Caroline Pappas, MSc International Management student
Programme:
MSc International Management
Nationality:
American
Education:

Bachelor’s in Foreign Service, Regional and Comparative Studies of Latin America, Georgetown University

About you

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

I did an internship at an NGO called the Inter-American Dialogue, which is an organisation that tries to foster democracy and cooperation in the Americas. I was a Development and External Relations Intern for the Office of the President and my primary role was to expand and grow their Global Trends database and write reports about current news and events in Latin America.

Why did you decide to study MSc International Management at Imperial College Business School?

I had an interest in pursuing public sector, legal, or social sector consulting following my degree. While I had a lot of policy and analytical skills, I felt I was lacking in quantitative, finance, and business skills that are necessary to provide advice and guidance to governments and law cases – these are all businesses too! I chose to come to Imperial to pursue this degree for several reasons: firstly, because they were one of the few to offer a specific MSc International Management programme, which I felt was the perfect blend of my undergraduate passions and my career goals. Imperial is also well-known and ranked for management programmes, which made it a great option for me. Lastly, knew that I loved the city of London, and after a year and a half of taking classes from my room at home, I knew I wanted to go somewhere further away and get more exploration. 

What are the benefits of receiving a scholarship, and what is your advice to future scholarship applicants?

After my acceptance to Imperial, I was automatically considered for and offered the Imperial Excellence scholarship for my academic achievements up to finishing my undergraduate degree. The benefits of this were immense, as I was able to use these savings to find a flat slightly closer to Imperial’s campus, which has been a nice benefit in the long run. I would advise students looking for a scholarship, whether one of the applied scholarships or one automatically considered, to make it clear in your application what is it Imperial will do for you, as a School and as a programme, to help you succeed in the long run, and how the scholarship can further benefit that for you.

Programme

Which has been your favourite module so far and why?

My favourite module so far has been Financial Management, one of the first modules we completed. While it mostly consisted of accounting and financial modelling that is born out of accounting and financial reports, it gave me so many applicable skills that I was lacking before I joined the programme. The weekly cases, while hard work, helped ensure that I knew how to physically apply what I learned rather than just understand the concept of what to do. I even used something I learned from Financial Management in a technical job interview, and I now hold an offer from that company!

What has been the most rewarding part of the programme?

The most rewarding part of the programme has been, by far, meeting everyone in my cohort.  While we are a small group, we are immensely diverse and it has been a treat and a blessing to be able to get to know, learn from, and spend time with the group. Everyone has been so invested in more than just their own success but the success of others, and that is something I do not take for granted. I have especially enjoyed the way the programme sets up a syndicate team for the whole term with whom you complete all your coursework for your modules. This team, in my case, has grown to work exceptionally well together, as we have perfected our methods throughout the fall, and it has been so rewarding to work with them.

What has been the most challenging part of the programme? 

I would never tell anyone considering this programme that it is light work! All your modules, at least for the Autumn term of the programme that I am now close to completing, request a lot of assignments from you, especially towards the end of that set of modules. This takes a lot of time management as well as building trust with your syndicate team to succeed, and when balancing this work with career goals, job applications, and extracurricular activities, it can get overwhelming.

How has the Leadership in Action module been beneficial to you?

This module has offered me the opportunity to reflect on my own flaws and shortcomings in terms of leadership in a way that I never have before. This has allowed me to pursue real personal development and growth in a directed, efficient, and effective way, and it has been so useful in every group setting in which I work. 

People

How would you describe your cohort at Imperial?

My cohort is magically special, and I adore my fellow students. Not only is everyone diverse and offers differing perspectives, but everyone is also genuinely interested in the success of everyone around them alongside their own success. I have spoken about this several times in personal settings, but I have been absolutely amazed and astounded at the genuine kindness and respect that everyone in our cohort exudes, and I have made some truly deep and important friendships even in the few months I have been living in London.

Did you have a favourite professor/lecturer and why?

So far, my favourite professor has been Dr Christiane Bode for Competitive and Corporate Strategy.  Her lectures are efficient and organised, and she captivates the whole cohort with her presentations. She offers us opportunities to practice within the class time, and she understands the difficult aspects of participating in this programme in a way that helps her curate the module to fit our lives quite well, and I am very appreciative of her.

Opportunities

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

My favourite guest lecturers so far have been two. First, we welcomed a guest lecturer who is an expert in the algorithm and functionality of LinkedIn, which has helped me curate an effective and good-looking platform. Second, I enjoyed the visit from the speaker who spoke about Unconscious Bias and showed us through actions and practice how unconscious bias affects all of us in ways we don’t even realise. These have both been in my head often when participating in modules, job interviews, and extracurricular activities.

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

I am a member of two club committees at Imperial which have been incredibly enjoyable and rewarding for me. I am a Regional Alliances director for Latin America Business Club and the Communications Director for Sports Business Club. Additionally, I am a Student Ambassador for the programme and have already had interesting conversations with prospective students!

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

Definitely!  I remember back to the first week when we had the School-wide networking event at the Science Museum, and I met some awesome people even then! Additionally, through my clubs I have had the opportunity to meet people from other programmes and spend a lot of time with them. I can’t wait to meet even more people going forward.

Career

What are your future career goals?

I hoped to and will be joining a consulting firm that fits the career goals I had in mind for myself!  I want to become a consultant at a company that worked not just with corporations but also with governments, legal issues, and social organisations. This will allow me to work with international governments and organisations in a way that doesn’t necessitate politics, which is something I am not extremely interested in. 

Have you received any job offers since commencing your programme?

I have!  While I won’t go into specifics yet as I haven’t signed any contracts and have completed other final interviews, I have received an offer from a consulting firm in London for a graduate scheme starting in September following the completion of the MSc International Management programme. I am very excited to be staying in London going forward!

How did the services from Careers help you secure employment/in your professional development?

I attended about a million workshops for every aspect of the application process, from tailoring my career search to interview practice! These were so useful in telling me what I should expect at every step of the way and making sure I was prepared to succeed. Additionally, I used some one-on-one training, especially mock interviews, to make sure I could stand out during the interviewing process. Lastly, I used a lot of the AI software from the Careers service, especially for my CV and for my LinkedIn page, to make sure that everything I submitted would pass initial checks. These were so useful in securing my first offer, and I am extremely grateful. 

London location

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

I really truly believe these are beneficial for my networking and career opportunities. Despite our increasing reliance on virtual landscapes for networking and it may seem that we no longer need to travel to access new relationships, when those in person opportunities do pop up, it makes your connection with new people that much stronger. Even being able to attend all assessment days in person makes a huge difference!

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

I have a lot of things that I love to do in my free time. I love to do graphic art, especially through Procreate on my iPad, which has been a new COVID interest that I find so enjoyable. I also love to take photos, even just on my smart phone. I am also a huge professional sports fan and take up a lot of my time watching live sports including Liverpool FC matches and Daniel Ricciardo in the Formula 1 Grand Prix on Sundays, as well as all the American sports when I can stay up late enough to watch! I also love comedy and sitcoms, especially Brooklyn Nine-Nine.   

If you had to move to London for the programme, where did you decide to live? What advice would you give to someone in a similar position? 

I did move to London right before my programme, and I live in Earl’s Court, one neighbourhood over from the South Kensington neighbourhood where campus is found.  While I have truly enjoyed being able to walk to campus, I would also say that I wouldn’t worry too much about being too close to campus (unless you have a hard time waking up in the mornings for lectures!). The best part about being on a Master’s with this cohort is that you do pretty much go all around the city to hang out and meet up with your fellow students, and you learn to navigate public transportation very quickly. Perhaps that would be my only specific advice – try to live close to a tube line, because it is the most reliable for getting around!

Tips

Looking back to when you were applying for the programme, did you attend any online webinars or on-campus information sessions?

I did attend one online webinar about the format of the programme and as an opportunity to ask questions!  These were very helpful as far as I can remember, but I wish I had attended a few more of these events, as I think in any case more information is better than less information! 

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

If you are considering MSc International Management, there are very few reasons that could deter you, and a million reasons to choose to join!  London is an unbeatable city, your cohort will be the coolest set of people from all over the world, and you will learn so much in so few months that you won’t even be able to believe it! Take the time to learn everything you can about the culture and community of every programme for which you apply, because while the differences in prestige and acclaim between programmes may be minimal, what will affect your life is how you feel on campus, so try to choose where you will find the most happiness rather than the prestige.

Programme:
MSc International Management
Nationality:
American
Education:

Bachelor’s in Foreign Service, Regional and Comparative Studies of Latin America, Georgetown University

Interested in applying for a scholarship to this programme?