What work experience/internships did you have before beginning with Imperial College Business School?
Before studying MSc Investment & Wealth Management at Imperial, I have gained extensive experience in financial and strategic consulting, working for multiple organisations ranging from investment groups (Bulldog Investment Company) and technology (Kodak Alaris, Rackspace Hosting), to development (United Nations, Swisscontact Worldwide, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH - GIZ) and government (Kosovo Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
Why did you decide to study an MSc Investment & Wealth Management at Imperial College Business School?
The MSc Investment & Wealth Management programme at Imperial College Business School is unique in terms of location, highly quantitative curriculum, access to a world-renowned faculty of experts, weekly speakers from leading financial institutions that provide practical and real-life experience for students, countless networking opportunities through career fairs and company visits, and experienced career/professional development consultants who work tirelessly with students to achieve their professional goals.
Did you receive a scholarship?
I was very fortunate to receive full funding through the Chevening Award Scholarship – the UK Government’s international awards scheme aimed at developing global leaders. Chevening Awards, funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, are prestigious and highly competitive with a rigorous selection process. Through Chevening, I had the opportunity to network with future leaders, influencers, and decision makers from all over the world who are motivated to make a difference in their communities and alter the status quo.
What aspects of the programme do you most enjoy the most?
My experience at Imperial went beyond my expectations and left no stone unturned when it comes to providing for its students. I made friends with people from all parts of the world that I had never even heard of before and connected with unique individuals that shaped my future perspective and outlook on life. The curriculum challenged me to step out of my comfort zone and follow the path of self-discovery and exploration. Be it professors, staff or underclassmen, I learned that we all have something to offer and Imperial makes it possible through its unmatched diversity in programmes and infrastructure.
Which has been your favourite module so far and why?
My favourite modules in the programme have been Derivatives. It’s very quantitative focused but insightful in terms of deriving option pricing and understanding mathematically how risk measures impact security prices and the expected return on a firm. Wealth Management & Alternative Investments is another favourite, which is more practical in nature by covering topics such as consumption, savings, asset allocation and wealth accumulation by individuals. Moreover, I enjoyed the Private Equity & Venture Capital module as I gained a thorough understanding of the main aspects of leveraged buyouts and early-stage investing, and was fortunate to meet with professionals who are thriving in this market.
What has been the most challenging part of the programme?
The most challenging part of the programme in terms of learning was its quantitative aspect, the required usage of coding languages during team projects, and exam periods. Moreover, we had to balance our time wisely and allocate certain hours towards academics, job applications, and other extracurricular activities, to get the most out of the MSc Investment & Wealth Management programme.
How would you describe your cohort at Imperial?
An amazing cluster of diverse cultures with high intellect and inspiring life journeys, working together to achieve a common goal - improving the lives of others in their community through innovative and entrepreneurial approaches towards investing.
Did you have a favourite professor/lecturer and why?
Most professors went above and beyond to clarify the concepts and assist students. I recall struggling to grasp the quantitative concepts of the Mathematics for Finance module, and therefore attended lots of office hours with Dr Filippos Papakonstantinou. I was impressed by his willingness and determination to clarify the concepts and guide me towards the right direction.
What has been the greatest opportunity you have had at Imperial?
I was fortunate enough to represent the university at the 2018 United Nations Emerging Leaders’ Peace Summit in Bangkok, Thailand, with the aim to strengthen peace efforts worldwide. By attending the summit, I was able to network with 500 delegates from other countries and learn from the sacrifice and commitment of numerous leaders and survivors of authoritarian and religious regimes, who have helped shape recent history and given hope to millions of people worldwide. For more information, you can read my latest blog, My Experience at the UN Peace Summit of Emerging Leaders.
Which workshops, events or guest lectures at the school have been useful in developing your skills and knowledge?
Imperial aims at linking theory, practice and research in its academic endeavour. As such, the College has organised numerous workshops with professionals and speakers working at leading financial institutions, with the aim to prepare students for the labour market. Furthermore, by having access to numerous online resources (like Wall Street Prep and CFA literature) and webinars, I was able to better prepare myself for job interviews.
How have you benefited from being part of the wider Imperial College London community?
Besides attending career events and workshops to improve my CV and cover letter, I spent a considerable amount of time networking with Business School alumni who are already working for the companies I am targeting. For instance, last week I had the pleasure of meeting an alumnus working at Goldman Sachs in London and was able to ask questions and seek recommendations in terms of prospective roles in investment banking and asset management.
What are your future career goals and how have they been realised since being at Imperial?
In terms of my future career goals, I aspire to become a Financial/Investment Advisor. My passion for value investing coupled with my experience in fundamental and technical analysis might feel like a drop in the ocean but it’s a start. Academia and professional experience have helped me develop a specific set of financial skills, but I am beret of actual real-life expertise that no textbook can teach me and are crucial for building trust with clients and a strong industry network. Indeed, Imperial has served as the perfect platform for knowledge sharing and encouraged individuals like me to always strive for excellence and alter the status quo.
How did the services from Careers help in your professional development/securing employment?
From attending countless events and workshops regarding recent topics, such as emotional and artificial intelligence to having a one-to-one meeting with numerous career experts/consultants regarding my interview skills, CV, and cover letter, I was able to land interviews with leading financial institutions and consulting companies in London.
Do you think studying in a central location such as London is beneficial for networking and career opportunities?
Besides being one of the biggest financial hubs in the world, London is known for its diversity and networking opportunities, specifically in the finance field. I was very fortunate to attend numerous events in the Canary Wharf area, meet for coffee/lunch with industry professionals, and create bonds with my classmates.
Where do you live in London and why did you choose to live there?
I am currently living near St James's Park tube station, which is 10-minute walk from many touristic attractions such as the Westminster Abbey, the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, the London Eye and St James’s Park. Another plus is that it is three stations away from Imperial (only 10-minutes away by the Tube), which is very convenient for my academic and social life.
When you’re not studying, what do you enjoy doing?
Every day is different but it always starts with an iced coffee from Starbucks and ends with an amazing experience – whether that’s hanging at the parks, museums, bars, or cinema. On numerous occasions, I meet with classmates at the Union Bar which is located on campus.
If you had to move to London for the programme, what have been the benefits and challenges of moving to London?
London is a vibrant city renowned for its traditional and contemporary architecture and long and eventful history – there is always something going on in terms of socialising and networking with others.
What advice would you give someone who is thinking about applying for the programme?
If I could relive the same experience once again, I would not change a thing. No matter what I say it is not enough to cover what Imperial means to me. My experience at Imperial has reinforced the idea that change is in my hands and that to be successful does not mean better grades. It means making unbreakable bonds with those who have touched your life and to be cherished as someone who went beyond the odds with a smile on his face. So, remember to enjoy the experience and take it for what it’s worth.