Guillaume Hercot
Internship, UBS
Recipient of the Future Leaders Scholarship

Guillaume studied BA Maths and Statistics at McGill University, where he placed in the top 10% of his year. He also has extensive volunteering experience, earning him the Future Leaders Scholarship.

Guillaume came to the Business School following an internship at Tikehau Investment Management and has secured a second internship at UBS on completion of  MSc Finance.

Experience before studying MSc Finance

What work experience did you have before coming to Imperial College Business School?

Before joining the Business School I had just completed an internship at Tikehau Investment Management, a Paris-based diversified investment firm. This introduction to the financial world allowed me to experience first-hand the sector I had always dreamt of working in. In addition to many interesting aspects of the various projects I worked on, I valued the responsibility they gave me, which incentivised me to pursue a career in the financial industry. This is why I decided to pursue an MSc in Finance, to acquire stronger financial knowledge and put myself into the best position to begin a career in investment banking.

What achievement are you most proud of to date?

My greatest passion is playing chess. Since my third birthday, I have been extremely involved in this and I travelled all around France to play tournaments. This led me to participate in the French Chess Championship, where I was awarded 1st place in Paris and 13th in France.

Studying MSc Finance

Why did you choose to study MSc Finance?

Imperial’s MSc Finance is well-known for its quantitative emphasis. As I hold a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics & Statistics, Imperial College Business School was the perfect place for me to continue my studies. I also value the flexibility of the programme and the wide variety of electives we can choose from, ranging from highly mathematical courses to more qualitative ones. The practical relevance of the programme appealed to me, with workshops for programming languages like VBA or C++. Finally, I find the numerous talks by guest speakers very interesting and perfect for networking.

Why were you awarded the Future Leaders Scholarship?

I was awarded the Future Leaders Scholarship for outstanding career potential. It was the result of many years of hard work, demonstrated by my position on my undergraduate university’s Dean’s List, which recognised the top 10% of students on my degree programme, and also the volunteering projects I had been involved in. I participated in the construction of a school in an Indian village and also led creative workshops in primary schools to raise funds to vaccinate children.

What do you feel makes MSc Finance at Imperial College Business School unique?

I think Imperial College Business School’s uniqueness comes from its students. The programmes offered are very challenging, but the strong interaction between the world-class professors and the brilliant students make the programmes even more interesting. The opportunity we have to work with students from all over the world and to develop ideas together in groups is fantastic. My own team represents four nations – Germany, China, Cyprus and France.

What parts of the programme are you enjoying most and what are you looking forward to?

I am enjoying working with my team. All the projects we have done so far went perfectly and we always perform better when we get along with the people we are working with. I am excited to continue working with them on many more projects. I am also looking forward to travelling to Dublin with my class at the beginning of January for the European Finance Trip.

What is the most challenging thing about studying MSc Finance?

So far, the most challenging part has been combining my job search with the four core modules. They each require hours of personal study at the library, but I feel like they complement each other well. Together, they help us to understand the ‘big picture’ of what finance is and how all the individual aspects of finance are related.

Life as a student in London

How do you find living in London?

I strongly believe that London is one of the best cities to live in. Even though it is quite expensive, the wide variety of activities and events available is unique. It is impossible to be bored and you will never stop discovering new aspects of the city. As a French person, I feel my culture matches English culture very well. English culture is very welcoming. London is the most dynamic city in the world and I cannot think of one single reason why someone wouldn’t want to join it.

Career and professional development

What are your short and long term career plans?

After completing MSc Finance, I will be joining UBS for a summer internship in trading within the Equities team, with the aim of then joining this leading investment bank full-time in an Analyst role. I believe such a role will offer me unparalleled exposure to major players in the business world at an early stage in my career, while allowing me to develop advanced technical and analytical skills. The high intensity, steep learning curve and numerical component of the job are all key aspects that I am looking for in a future career. In the longer term, I hope to establish strong relationships with my colleagues and evolve through the ranks as a trader.

How have you worked with the Business School’s Careers and Professional Development Service?

Since the beginning of MSc Finance in September, I have been working with the Careers and Professional Development Service very frequently. The Careers Consultants know what makes a good CV and cover letter and helped me tailor them for the specific positions I was applying to during one-to-one sessions. I also had the opportunity to book several mock interviews and group assessment centre preparation sessions, to make sure I was well-prepared when I met the real interviewers. I would advise students to use this service as much as they can.

Advice for future students

Do you have a ‘top tip’ for future MSc Finance students?

Start your job search and applications in early September, while undertaking the pre-study modules. After this period, the programme becomes very intense with all the core modules and the time you are left with is limited.

What advice would you give someone thinking of applying to the Business school?

Know that you will need to work hard in order to keep up with the high standards of Imperial College Business School. Have a look at all the programmes that are offered to see which interests you most. You then need to demonstrate why this Business School in particular is right for you and why you are the ideal student for them.

MSc Finance
Undergraduate education :

BA Mathematics and Statistics, McGill University

Job prior to Imperial College Business School :

Internship, Tikehau Investment Management

Employment after studying at the Business School :

Internship, UBS Recipient of the Future Leaders Scholarship