Rodrigo Hernandez Canteli-960x576
MSc Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Management
Undergraduate education:

University of Miami, BA in Economics, International Studies and Finance

Job after Imperial College Business School:

Venture Capital Ambassador, First Momentum Ventures

About you 

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

I worked in Private Banking for over 5 years, however I have a broad professional background through a balance of large corporate and smaller enterprise environments. Prior to financial services I have also been exposed to the logistics and food processing industries, auditing, and I also founded a textile company.

Why did you decide to study an MSc Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Management at Imperial College Business School?

Pursuing a Master’s degree was a pending personal task, so I thought I might as well do it at a leading university. Having spent a few years in Wealth Management in a corporate environment, the MSc Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Management programme was the perfect option to gather new skills and knowledge in order to pursue my entrepreneurial ambitions and broaden my career options. Furthermore, the entrepreneurship ecosystem is fantastic, and as one of the most innovative universities and leading business schools in the world, I could not find any other institution that offered such a programme where I would invest my time.


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

The diverse cohort, analysing and discussing real business cases, and all the resources available. I had no previous knowledge of the content taught in most of the modules, so I was exposed to a variety of new concepts. The learning curve was pretty steep!

Which has been your favourite module so far and why?

I have a background in economics and finance. Thus, I mostly recycled knowledge from the Accounting and Business Economics modules. Other than these, it’s difficult to decide on a favourite module.

Despite a career in banking, Venture Capital & Growth Finance was an area of investments I had little knowledge about. The module is a comprehensive introduction to this specialised area in finance, with insights and lectures from a prominent and successful figure in the industry.

I had never studied Marketing before, and I admit I was a bit sceptical about the subject from my exposure to the discipline in a corporate setting. But it was one of the modules that I have found most engaging and useful for entrepreneurship. Organisational Behaviour & Human Resource Management was extremely insightful and relevant since the most valuable asset of a company is its human capital.

What has been the most rewarding part of the programme?

Working in teams alongside people with a different range of skills and from diverse backgrounds in various and distinct projects.

What has been the most challenging part of the programme?

Being Imperial, it is not an easy programme, but if you remain constant, focused, and read (a lot!) you will find it perfectly manageable. There is time to enjoy London too!


How would you describe your cohort at Imperial?

Ambitious, diverse, inspiring, objective, sharp.

Did you have a favourite professor/lecturer and why?

Not really, each one is unique and has its own particular style. They are all approachable and go above and beyond to ensure you succeed.


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

Participating with my team from the Design Thinking module in the first online workshop organised by The Forum to discuss water management. Presenters included experts in the field from Imperial, as well as participants from the private and public domain.

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

Guest speakers were invited to at least one session in most of the modules. I considered their presentations a truly enhancing learning experience as they provide context to the contents of the module, and a better understanding of the subject applied to real world scenarios.

What clubs, societies or other activities have you been involved in at Imperial? 

I am honoured to be a Student Ambassador. Also, as a member of the newly created Environmental Committee, my colleagues and I started a campaign to inform the community about unsustainable water consumption habits in the School, and how we could all become part of the solution to improve the sustainability of water usage on campus.

Lastly, I volunteered to participate in the ‘What The Tech?!’ workshop aimed at helping elderly members of a community in West London with new technologies.

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

Yes, there are plenty of events on campus to have the opportunity to network with students from other programmes, and the café is always a good spot to initiate a conversation.

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

Definitely, both for internal coursework and external projects. We gathered valuable knowledge and information for our Design Thinking and Entrepreneurship module projects from the community. And the blockchain technology that we will embed in the operational flow of my venture was developed at Imperial.

How have you found the unprecedented switch to online learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic?

It has been impressive how the School successfully switched online! Although the experience is radically different, given the circumstances, learning has not ceased or been hindered. The platforms available guarantee continued uninterrupted education without a meaningful loss of access to resources. Furthermore, faculty was been constantly supportive. Nonetheless, pre COVID-19 pandemic conditions are undoubtedly preferred.


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

I am committed to building and growing my start-up which I have been developing whilst studying at Imperial. The content of the programme, as well as the advice and support from faculty and fellow colleagues have been extremely valuable to refine the execution of my project.


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

Absolutely, and if you consider starting a business there are few other metropolis where you will have the opportunity to gain as much and valuable advice, as well as access to capital.

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

I moved to Chelsea with a friend, a 20-minute walk from campus. Earl’s Court and South Kensington tube stations are also fairly close. There are plenty of bars and restaurants, as well as cultural spots (for the day, evening and late-night) in the neighbourhood.

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

I enjoy developing my venture, exploring London, listening to music, and spending time with friends.

What have been the benefits and challenges of moving to London? What advice would you give to someone in a similar position?

London is an expensive city, especially accommodation. I would say finding a reasonably priced place to stay is the main challenge of moving to London. Though screening the market thoroughly takes time as there are plenty of offerings, it is definitely worth the time.


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? 

I attended online webinars, and I would not only recommend to attend these, but also as many other information sessions as possible to gather all the information you need to make an informed decision. Moreover, I advise prospective students to contact current students and alumni.

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

Don’t think, just apply, you will not regret it! Worst case scenario, you are accepted to a global leading programme in a world-class renowned university.

MSc Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Management
Undergraduate education:

University of Miami, BA in Economics, International Studies and Finance

Job after Imperial College Business School:

Venture Capital Ambassador, First Momentum Ventures