Yilian Zhao MSc International Management 2021

Programme: MSc International Management

Nationality: Chinese

University and subject studied for undergraduate degree: BSc (Hons) Management, University of Manchester

About you

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

Before coming to Imperial, I interned at Goldman Sachs London office working in Fixed Income. I also operated my own online bakery business for three years during my undergraduate studies.

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

I decided to study at Imperial College Business School mainly because of the programme, which included global immersion and work placement opportunities. I had also heard from a colleague studying at Imperial about the excellent teaching facilities and great career support on offer. Before I decided on the programme, the Programme Director called me to introduce everything in detail, which demonstrated to me that the school is taking care of each individual and actually invested in helping everyone to achieve their potential.

Did you receive a scholarship?

I was fortunate enough to receive a scholarship from Imperial College Business School. The benefit is for sure the additional financial support, but more importantly, the way in which it helps me to stand out during job applications. I do suggest future scholarship applicants pay close attention to the application process. Show who you are, be humble, and stay hungry to learn more.


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

So far, I’ve enjoyed the flexibility the Business School has offered to us, especially during the chaos of COVID-19. We have the chance to choose which method of teaching we would like to undertake and the Programme team never hesitate to offer help and support. I have felt the bonding among our cohort even through a remote semester of study, and the overall experience is above and beyond my expectations.

Which has been your favourite module so far and why?

I love Competitive and Corporate Strategy taught by Dr Christiane Bode. The module is really engaging and the method of teaching allows application of theoretical knowledge to real business cases. in this way it builds not only on our knowledge base but also our practical skills and analytical thinking.

What has been the most rewarding part of the programme?

The most rewarding part of the programme so far is I how I’ve learned to manage my mindset from fixed to growth. I struggled to take the programme remotely in the beginning and thought the process would be ineffective. However, after getting used to the multi-mode teaching delivery, I do realise that it is important to find the best way that works for me and jump out of traditional thinking patterns to accept new way of doing things.

What has been the most challenging part of the programme?

I do think the most challenging part of the programme has been working in teams remotely. As some of us are currently studying from different locations around the world, there’s often a time difference which is a bit hard to manage. It was a steady learning curve for all of us, though through practice in different teams, I am becoming more and more comfortable and confident in these situations.

How have you found the multi-mode teaching delivery?

Multi-mode delivery has really enhanced our flexibility to choose when and where we are comfortable to study. The programme team offered their support right from the beginning and have done their best to understand everyone’s individual’s circumstances. I found the experience actually enabled me to more efficiently manage my own time under the difficulties of COVID-19.


How would you describe your cohort at Imperial?

Our cohort is incredibly diverse and bonded. We became friends quickly and everyone is very cohesive. We share our experiences, we work together, we’ve held online events throughout the pandemic. Everyone is different; with diverse backgrounds, and the sharing and understanding we’ve experienced has brought us closer together.

Did you have a favourite professor/lecturer and why?

My favourite lecturer is Dr Christiane Bode! She’s just so interested in her subject area and providing the best learning experience possible. Her lectures are never boring, even when delivered remotely. She’s always looking for the best way to make us comfortable and enable us to easily digest the knowledge.

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

I particularly suggest everyone to take the chance to register for career workshops and events, the guest speakers are really professional. Especially those with InvestinU Academy if you are interested in getting a job in the investment banking industry.

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

I built networks with several graduates from the Business School through LinkedIn and they offered really constructive suggestions during my job application.


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

The best opportunity I have had during my time at Imperial I would say is the career support offered by the Business School. I registered for an online mock Assessment centre and it was super helpful, enabling me to stand out in the real assessment I did for JPMorgan. I had wanted to become a trader following completion of my internship, and I received a summer analyst offer from JPMorgan this autumn.

The career service helped me a lot in achieving my goal. Through participating in workshops and also mock interviews, I enhanced my skills in areas such as how to deliver a great presentation and how to communicate effectively. I also gained more practical experience which made me more comfortable when doing real interviews

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

I enjoy extreme sports such as diving and paragliding. There are lots of good spots for paragliding in Europe and I will take short breaks to explore these when I have a chance.

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?

Moving to London is super fun and exciting, there are so many great places to hang out during the weekend!  I think the main challenge is looking for great accommodation that falls within your budget. Doing research and ideally finding someone who lives in London can be very helpful.


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

I did not attend any events, but I wish I did! This way I could have had even more insight and ideas regarding both the programme and the School. Luckily, I had a call with the programme director to get more information. I would recommend if you are wishing to study at Imperial, do check out the various events and sessions from the website, as these can provide you with specific information on various topics that can be very valuable during your application process.

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

I think the most important thing throughout the application is to treat it as a learning and self-investigation process, that is, an opportunity to ask yourself what you’ve achieved so far and where you want to go in the future. MSc International Management is for people who want to become great leaders, both in business and society.

Interested in applying for a scholarship to this programme?

Programme: MSc International Management

Nationality: Chinese

University and subject studied for undergraduate degree: BSc (Hons) Management, University of Manchester