What work experience/internships did you have before beginning with Imperial College Business School?
Prior to joining Imperial College Business School, I took a professional year after completing my Dual Bachelor Degree between Sciences Po Paris and Columbia University. I did a six-month Private Equity Analyst off-cycle internship at Idinvest Partners in Paris, FR in the Private Funds Group in the Primary Commitments and Co-Investment branch. Then, I did a six-month Mergers & Acquisitions Analyst off-cycle internship at Natixis Partners in Paris, France.
Why did you decide to study an MSc Finance at Imperial College Business School?
After having worked for a year, I thought getting an MSc Finance would help me further pursue my career, whether in France or in the UK, and strengthen my financial theoretical knowledge as I had never taken a finance class in my academic career.
Imperial College Business School is a school that values professional experiences and I thought it was important for me to surround myself with similar peers.
Did you receive a scholarship? If yes, what were the benefits of receiving this?
I received the Women in Finance Scholarship. First of all, it allowed me to take part in activities such as the Women in Finance Webinar or the Women in Finance campus breakfast and meet other female students across the different Masters’ of the Business School as well as network with other women in the industry. Second of all, I believe that it strengthens my application/resume for any professional opportunities as I was recognised by Imperial College Business School as a good candidate for the MSc programme.
What aspects of the programme did you enjoy the most?
The aspect that I enjoyed the most was my Master’s cohort. I met amazing people that have such different backgrounds and was able to surround myself with great friends. As we were looking for jobs at the beginning of the year, having that type of support was very helpful.
Which has been your favourite module so far and why?
When I was considering different universities for Master level, I looked at the catalogue of classes each university had and could potentially be of interest to me. In my personal statement, I remember writing about the Private Equity & Venture Capital class taught at Imperial and I would have to say that I was not disappointed.
My favourite module has been Private Equity and Venture Capital taught by Sebastien Canderle. Having had a professional experience in Private Equity, the subject was more appealing to me. In addition, the class coursework included practical modelling exercises, which are very important because it is the type of things you will find yourself doing at the end of your MSc in any type of finance related careers. I really enjoyed the way the class was taught by the Professor as he is not a scholar per se, but someone that comes from the industry. He was able to share his knowledge of many years being part of the industry, talking about certain types of deals, which was very interesting and entertaining.
What has been the most challenging part of the programme?
Imperial College London has the reputation to require its students to possess a strong quantitative background. The most challenging part of the programme has been the strong quantitative side of the MSc with classes such as Derivatives. The MSc Finance is tailored for students that either want to pursue a career in Financial Markets/Sales or Investment Banking. Students whose profile have a strong emphasis on Corporate Finance like me struggled to keep up, but consequently gained more knowledge from the classes.
How would you describe your cohort at Imperial?
My cohort was 50% females and 50% males, which is surprising for a Finance Master’s programme as it is a male dominated industry. The programme team has put a lot of effort into promoting Women in the Master’s programme and do many events around that. My cohort was very international and I benefited and learned from meeting a diverse group of individuals. The MSc Finance is a real melting pot of nationalities and culture.
Did you have a favourite professor/lecturer and why?
There are two professors that really struck with me. The first one as mentioned before is Sebastien Canderle from Private Equity & Venture Capital class, because he is not a typical Professor, it is someone that was working before and decided to teach afterwards, so he knows so much about the industry and the subject that he teaches in a very pragmatic manner. It is refreshing to have a Professor that is not a scholar per se, but is able to share some of his experiences with his students. It is the most practical class that I have taken at Imperial College Business School, because the knowledge he gave me is applicable in a real world professional world.
The second one would also be the Derivatives Professor. Even though, I struggled and found his class the most challenging that I have ever taken in my academic career he made himself available through office hours and tried to help through all of the materials understanding my weaknesses and strengths in the subject. He helped me navigate the materials and get ready for the final exam.
What has been the greatest opportunity you have had at Imperial?
The greatest opportunity that I have had at Imperial is building a network within my cohort and outside of it by having the brand name Imperial. Doing an MSc in Finance means that every student is interested by finance and will eventually work in the same industry as you, which is a great way to build a network for the future. In addition, you can also reach out to alumni of Imperial College Business School.
What clubs, societies or other activities have you been involved in at Imperial? Do you hold a student leadership position?
I was a student ambassador at the Business School and I took part in some of the Women in Finance events.
What are your future career goals and how have they been realised since being at Imperial?
As I worked before coming to Imperial, I was set on what I wanted to achieve at the end of my MSc. I want to work in Investment Banking, specialised in the mid-market. I am currently doing a Summer Analyst Internship in London at Robert W. Baird, an Investment Bank that focuses on the mid-market.
How did the services from Careers help you secure employment and help in your professional development?
I used Careers to tailor my resume and cover letters to the UK standards. Being a native French speaker, but having lived in the United States for eight years the professional wording of things differs obviously and having the opportunity to fit more within the UK standards was great.
A lot of applications start in September and most international students don’t necessarily know that so it was good at the beginning to have Careers do some workshops to kind of “put pressure” on us and let us know that opportunities were happening now and we should not let them slip away.
Do you think studying in a central location such as London is beneficial for networking and career opportunities?
Studying in a central location such as London is beneficial, because it is one of the world’s biggest financial hubs so opportunities are awaiting for you, but it is just a matter of whether or not you are ready to grasp them.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time in London? Have you had opportunities to travel?
In my spare time, I like to explore the city with my friends. There are such diverse neighborhoods in London, so you can do something different every weekend and it is great to live in a city that moves and that is consistently evolving. I have not had too many opportunities to travel except to go home a few times.
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?
London is amazing city – it is constantly evolving and international/cosmopolitan city. There is always something new do. I think for me, it is the perfect spot as it is somewhat similar to New York with an always moving city (where I used to live) and it is also very close to home (Paris) so I can also go back very easily.
The most difficult part has been housing I would have to say as London is a big and quite expensive city.
Looking back to when you were applying for the programme, did you attend any online webinars 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?
Unfortunately, I did not attend any of those. However, before choosing Imperial, I talked to some alumni of the MSc Finance that I used to work with and they convinced me that this would be the right programme for me and a good step to achieve my career goals.
What advice would you give someone who is thinking about applying for the programme?
My advice would be to choose a programme where students are there to learn but also focus on their career goals. Imperial College Business School is a business school – not just university – which means that students will get a much more practical learning experience. Imperial College Business School focuses on helping you get a job at the end, which is in my mind the most important reason to join.
My other advice would be to get ready in September to hit the ground, figure out what you want to do and then use all of the tools available to you to achieve your career goals. The opportunities are there for you to take, but it is just a matter whether or not you are ready to work to get them.