BBA International Management, Lancaster University
Institutional Sales, William Blair
What work experience/internships did you have before beginning with Imperial College Business School?
Before joining Imperial College Business School I had experienced work environments in different countries. Close to the start of my MSc, I was working at Citi in Milan as a Trade Sales Analyst, which gave me great exposure to banking. Before Citi, I had worked in London at Lond Capital as an Investor Relations Analyst, which provided me with an understanding of the fast-paced work environment typical of the finance industry. Previously, I was also the Fund Manager of the Lancaster University Investment Fund during my undergraduate studies, becoming the first ever student to be responsible in managing a part of the university’s funds.
Why did you decide to study MSc Investment & Wealth Management at Imperial College Business School?
The main reason was to get an education in finance at a world-leading academia like Imperial. I knew it was the right choice to explore opportunities within the asset management industry, and would provide me with the perfect skills needed to succeed in this sector. I also acknowledged the fact that Imperial strive for the best for its students, making them feel motivated and driving them to their best potential, which is key when embracing a new academic experience.
What aspects of the programme do you most enjoy, and find most rewarding?
I enjoyed the classes a lot, they were all deep learning curves and gave different perspectives that otherwise I would not have thought of before. I also feel like the electives were the perfect blend of innovation and tradition that students should need to understand to better enter the financial job market.
On another note, I have been able to launch the first ever Imperial College Business School Student Investment Fund, which clearly was the most rewarding experience so far. I could not expect such an achievement and I am very proud of this.
Which has been your favourite module so far and why?
It is hard to choose among all the good modules I have had, I would say that probably Structured Credit & Equity Products elective has been the most interesting one as these type of products and topics are hard to be known in other circumstances. Also, the beauty of the programme was that it is taught by three professionals from JP Morgan, for this reason giving a very practical perspective that related very well with industry trends.
What has been the most challenging part of the programme?
Probably the time management part of things. Trying to align all the projects, programme work, extracurricular activities and job applications was very challenging. Also the fact of having exams right after the end of classes made it very hard to study properly, this involved a lot of studying day-to-day without leaving anything to the last moment. In addition, the involvement with the Student Investment Fund on top of everything took a lot of time, managing all the duties has been demanding and time consuming.
How would you describe your cohort at Imperial?
I would say it is very diverse and motivating. I had the chance to meet many different people from different countries. This feature helped to obtain various perspectives from different topics. During the modules, electives and projects it was possible to see how different cultures react differently to certain problems.
Did you have a favourite professor/lecturer and why?
I would not be able to say which professor is my favourite as I think that all of them were unique in their own way.
Imperial places a large emphasis on group work; what did you like the most about working in this type of environment?
As I previously said, the interaction among individuals strive the most excellent of the ideas. I had the chance to interact with different students from different programmes sharing different views, ultimately leading to a great and thorough solution. I liked how different people have different approaches to tackle a problem.
What has been the greatest opportunity you have had at Imperial?
Definitely the opportunity to launch the first ever Student Investment Fund. The team and I have been able to secure £100,000 in seed funding from Imperial to launch the first ever investment fund managed by students where now I was Founder and CEO.
Which workshops, events or guest lectures at the school have been useful in developing your skills and knowledge?
It is hard to choose one because I have been to so many and all of them were very useful. However, I believe that the guest lectures have been particularly useful in obtaining a practical perspective on the financial industry.
What clubs, societies or other activities have you been involved in at Imperial? Do you hold a student leadership position?
As the Founder and CEO of the Imperial College Business School Student Investment Fund, the first student-run investment fund at Imperial, we had the goal of preparing students for a buy-side career, and connecting companies with these ambitious individuals. At a glance, the fund is a separate student entity, the fund is supported by the College with:
- Oversight and guidance provided by an Investment Committee of four Imperial Business School Professors and an external six-person Advisory Board.
- £100,000 seed funding from Imperial College’s Endowment
- Underwritten by Imperial College Business School
- Currently over 150 members and 60 analysts
The fund stands out from other student investment funds in several ways:
- Allows students to make real investment decisions and create custom strategies using academic theory
- Connects members to professionals through an industry network of finance professionals and the fund’s own alumni
Incorporates both quantitative and fundamental investment strategies through splitting the fund into independent strategies
How have you benefited from being part of the wider Imperial College London community?
It has been a key part of the experience at Imperial. The wider community at Imperial really make students interact in an environment full of motivated individuals. This situation clearly makes students able to relate with each other, also providing the perfect ground for developing ideas and projects.
What are your future career goals and how have they been realised since being at Imperial?
My future goal is to succeed within the asset management industry and eventually run my own investment fund in the future. This has been realised in a sense as the CEO of the Student Investment Fund, which gives me a bit of a flavour of what the industry might look like.
How did the services from Careers help in your professional development/securing employment?
I believe they have been very useful as the staff and the team were always keen to help and ready to support at any time.
Do you think studying in a central location such as London is beneficial for networking and career opportunities?
I could not agree more on this. Being in London is clearly an edge. You have access to a pool of firms that are literally around the corner and for this reason during events you might get to know professionals from top firms. This is not achievable anywhere else. I had the chance to meet great professionals at an event and meet them for a coffee in the next day. It is really an added value as the exposure that you get being in London is really invaluable. In addition, London is a key financial centre and being at the centre of it allows students to feel the importance of being in such a dynamic and fast-moving city.
Where do you live in London and why did you choose to live there?
I live in South Kensington as it is close to Imperial and allows me to be frequently at university for classes/lectures/meetings, reducing the commuting time. Also, I really like this part of the city and I think is the best part to live in my opinion. I would not change it with something else.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time in London? Have you had opportunities to travel?
I love playing football and going to the gym. I also really love going out and enjoying my time when not working. I like going to new places and meeting new people out of the college. I am from Italy and I had the chance to go back home a few times after busy periods to relax; I feel like the strategic location of London is also key in allowing students to travel around Europe without many issues.
What have been the benefits and challenges of moving to London? What advice would you give to someone in a similar position?
Challenges I think are costs. London is undoubtedly expensive, so I would say to save as much as possible and try to be conscious of the money you spend. Benefits are that the city never sleeps and you can have access to an incredible amount of activities, 24/7, and it is a clear added value of being in London.
What advice would you give someone who is thinking about applying for the programme?
I would say to be prepared for one of the most challenging but exciting years as a student. I would recommend to manage time well, explore different activities, and not use the university as just a place to study and take exams, but rather a place to develop as a person and as a future professional. My experience as the Founder and CEO of the Imperial College Business School Student Investment Fund taught me that university is really the place to develop as a complete individual. I would also say to be active and dynamic in seizing all the opportunities and never giving up.