Paros Arora, MSc Financial Technology 2019-20, student at Imperial College Business School

Programme: MSc Financial Technology

Nationality: Indian

Education: BEng Electronics and Communication, Thapar University

About you

What work experience/internships did you have before beginning with Imperial College Business School?

Prior to joining Imperial College Business School, I was working as a Design Verification Engineer at Texas Instruments, Bangalore for the Automotive Ethernet Division for a year and before that I worked as a Digital Design Intern at the same firm for a period of six months.

Why did you decide to study an MSc Financial Technology at Imperial College Business School?

Having studied Engineering and coming from a business family, I always had an inclination towards finance. The way the economy operates, how the financial and banking system works always fascinated me. The advancement of technology and its adaption in the current financial system is at its peak. So, I decided to combine both my interest in finance and my expertise in tech to see how it shapes my future. This programme at Imperial is unparalleled. We are taught by the world’s greatest faculty and have access to the latest resources. Since Imperial is a technological university, there is so much innovation happening all around the campus. There are plenty of opportunities to network with people from computer science, business and engineering departments.


What aspects of the programme do you most enjoy the most?

I feel that this programme is the right mix of finance and technology. From learning cutting-edge and emerging technologies such as blockchain and machine learning to fundamentals of corporate finance and portfolio management, I have immersed myself into this vast world of tech and how it can improve the current Finance sector. 

Which has been your favourite module so far and why?

My favourite modules so far have been Advanced Corporate Finance and Big Data in Finance. These modules are preparing me to learn the core fundamentals of corporate finance and the different applications of machine learning in finance.

What has been the most rewarding part of the programme?

The opportunity to interact and work in teams with people coming from different backgrounds and nationalities has been something that I cherish the most. Listening to varied opinions makes you feel differently, leads to the development of your own perspective and betters your communication skills. More importantly, I have learnt the art of working in a group and honed my ability to meet deadlines despite challenges.

What has been the most challenging part of the programme? 

The most challenging part throughout the programme has been to stay focused on meeting my short-term and long-term goals. Managing personal, university and social life is a really difficult task. Meeting deadlines (13 in the spring term), applying for jobs and internships drains out the energy out of you. But, despite these challenges, I feel at the end of this programme, I will come out stronger and sharper.


How would you describe your cohort at Imperial?

The cohort is extremely energetic and inspiring. It pushes you to bring out the best in you. Since we are a small cohort, everyone knows each other personally and it’s so much fun to work with such an amazing and diverse set of classmates on projects.

Did you have a favourite professor/lecturer and why?

The faculty here at Imperial is amazing. I don’t have one specific favourite professor, as such, but I really enjoyed Dr Rajkamal Iyer’s lectures for the Advanced Corporate Finance elective. He taught the concepts in a fun and easy manner.


What has been the greatest opportunity you have had at Imperial?

The greatest opportunity for me at Imperial has been to be a part of the Student-Staff Committee as the Academic Leader. Being the Academic Leader, I get to interact with the Programme team, Programme Directors and the Professors. My main responsibility is to pass on the student’s feedback back to the Programme team and help to resolve student grievances. We also lookout for ways to make this programme better for the next cohort.

Which workshops, events or guest lectures at the school have been useful in developing your skills and knowledge?

There are so many events and workshops happening throughout campus. We have had different guest speakers from the industry to give talks for two of our modules – Blockchain and Applications, and Big Data in Finance. These guest lectures are extremely useful and help us to relate how the content we are studying in the classroom is applied in the real world. Apart from this, there are so many different workshops on how to use Bloomberg terminals, Tableau, etc. that are organised by the different Career Clubs

What clubs, societies or other activities have you been involved in at Imperial? Do you hold a student leadership position?

I am the Student-Staff Committee Academic Leader and the Student Ambassador for the MSc Financial Technology programme. Apart from this, I also hold the position of the Vice President of the India Business Careers Club. All of these positions of responsibility have helped me to develop the ability to juggle tasks and to keep a calm attitude in high-pressure situations.

Have you had opportunities to work/socialise with students across programmes within the Business School?

Yes, our programme team occasionally organises cross-programme social events, where we get to meet people from different programmes. Joining different Career Clubs also provides you with the opportunity to meet people from within the Business School. There is plenty of opportunities to network and meet new and interesting people.

How have you benefited from the Business School’s connection to the Imperial College London community?

The Alumni Relations team is a great starting point if you want to reach out to any person from the industry. We used their contacts to invite a few guest speakers at one of our events at the India Business Club.


What are your future career goals and how have they been realised since being at Imperial?

My goal is to land a job in the fintech industry. Currently, I am trying to find some internship opportunities in fintech or data science roles.

London Location

Do you think studying in a central location such as London is beneficial for networking and career opportunities?

London is the financial hub of the world. Studying in a central London location is awesome to meet new and interesting people. The Alumni Relations team can help you to reach out to alumni already working in the industry. You can go for coffee meetups with people you connect with on LinkedIn or through Imperial College Business School Careers.

Where do you live in London and why did you choose to live there?

I live in student accommodation at Imperial’s White City Campus. It is not too far from Imperial, plus there is a free shuttle service which runs between Imperial’s different campuses.

When you’re not studying, what do you enjoy doing?

Being in London provides you with so many opportunities to socialise. It is a beautiful city and there is so much happening all around the year. On weekends, I prefer to hang out with my friends. We go for dinners, watch movies, try cooking or different activities like paintball, ice-skating and dancing.

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 one of the most student-friendly cities in the world. Despite this, there are many challenges that I faced once I moved to London. It is culturally very different from India, so it took me a couple of months to get used to life here. My advice would be to manage your expenses well, since it is an expensive city and to always keep a positive attitude. There are plenty of things and activities you can learn on-campus as well as off-campus. So, make the most out of your time whilst you are in London.


What advice would you give someone who is thinking about applying for the programme?

My advice for prospective students would be to research the different aspects of the programme - the core modules, choice of electives, kind of jobs and sectors you can get into after doing this Masters’. Most importantly, it is essential that you have a clear picture of what you want to do in your life and how your career is shaped going ahead. So, if you are still unsure, it is common and all right. Just take a deep breath, read about a few job descriptions and the skill sets which are trending in the current world, talk to different people and you will be able to figure it out. I wish you the best of luck for your career and life in general.

Programme: MSc Financial Technology

Nationality: Indian

Education: BEng Electronics and Communication, Thapar University