Begum Gulce Kogar
What work experience/internships did you have before beginning with Imperial College Business School?
I interned at EY, in Financial Services Consulting just before starting at Imperial College. I had some other consulting and finance experiences including APCO Worldwide, Istanbul Stock Exchange and Turkish British Chamber of Commerce.
Why did you decide to study MSc in Finance & Accounting and why specifically at Imperial College Business School?
My main reason for choosing Imperial College was that it is one of the most innovative universities in the world. I had the opportunity to follow entrepreneurship events during my studies and discover the area that I am interested in. Imperial also provides great networking and a high profile cohort that helps you to enhance your knowledge and personal development each day.
What aspects of the programme do you most enjoy, and find most rewarding?
The programme is well designed by teaching you the technical foundations with current trends in the sector. We had many case studies and real-life examples where we applied what we learned.
Which has been your favourite module so far and why?
FinTech for sure! We looked at the applications of various FinTech topics including Artificial Intelligence, Alternative Finance, Regtech. I enjoyed the work the most where you have to design your own FinTech startup and come up with a PitchBook.
What has been the most challenging part of the programme?
The most challenging part is about how busy you will get during the Masters that you have to schedule your time very well.
Did you attend an international trip? If so, which trips did you attend and how have they been beneficial to you?
No but during the Easter Break I interned at the OECD in Paris when researching for my Applied Project topic; Alternative Finance, SMEs and Entrepreneurship.
How would you describe your cohort at Imperial?
Top tier students from all around the world!
Did you have a favourite professor/lecturer and why?
Raj Iyer, Lecturer in Advanced Corporate Finance. He taught us the most essential points of Corporate Finance with clarity. We used many Harvard Case Studies where we discovered sector specific differences and applications of Corporate Finance. He broadened my perspective by showing non-traditional aspects of decision making in an investment.
What has been the greatest opportunity you have had at Imperial?
The Imperial name is a great icebreaker. Once, I was networking in a well-known crowdfunding company. I met their CEO and I told I am from Imperial College Business School. His first sentence was ‘Wow you must be a genius!’
Which workshops, events or guest lectures at the school have been useful in developing your skills and knowledge?
I followed Enterprise Lab where I have attended many entrepreneurship events. It was great to see Imperial College start-ups and find out pitching techniques. I also regularly attend The Brevan Howard Centre for Financial Analysis events that focuses on current macro trends globally.
What clubs, societies or other activities have you been involved in at Imperial? Do you hold a student leadership position?
I am the President of Sustainability and Social Impact Club. We organised many events including Impact Investing and Social Entrepreneurship panels. It was a great experience for me to meet with sector leaders and students with the same interest. I also took part in Consulting and Finance Clubs.
What are your future career goals and how have they been realised since being at Imperial?
Disruptive technologies are changing our environment so much. Imperial helped me to plan my career path by showing and teaching on these topics. My plan is to have a career in FinTech that could be in payment systems or alternative finance or digital marketing to optimise efficiency of the financial markets.
How did the services from Imperial College Business School Careers help in your professional development/securing employment?
I used Careers many times for my CV, personal statements and assessment centres of top companies such as Bain & Company, Strategy&, Lombard Odier. The team is very helpful and always tries to find the quickest way to solve your problem.
Do you think studying in a central location such as London is beneficial for networking and career opportunities?
Absolutely! Being in London is so important as there would be many events that you would attend such as company visits or networking days in corporate headquarters.
Where do you live in London and why did you choose to live there?
I lived in Chelsea, South Kensington area. It is close to Imperial College, safe and central.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time in London? Have you had opportunities to travel?
Although I live in West London, I am a big fan of East! Starting from Covent Garden, City area, Shoreditch, Hoxton and Hackney are my favourite places where I can find many creative works. I always discover new things despite going there so often. I also adore street food markets, and highly recommend Borough Market.
What have been the benefits and challenges of moving to London? What advice would you give to someone in a similar position?
To be focused is the most essential thing. London is very diverse, it can be seemed as complex in that sense, and you can easily distracted, but if you have a specific topic that interests you, it allows to specialise and become an expert.
Looking back to when you were applying for the programme, did you attend any online webinars or on-campus information sessions?
I attended an on campus information evening where I had the chance to discover the perspective of Imperial College and how it is different from other London universities. I also reached out to some alumni through LinkedIn before applying and heard their experiences. It helped me a lot while writing my personal statement.