Yingying Fang, MSc International Management 2019-20, student at Imperial College Business School

Programme: MSc International Mangement

Nationality: German

Education: BSc Economics and Business Administration, Goethe University Frankfurt

About you

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

Before I came to Imperial, I interned at the Munich Office of Estée Lauder Companies where I was part of the M∙A∙C trade marketing team. I also gained some experience in the finance industry having worked for BNY Mellon.

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

I decided to study at Imperial College Business School because I have heard a lot of good things about Imperial through close friends who studied in the Royal School of Mines and School of Medicine. They recommended that I apply for the Business School. I chose to study MSc International Management because it offers many advanced modules, such as the Leadership in Action, which stood out to me. Further, the programme provides many exciting international opportunities.


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

I really like the practical focus of my programme. I’m used to studying a lot of theory from my undergraduate in Germany. At Imperial, I worked on many team assignments focusing on solving real-world problems. For example, I travelled with two of my classmates to Bangalore, India* within the Leadership in Action module to conduct a design thinking project for a travel agency. The process of design thinking was taught in class before our trip, and we had the opportunity to apply what we had learnt in a new and exciting environment.

I also enjoy the focus of our programme on leadership and innovation. The programme teaches good leadership and what it takes to create innovation.

Which has been your favourite module so far and why?

There are so many fantastic modules. I particularly liked our Leadership in Action first module because I experienced the biggest personal development through that class. This class was taught by Dr Sankalp Chaturvedi, a highly passionate professor and experienced public speaker. The class focused on teaching soft skills such as negotiation, coaching and leadership.

I also really enjoyed Innovation and Technology Strategy by Dr Paola Criscuolo. Her class format was the best one I have experienced so far:  At the beginning, she invited P&G to our class to give us a problem to solve. Throughout the class, Paola taught us the theory required to solve the problem. At the end of this module we had to pitch our ideas to P&G. Her class got me interested in creating innovation. I entered the L’Oreal Brandstorm innovation and sustainability competition with two of my classmates and we won the competition in the UK while at Imperial.

What has been the most rewarding part of the programme?

Seeing myself grow. At the beginning of the programme, we were given a self-development journal to acknowledge and work on our strengths and weaknesses. I wrote in the journal from time to time and jotted down what I have learned in each module and workshop on a personal level. Looking back, I would say that the programme has made me a better leader, team worker and changed my mindset to think about and solve problems more effectively.

What has been the most challenging part of the programme?

Managing time. The first and second term were extremely busy. We had a full timetable and got a lot of interesting readings which had to be prepared ahead of class. At the same time interesting events were going on at Imperial and some students were busy applying for jobs. I had to prioritise and missed out on some great opportunities.

How was the Leadership in Action module and international trip* to Bangalore/São Paolo beneficial to you?

The module and trip were very beneficial. As part of the module, we learned how to apply Design Thinking on solving problems in the second term. I went with my team to Bangalore. We used Design Thinking to advise Sair.in, a travel agency, on their go-to-market strategy. This was my first consulting experience. I really enjoyed developing strategies and analysing the problem from a consumer-centred perspective. 


How would you describe your cohort at Imperial?

My cohort is very international and open-minded.


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

I liked the career workshops which were organised by the Careers team at the beginning of the term. They focused on personal branding, cover letter writing and excelling at case studies.

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

I am a Student Ambassador at Imperial. During my time I signed up for many different Business School student clubs including FMCG and Technology, Media and Telecoms Club. They organise very interesting guest talks throughout the year. The College also offers many different sports and arts societies which are worth getting involved in too!

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

Imperial has one of the best engineering departments in the world which is very beneficial if you are looking for advice. I spoke to different Imperial College alumni throughout the L’Oréal Brandstorm to get an engineering perspective about our concept which was very helpful.


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

My background is in marketing and innovation and I’m interested in product management. But throughout my Master’s at Imperial and the Design Thinking process, I discovered how much fun I have doing primary research, creating content and interviewing people. This got me interested in potentially pursuing a career in journalism.

London Location

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

Definitely. I would say that networking in London is much easier than in some other European cities. People are very open here. There are plenty of networking opportunities throughout the programme. Imperial organises socialising and company events throughout the year which are great opportunities to network.

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

I live in Westminster and I chose to live here because of the proximity to university. 

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

I enjoy cooking, sketching, exercising, hosting friends over and travelling. If you are new to the UK and would like to see other places than London, I would recommend driving out to the Cotswolds, Cornwall or the Lake District. These are British holiday places and you will find many quaint English cottages in these areas.

If you had to move to London for the programme, what have been the benefits and challenges of moving to London?

London is a great city for students. It is very international and has a lot of culture. Finding a house could be difficult for someone who is inexperienced with London. If you are unlucky, the agent might sell you an overpriced room.


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

Prior to applying, I attended a full day on-campus session which was a lot of fun. The session was useful and helped me to understand the culture of Imperial. The on-campus session was also a great place to network. I met some of my classmates at this event.

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

Think about the question of why you want to particularly apply to Imperial. I would advise doing research and participating in information sessions to understand the culture of the Business School. In general, Imperial is looking for students with leadership skills, great personality, high academic performance, work experience and soft skills. Don’t worry if you don’t fulfil all of them. You should make sure that your profile is balanced and tell stories about some of your skills in your personal statement.

*Previous classes travelled to Brazil and India with the Leadership in Action module. The future locations students will travel to on the module are not confirmed.

Programme: MSc International Mangement

Nationality: German

Education: BSc Economics and Business Administration, Goethe University Frankfurt