Academic and industry experience before Imperial
What work experience/internships did you have before beginning with Imperial College Business School?
I had an audit internship at PwC for three months in the commercial industry and at KPMG for another three months in the financial service industry. Both of them were in Thailand.
Why did you decide to study an MSc in Finance & Accounting and why specifically at Imperial College Business School?
As my undergraduate degree is BBA in accounting, I would like to extend my knowledge into finance while looking into accounting with a different perspective. I believe a combination of the two degrees would best prepare me for financial advisory or corporate finance (banking), which I wish to pursue. Imperial College Business School is a world-class finance business school with a quantitative approach that is useful for a real-world professional career.
Studying MSc Finance & Accounting
What makes the MSc Finance & Accounting at Imperial College Business School unique?
This course is perfect for those who like accounting but want to extend their knowledge towards finance as it provides the best of both worlds. Here in the MSc Finance & Accounting programme, you will learn finance modules, while accounting programmes strengthen your understanding of financial statements, which allows for more effective analysis.
What aspects of the programme do you most enjoy, and find most rewarding?
The Business School provides several ice breaking events for students to get involved in and get to know one another better. I was surprised that there were networking events almost every day for months. The most memorable one was in the Science Museum as the environment was very cool.
What has been the most challenging part of the programme?
As this is a world-class university, I find the courses can be very demanding.
What has been the most rewarding part of the programme?
In addition to the vast choices of electives you have, there are also optional workshops for MSc students to develop their soft skills such as persuasion, presentation, report writing, etc. Classes on C++ and VBA are also available for students who have an interest in quantitative careers. Learning doesn’t just end with main modules and that’s what makes the programmes at the Business School rewarding.
Which has been your favourite module so far and why?
My favourite module is Accounting and Valuation as the lecturer is very knowledgeable and uses real-life examples to illustrate the concepts instead of traditional case studies.
Which seminars, events or guest lectures at the school have been useful in developing your skills and knowledge?
One of the events that has interested me was the soft skill training workshop held on a skyscraper in Central London. Having workshops where you can make friends and practice your problem solving skills is really enjoyable, not to mention the view was astonishing. Furthermore, lectures are not pure lectures: for example, the Management Accounting module invited a guest lecturer from CIMA who provided us with a CIMA case practice where we got to solve problems in teams. It was very useful to connect concepts with some practical cases in a way that was interesting.
Did you have a favourite professor/lecturer and why?
I have two: the first one is James Sefton, who is our lecturer as well as the Programme Director for MSc Finance & Accounting. He always listens to, and understands, his students and does his best to make this programme even more enjoyable. The second one is David Miles; having tremendous experiences dealing with economic policies at the Bank of England, he has an in-depth understanding of the subject and teaches it very well.
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?
I feel that putting us into groups promotes class cohesion, rather than conflict. It allows me to get to know people quicker especially during the first few weeks. Moreover, working in groups of diverse students allows you to overcome culture barriers as well as improving teamwork abilities.
How would you describe your cohort at Imperial?
Despite coming from various locations across the globe, I find my classmates to be outgoing, which makes them easy to approach. Furthermore, this diversity gives me greater understanding of different cultures.
What clubs, societies or other activities have you been involved in at Imperial?
There are a range of activities to choose from. I decided to choose an academic leader role in the Student-Staff Committee where I represent the class and staff. In my point of view, having a strengthening leadership role is crucial and useful for any future career.
Opportunities from studying at Imperial
What has been the greatest opportunity you have had at Imperial that you wouldn’t get anywhere else?
Imperial is well known for its quantitative approach to teachings. Materials thought in class always involve formulas and calculations, and I think these make the MSc programmes solid. Be sure you are comfortable with this approach.
Career goals and jobs
How have you benefited from the services provided by Careers?
When I first came to this school, I was surprised that it had this department preparing us with career opportunities and mock interviews, which were all useful for successful job applications.
What are your future career goals and how have they been realised since being at Imperial?
My future goals are to work as a financial advisor, and Imperial is providing me with the career-specific skills, while Careers is there to help me acquire the job.
Where do you see yourself upon completing the programme?
I would like to begin my career path as either a corporate finance analyst at a bank or a financial advisory firm.
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 one of the world’s leading financial service centres. Many well known companies carry out their career events at our university and this provides us with opportunities to approach them to ask for deeper information while networking. Many individuals that come to the events are Imperial alumni, which makes it even easier to approach them.
Where do you live in London and why did you choose to live there?
I live in the Hammersmith area and I choose to live here because it a transport hub, making it convenient to commute. The area, in the west of London, also has plenty of restaurants and shops to explore while not being too crowded with tourists.
What can a weekend in London look like for an MSc student?
London is a city with plenty of attractions. Most of my weekends were used to explore these areas as well as chill out in the green parks.
In your opinion, tell us about the most exciting, undiscovered place in London.
London is also known for its parks. I was surprised that there are various unknown gardens that turned out to be more classic than popular ones like Hyde Park. For example, Kews Garden is a good spot for Sakura Blossom, which even most residents in London are unaware of.
Advice for future students
What advice would you give someone who was thinking about applying for the programme?
Firstly, you will have to know yourself well in terms of what you want to do and what you like to be in the future. That will allow you to choose the major that is consistent with your goal. Secondly, it is best to do thorough research on the programme to make sure it fits your goal (i.e. modules, teaching approaches). Finally, get in touch with alumni as they will be helpful in guiding you through the application process.
Share with us a handy hint or trick which makes campus life that much easier!
Make lots of friends on the first few days and be sure to explore London with them. Your life will be easier in terms of studies, travelling, and career as you will be helping each other throughout the course.