Economics, University of Cyprus
What work experience/internships did you have before beginning with Imperial College Business School?
Before joining the Business School, I had worked for two years at my family’s insurance office, and after that, completed three summer internships in Cyprus at Thomson Reuters, PwC and AXIA Ventures Group.
Why did you decide to study an MSc Finance at Imperial College Business School?
I chose to study the MSc Finance programme at Imperial College Business School, primarily because of its content and the way that it is structured. The aspect that I liked the most about the programme is that it is flexible in the sense that students can choose the electives they prefer and, in this way, specialise in their sector of preference. Additionally, it is structured in such a way that it is suitable for students who either want to pursue a career in the industry, in academia, or for those who have not decided yet. Some other important factors were that the program is ranked first by the Financial Times among all UK pre-experience MSc Finance programmes, the amazing track record of its previous graduates and the Business School is located in London.
Did you receive a scholarship?
I received the MSc Finance Future Leaders Scholarship. The main advantage of the scholarship is that it has allowed me to study at the Business School and afford to live in London at the same time. It has also helped during the recruitment process as it gives me a competitive edge when I go for job interviews.
What aspects of the programme do you enjoy the most?
The aspect of the programme I enjoyed the most is its applied nature. I have tailored my degree in order to help me pursue a career in the industry, rather than academia, by choosing electives that allow me to acquire and strengthen the various skills companies are looking for in their analysts. For example, by choosing electives such as Advanced Corporate Finance, Advanced Company Valuation and Private Equity and Venture Capital, Imperial gave me the opportunity to improve my financial modelling and business valuation skills, as the modules required building LBO, DCF and other types of valuation models. One other aspect I enjoyed about the programme was that it gave me plenty of opportunities to meet professionals from the City, discuss with them and get valuable career advice.
Which has been your favourite module so far and why?
My favourite module so far has been Corporate Finance. The material covered revolved around analysing the decision-making process for companies, which gave us a good understanding of how managers should go about shaping their companies’ strategies.
What has been the most rewarding part of the programme?
The most rewarding part of the programme was having the opportunity to be part of such a goal oriented, knowledgeable and focused cohort. Therefore, my advice is to try to interact with the people around you (students, professors, staff) as much as possible, as it is with no question the most valuable thing.
What has been the most challenging part of the programme?
The most challenging part so far has been the first term (October to December). It is a very intense two-month period, during which students need to attend four lectures each week and their respective tutorials, submit programme work daily, study and prepare for upcoming interviews.
How was the international trip to Dublin?
Personally, I felt that the trip to Dublin brought us together as a cohort, as it was three days with no classes to attend or work to submit. After the first term had finished, we all went home for Christmas, Dublin was our first opportunity to go out, spend more time with each other and become more acquainted.
How would you describe your cohort at Imperial?
My cohort is comprised of bright, driven and enthusiastic people, all of whom have set high goals and expectations of themselves. It has been amazing interacting with, and learning from them during the year, and I really hope Imperial is just the beginning of what will end up being important long-term relationships and friendships.
What clubs, societies or other activities have you been involved in at Imperial?
I am a member of the Business School’s Finance Club and I am also the Social Leader for the MSc Finance programme.
Do you think studying in a central location such as London is beneficial for networking and career opportunities?
It is undoubtedly very beneficial, because one can attend interviews and networking events right after classes, or even during long breaks. I personally have attended many networking events at the City of London or at Canary Wharf in afternoons right after classes.
When you’re not studying, what do you enjoy doing?
During the weekdays, when I am not studying, you will most likely find me in the gym at Imperial. The Business School have all different kinds of fitness training available, from weight lifting to swimming and even rock climbing. During the weekends, I like to try out new things and London is a city where there is always something new happening.
What have been the benefits and challenges of moving to London? What advice would you give to someone in a similar position?
I didn’t face any particularly great challenges when moving to London, butI would advise people to arrive a week earlier in order to arrange everything before classes begin, because once they do, one simply does not have time for pretty much anything else. On the other hand, the benefits of living in London are countless –museums, theatres, stand-up comedy shows, football games, food markets and rooftop bars are just a few of the things one can enjoy in London.
Looking back to when you were applying for the programme, did you attend any online webinars or on-campus information sessions?
I attended an online webinar, which was very helpful in terms of the application process. Sometimes it is cumbersome going through all the information documents in order to understand exactly what you need to do to submit and complete a successful application. However, the webinars provide opportunities to ask questions directly to staff from Imperial’s admission office and get personalised advice on your application. I have also attended an on-campus event as a student and must admit that prospective students attending these events find them way more useful than the online ones.
What advice would you give someone who is thinking about applying for the programme?
Do not hesitate at all to reach out, whether it is though LinkedIn or Unibuddy, to as many people as you can, who have attended the programme and ask them specific questions. I did that and it was useful as I knew what to expect and how to prepare for it in advance.