Yanina Opanasenko
MSc Financial Technology

About you

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

My work experience prior to joining Imperial was in various sectors. The first UK work experience was a part-time internship during my second year of undergraduate at North Yorkshire and East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership as an Economic Data Analyst, 2018. That summer, I joined the Institute of Economic Affairs as an intern. The year after, I secured a Technology Summer Internship – Business and Data Analytics at Morgan Stanley, where I will be returning to after graduating.

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

MSc Financial Technology is a unique programme. Having studied BSc Economics and Econometrics, I realised the importance of technical analysis and how the financial industry is changing due to technological innovation. Learning to code became an interest of mine and I wanted to bring my skills to the next level, whilst working on projects with financial applications. This programme perfectly brings all these aspects together due to the modules covering topics from Blockchain Technology to Big Data.

Did you receive a scholarship?

I am proud to say that Imperial College Business School decided to award me with a Women in Finance Scholarship. Apart from the monetary benefits, being a scholarship recipient provides exposure to a community of scholars and some exclusive events throughout the year at Imperial.

Programme

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

I enjoy working in a team with talented people who have outstanding work ethics. We all come from various backgrounds, so when working in teams, it is fantastic to see how different skillsets and opinions result in an outstanding outcome.

Which has been your favourite module so far and why?

My favourite modules so far have been Derivatives and Big Data. I enjoy these two modules because of how technical they are and the depth of material they cover. They also perfectly prepare me for my future job and reflect my personal interests.

What has been the most rewarding part of the programme?

The opportunity to select modules that reflect my interests is something that I value hugely whilst studying MSc Financial Technology. Selecting Derivatives, Advanced Options Theory, and Machine Learning with Finance Applications, together with the Research Project, I believe that by graduation I will have developed the necessary skillset and fundamental knowledge for the start of my career as a Business and Data Analyst. I am also extremely excited to start my Research Project; I am adamant that completing this challenge will be the most rewarding project I will have ever done academically.

What has been the most challenging part of the programme? 

The challenge for me personally is to manage my time appropriately in the spring term. We have a vast number of deadlines: approximately three every two weeks. There are also students who apply for internships and/or full-time positions. Making sure that all the aspects of the workload are delivered to the highest standards requires consistent motivation to allocate time appropriately.

People

How would you describe your cohort at Imperial?

Everyone is extremely motivated to do well, challenges you with their ideas and incentivises you to do better than you can. Especially considering the number of group projects that we have, this is a great environment to be in: I am constantly learning something new outside of the lectures.

Opportunities

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

The best opportunity for me so far has been the chance to be a part of the Student Investment Fund (Quantitative Department). Taking on the role of the Director of Quant Operations, I am exposed to all the strategies we are currently developing, whilst also organising events for the Fund. For example, the Morgan Stanley Hackathon that took place in February and was targeted to quants at the Fund was a great success and received strong positive feedback. Taking part in this competition was interesting and rewarding for me, as I developed further my quantitative skillset whilst networking with Morgan Stanley employees. Furthermore, I am organising the first-ever UK Student Investment Fund Summit, where I invite all the student funds across the UK to present their strategies, challenges, and how they manage their portfolios.

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

I am a Student Ambassador, where I help prospective students with answering any questions that they might have about MSc Financial Technology and the Business School. It has been a rewarding experience, as being part of the Student Ambassador community gives me access to exclusive leadership events and networking opportunities.

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

At the start of the degree, we all attended a Canary Wharf office for an alumni talk, where I also networked with the fellow Imperial students. I am also excited for the yearly May Ball, that my friends are currently organising. It will be an amazing opportunity to dress-up and expand my network within the Business School.

London Location

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

Despite me having a job already, living in a central area such as London provides a vast variety of networking opportunities. These can be accessed via the Imperial College Business School Careers portal, or simply contacting people via LinkedIn and meeting up with them for a coffee and chat.

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

I live at the Battersea Power Station Estates with my partner, who I met during the first year of my undergraduate studies. We chose to live there because it is relatively close to both Imperial and his place of work, whilst also providing a modern and safe area to live.

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

London is a great place to live in because there is always someone to meet for a coffee/lunch. This includes fellow students from Imperial, students from the university where I did undergraduate (most of my friends have moved to London), prospective students, and speakers that I met at the events. There are also many opportunities to attend shows like Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the Wolf of Wall Street or the Phantom of the Opera, which I enjoy over the weekends. I have attended wine and whisky tastings (separately) around London. I also enjoy swimming after lectures, reading books on the sofa in the evenings, and gaming.

Tips

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

When applying, I would recommend researching the programme as much as possible by looking at the website and talking to people. Then, when you start writing your Personal Statement, please talk about things that you are truly passionate about and not what you think recruiters want you to hear. I applied to a few Master’s programmes (and many internships); I was only rejected when I was overthinking about what they wanted me to say instead of thinking where my passions match with what that institution offers.

Role
MSc Financial Technology
Nationality
Ukraine
Education :

BSc Economics and Econometrics, University of York

Job after Imperial College Business School :

Technology Business and Data Analyst, Morgan Stanley