Bocconi University – BSc International Economics, Management and Finance
Over the summer of 2014 I interned for three months at CMC Capital, a mergers and acquisitions boutique based in London.
Being awarded the Imperial College Business School scholarship was without a doubt my biggest academic achievement.
Why did you decide to study an MSc in Investment & Wealth Management and why specifically at Imperial College Business School?
What really attracted me to the MSc in Investment & Wealth Management was the strong quantitative focus of the programme. However, at the same time I was looking for a balance between theory and practice. I found that the MSc in Investment & Wealth Management offered the right combination and I can definitely confirm this now. The programme includes several case studies and extremely interesting insights into real life applications of the theoretical models studied in class.
My choice to study at Imperial College Business School was largely determined by the world-class reputation that this institution has retained for years. Also, I felt that Imperial College provided the perfect environment to pursue a quantitative programme, as the strength of the university mostly comes from its Mathematics and Science departments.
What makes the MSc Investment & Wealth Management at Imperial College Business School unique?
The programme was introduced relatively recently, meaning that the contents are very much up to date with what is required to succeed in the finance industry, with some modules being entirely taught by practitioners. Additionally, the MSc Investment & Wealth Management places a lot of emphasis on programming languages, and on their use in the practical application of theory. This is a very distinctive feature of the programme and it certainly gives students an edge over the competition.
What aspects of the programme do you most enjoy?
I mostly enjoy working on group assignments. Coming from very different backgrounds, everyone brings their own perspective, which makes coursework an extremely valuable opportunity to learn from others.
What has been the most challenging part of the programme?
The use of programming languages was certainly the biggest challenge. A lot of assignments require the use of MatLab, which I was not familiar with before starting the programme.
What has been the most rewarding part of the programme?
Learning how to use programming languages in financial applications.
Which has been your favourite module so far and why?
Derivatives was my favourite module. It gave me the chance to apply stochastic calculus to financial instruments. However, the theory was complemented by practical applications using MatLab.
Which seminars, events or guest lectures at the school have been useful in developing your skills and knowledge?
Company presentations were very useful. I had the opportunity to meet with potential employers and learn directly form them about different sectors within finance.
How would you sum up the Business School faculty?
The faculty is of extremely high calibre. Learning from the very people that produce cutting-edge research is a unique experience.
Imperial places a large emphasis on group work; what inspires you the most about working in this type of environment, whether it be group assignments or class discussions?
Working in a group has tremendously improved my soft skills, like collaboration and the ability to articulate my ideas. At the same time, I take group work as a great opportunity to learn about other people’s thinking process.
How would you describe your cohort at Imperial?
My cohort is extremely diverse in terms of background, and I believe this makes the programme even more interesting and stimulating. Also, people are very down-to-earth and always willing to help.
What clubs, societies or other activities have you been involved in at Imperial?
I took part in the Student Ambassador scheme. I represent my programme and I help prospective students and offer holders with their enquiries.
What has been the greatest opportunity you have had at Imperial that you wouldn’t get anywhere else?
The possibility to mingle with students from completely different programmes and to attend science-related events.
How have you benefited from the services provided by the Career and Professional Development Service?
Thanks to the Career and Professional Development Service I had the chance to speak with Imperial alumni that shared very valuable tips. I also found their CV writing advice to be really helpful.
How have you benefited from being part of the wider Imperial College London community?
Being part of the wider Imperial community offers access to events and opportunities that are not strictly finance-related.
Do you think studying in a central location such as London is beneficial for networking and career opportunities? Please share any positive experiences you have had.
Studying in London is a huge advantage. It is certainly easier for firms and guest speakers to attend events taking place on campus and there are many more opportunities to expand your network. This often happens outside formal contexts – it is definitely not unusual to meet finance professionals when you are out in London.
What are your future career goals and how have they been realised since being at Imperial?
My goal is to progress on to senior positions within a large organisation and leave my mark through the work I do.
Have you received any job offers since commencing your programme?
I secured an internship for the coming summer at Goldman Sachs, in London, in their Finance division.
Where do you see yourself upon completing the programme?
My short-term goal is to perform well on my internship and convert it into a full-time analyst position at Goldman Sachs.
Whereabouts do you live in London and why did you choose to live there?
I live near Putney Bridge; it is not too far from university, but at the same time it is a quiet area, perfect to escape the hustle and bustle of central London.
What can a weekend in London look like for an MSc student?
It really depends on how busy you are with your work. When exams are not too close, you might enjoy a stroll around London or visit other cities in the UK. However, when it gets very busy, you will be spending most of your day in the library doing revision and working on assignments.
In your opinion, tell us about the most exciting, undiscovered place in London.
Little Venice is one of my favourite places in London. It is very quaint and gives you the impression of being in the countryside.
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?
London is a very large and frenetic city. For those that are not used to a fast paced lifestyle, moving to London could be a bit of a shock initially. However, I also think that the atmosphere is very energising, which makes you more productive and efficient. London is really a melting pot of different cultures and I think that anyone moving here should embrace this incredible mix and expand their perspective on the world.
What advice would you give someone who was thinking about applying for the course?
Although the course focuses more on the quantitative side, all you need to know to perform well is taught in class. The online pre-study modules are good to refresh key maths concepts and introduce you to finance if you come from a different undergraduate degree.
You are also given the unique opportunity to learn programming (both through modules and workshops), which really makes Imperial College Business School stand out from other institutions.
Looking back to when you were applying for the programme, did you attend any online or on campus information sessions? Did you find these a useful part of the recruitment process? Would you recommend that prospective students attend these events?
I absolutely suggest that you should attend these events. They are extremely informative, especially for international student. You will arrive on campus with a better idea on how to make the most of your year at Imperial.
Share with us a handy hint or trick which makes campus life that much easier!
Manage your time wisely! You will soon find yourself juggling between exams, job applications and coursework. If you stay focused and organised, you are bound to succeed!