applying to reach out to alumni and current students to gain insight into the programmes at Imperial. I reached out to a student who graduated last year to gain advice on what electives to choose and understand the programme further. Coming prepared for the programme will help you focus on academics and manage your time better while applying for jobs.

Interested in applying for a scholarship to this programme?

Programme:
MSc Finance & Accounting
Nationality:
British/Turkish
Education:

BSc Economics and Finance, University of Surrey

Company and role secured after programme:

Summer Analyst, Amplify Trading