Sukrit Mike Friestad
Academic and industry experience before Imperial
What work experience/internships did you have before beginning with Imperial College Business School?
I had taken part in three summer internships within the finance sector before starting my studies here at Imperial College Business School. In addition, I enjoyed a year working for a non-profit organisation in Norway as its Head of Finance.
Why did you decide to study an MSc in Finance & Accounting and why specifically at Imperial College Business School?
My reason for choosing MSc Finance & Accounting is the modular structure of the programme, allowing me to tailor the degree to fit my specific career goals. Understanding company accounts is vital to any career path and will allow me to differentiate myself from other pure finance students when competing for employment at top securities firms. In addition, core modules such as Managerial Accounting would enable me to further my career towards management level, as the degree would equip me with the skills essential for effective leadership in an increasingly volatile business world.
Studying MSc Finance & Accounting
What makes the MSc Finance & Accounting at Imperial College Business School unique?
The uniqueness of Finance & Accounting at the Business School is that the programme offers a strong mix of both theoretical and practical modules. It allows you to understand the underlying concepts and put them into practice at different workshops. In addition, the wide range of electives allows you to tailor your degree to meet your future aspiration.
What aspects of the programme do you most enjoy, and find most rewarding?
The aspect that I enjoy the most about the programme is the number of the courses that are led by practitioners who bring in new and up-to-date insights on the content of the courses, which allows us to be better informed about the current issues.
What has been the most challenging part of the programme?
The most challenging part of the programme is probably the high level of expectation to perform well from the moment we start the programme, with quite an intensive first semester. However, looking back, you actually appreciate the pressure as it sets a standard for the rest of the year.
What has been the most rewarding part of the programme?
When you see that the results of your hard work has paid off, meanwhile gaining new colleagues and future connections from working in the syndicate groups for our assignments throughout the year.
Which has been your favourite module so far and why?
My favourite module so far must be the elective, structured credit and equity products, which allowed me to tailor my degree to fit my goal of working in the securities products desk. In addition, this module is led by three members of the JP Morgan’s securities team, which brings us practical knowledge that is applicable in the industry today.
Which seminars, events or guest lectures at the school have been useful in developing your skills and knowledge?
One of the outstanding events held at Imperial would have to be the stock analysis workshop held by the Career and Professional Development Service. As the session was held in small groups, we were able to interact with the guest speaker, who was a former head of equity department at a major bank, in a more casual and personal way. This allowed us to explore the subject of our interest rather than being a standard general presentation.
How would you sum up the Business School faculty?
The Business School faculty has been a delight to work with this past year. The faulty are always supportive and would try to help you out in any way possible.
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?
The focus of working in assigned teams forces us a little out of our comfort zones. It enables us to get accustomed to the idea of not being able to choose who you work with, which is a big part of being a professional, thus better preparing us for our work in the future.
How would you describe your cohort at Imperial?
My cohort here at Imperial could be described with a few highlighted adjectives: motivated, approachable and inspiring. These adjectives leave me with a feeling of pride in being an Imperial student.
What clubs, societies or other activities have you been involved in at Imperial?
I have been a member of the Finance Society here at Imperial. The membership has bought me many new opportunities to attend numerous events held by inspiring individuals, and practical workshops, which I have found very useful.
Opportunities from studying at Imperial
What has been the greatest opportunity you have had at Imperial that you wouldn’t get anywhere else?
The greatest opportunity I have had at Imperial would be the chance to focus on my career goals with the support of the various facilities. I feel like this has allowed me to gain as much as possible during my time here and has provided me with a strong foundation to step off into the business world.
How have you benefited from being part of the wider Imperial College London community?
Being part of the Imperial College London community has widened my scope of knowledge. Getting the chance to meet different people (e.g. engineers and doctors) who have different interests to mine has provided me with different perspectives in solving a problem. Listening to these individuals approach a problem in a completely different method has equipped me with a new set of skills for the future.
Career goals and jobs
How have you benefited from the services provided by the Career and Professional Development Service?
The Career and Professional Development Service has been of great assistance to me. I have utilised their help, from CV and cover letter checks, to seeking advice about my career paths and getting in touch with company contacts in order to prepare myself for an upcoming interview.
What are your future career goals and how have they been realised since being at Imperial?
My career goal is to work as an equity analyst, which requires me to gain credibility through future professional exams such as the Chartered Financial Analyst programme, which Imperial has been preparing us for. In addition, working in this industry requires not just knowledge but perseverance, which Imperial has taught us.
Where do you see yourself upon completing the programme?
I would like to get into the financial industry as an entry level analyst working with mainly equity products. As this would allow me to learn more about the market and gain the experience I need to move onto my next career move into fund management.
Life as a student in London
Do you think studying in a central location such as London is beneficial for networking and career opportunities?
Someone once told me that to be successful in something, you have to be close to its source. Studying in London has given me more exposure to the city through a variety of external events, while expanding my global network.
Where do you live in London and why did you choose to live there?
I currently reside in Hammersmith at a student housing and it has been great accommodation so far. The flat is a few minutes to walk to the tube, which can take you all over London and is only four stops away from Imperial.
What can a weekend in London look like for an MSc student?
A typical weekend for an MSc student is often the only relaxing time you get before the exam period begins. This consists mostly of hanging out with friends and taking a few hours off from studying to play football on Sundays.
In your opinion, tell us about the most exciting, undiscovered place in London.
The most exciting and undiscovered place in London would have to be the Secret Cinema, which has been an exciting experience watching hits moving in a secret location throughout London. I would love to tell you more but finding out about it is part of the experience.
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?
For me, moving to London has not been much of a challenge. As one of the most diversified city in the world, there is always something for everyone here. From fish and chips to Chinatown, the city does not really sleep.
Advice for future students
What advice would you give someone who is thinking about applying for the programme?
Get your application in early and try to get yourself as prepared as possible for the upcoming year. Getting through the year maybe a bit tough but the hard work will pay off at the end of the day.
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 was not able to attend the campus information session due to my internship. However, the online tools had helped me with getting to know Imperial more and guiding me to a better understanding of how things operate at Imperial.