Sondre Haffner Slordal
Studying MSc Finance & Accounting
Why did you choose to study MSc Finance & Accounting and why specifically at Imperial College Business School?
During my bachelor degree in Norway and working with practical real-life exercises, I knew that knowledge within accounting would be helpful working in the finance industry. Speaking with alumni students and visiting the School prior to starting also made me confident that Imperial was the right institution for me. I wanted the greatest challenge and also wanted to learn from the best. Applying for Imperial was an easy choice.
What was the most important learning point you took with you from the Business School?
I learned a lot about different cultures, working in groups, practical finance etc. But the most important learning point was to make your own decisions and to follow your heart. Don’t do anything based on what other expects you to do, but cherish your own emotions and choices.
What was the most surprising thing about the programme?
The programme is all about seeing ‘the bigger picture’ and raising my knowledge to the next level, whereas I thought it would be more technical in terms of maths and mechanical calculations. The programme makes sure that you see the connections between subjects and understand how the mechanics work together.
Career & professional development
How has the Business School helped develop your career?
Soon after I enrolled at Imperial I was given a job offer from my current employer. The Business School’s reputation helped me greatly in getting the position I wanted. The knowledge gained during my MSc has also given me a solid foundation going into the finance the industry.
How do you plan to use the skills and knowledge you gained during the programme within your career going forward?
No matter what, the learning curve is steep when you start your career after being a student. I am privileged to work in a smaller department, and naturally get to work with subjects such as restructurings, corporate governance, tax etc. in addition to equity transactions. The ability to combine knowledge and make connections between the subjects is the main skill I learned at Imperial that I use on a daily basis.
What do you enjoy most about your current work and what are the main challenges that you face?
What I enjoy is the responsibility to work directly with clients. In every case I have worked with so far, I’ve had the possibility/responsibility to propose solutions directly to our clients. At the same time, I reckon that has been the most challenging part as well. Getting new tasks within unfamiliar subjects have been fun, but at the same thing very challenging.
What is your proudest achievement in the job so far?
My proudest achievement so far in this job must be the first big case I was assigned to. Our client was really struggling with getting the necessary financing to start a project, and they were at risk of breaching several agreements if they didn’t raise enough money quickly. I was responsible for building necessary models and to visualize the project cash flows to help the company get funding from their bank. When they later got the loan agreement granted, the owner and CEO of the company were truly grateful. To see my clients that happy must be my most satisfying moment so far in the job.
The alumni network
In what way is remaining connected to your alumni network important to you?
First of all, you make friends from cultures you have never engaged with before. To have an opportunity like that is extraordinary and something that is worth maintaining once you become an alumnus. In addition these friends are most likely smart people who will go on to have successful careers in related businesses to yours. Staying in touch with these people can be the path to big opportunities to come for both parties.
Advice for future students
What advice would you give to a prospective student considering studying the same Business School programme as you?
Be curious, always participate and make sure to connect with the entire class. Be clever and keep up with lectures, but make sure to explore everything Imperial has to offer.