Jiayi Chen MSc Investment & Wealth Management 2020-21, student at Imperial College Business School

Programme: MSc Investment & Wealth Management

Nationality: Hong Kong

Education: MEng Engineering Science, University of Oxford

About you

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

Before starting my Master’s at Imperial, I completed a summer internship with the Consumer & Investment Management division at Goldman Sachs.

Why did you decide to study MSc Investment & Wealth Management at Imperial College Business School?

In the final year of my undergraduate degree, I decided I wanted to work in the investment management industry. After checking out different programmes offered by Imperial College Business School and Master’s programmes from other schools, the structure of MSc Investment & Wealth Management at Imperial attracted me the most. This is because it has a strong focus on knowledge in the secondary markets, which will better prepare me for my future career. Additionally, I’ve noticed that this programme is quite coding-heavy, and I thought it would be a good opportunity to learn more coding languages and to improve my coding ability, which is increasingly important in the financial industry nowadays.


What aspects of the programme do you enjoy the most?

The great thing about this programme is the abundant choice of electives available. As I mentioned before, the core modules tend to focus on the secondary market, but some electives focus on the primary market. For instance, I chose Advanced Company Valuation and Private Equity and Venture Capital as my summer term electives. So for students who haven’t determined exactly which field within finance they want to work in, there are lots of great opportunities to explore. Additionally, lots of electives are super trendy and closely linked with changes or new technologies in the financial industry. Some of my friends took modules such as Machine Learning and Finance, Text Mining for Economics and Finance, and Big Data in Finance and found them super useful.

Which has been your favourite module so far and why?

My favourite module in this programme so far has been Asset Allocation and Investment Strategies. The content of this module is well-structured, since it has a good combination of theory explanation, real-life investment strategies, class discussions, case studies and coursework. We learn about different trading strategies used in the industry, such as equity long-short, momentum strategy and carry strategy. We also learn about how to evaluate a fund manager’s performance. Case studies in this module are particularly interesting since we analyse real-life cases, i.e. the 2007 hedge fund quant meltdown, to not only enhance the knowledge we learn in class, but also to understand financial history.

What has been the most rewarding part of the programme?

I am enjoying the guest speakers' lectures in this programme. Some lecturers will invite industry professionals to come and give guest lectures. For example, the lecturer of the Advanced Company Valuation module invited an MD from Goldman Sachs to come and share with us about AstraZeneca, a case study we were working on. It was particularly insightful to learn about a financial professional’s opinions on this industry as well as the company. Working on the same case has allowed my team to learn to think in a real-life valuation way and to admire the professional's expertise. Another guest speaker was an Imperial College Business School alumnus, who is an entrepreneur trying to implement his PhD investment strategies research. He came to talk to us not only about his experience and career, but also his life as a student at Imperial.

What has been the most challenging part of the programme?

Apart from compulsory modules, there are lots of optional classes you can go to. On top of electives, I’ve enrolled in two optional classes, C++ and VBA. The challenge comes with time management as it can be difficult to balance attending all these optional classes and completing all compulsory coursework to a high standard.


How would you describe your cohort at Imperial?

Diverse and lively. The students of the MSc Investment & Wealth Management cohort come from many different backgrounds, such as accounting, economics, engineering, math, biology, etc. Since there is a lot of teamwork required in this programme, we get the chance to meet and interact with many different people, and each time the team dynamics are different. The cohort also raises new ideas collectively to help improve the academic, social and career aspects of MSc Investment & Wealth Management.


What has been the greatest opportunity you have had at Imperial?

I appreciate the opportunity to be involved in many student activities, such as career clubs other social events. These activities not only help me understand more career-related matters but also allow me to make friends with students from MSc Investment & Wealth Management and other programmes.

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

I found the workshop ‘Building up emotional intelligence in the workplace’ to be particularly useful. As a fresh graduate, there are lots of workplace rules we need to understand. This workshop helps identify areas that are worth paying attention to and outline some basic workplace etiquette, which is beneficial for students who haven’t experienced corporate working.

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

I am the Vice President of the Asia Business Club, which aims to expose students to Asian business across sectors such as consulting, finance, FMCG, etc. I am also the Student-Staff Committee Career Leader, responsible for career-related matters of the MSc Investment & Wealth Management cohort.

I joined the Imperial College Business School Student Investment Fund as a fundamental equity analyst in the utility team. This experience has not only enhanced my technical equity research skills, but also helped me develop an understanding of the US utility industry as well as the company we were researching on. There were also lots of opportunities to incorporate environmental, social and governance related concepts and participate in speaker series and have a close interaction with them. The presentation of our equity research at the end of term invited industry professionals to give out feedback, which gives us a real taste of what working in this industry is like. Additionally, by working as a team, I made friends with students from other programmes.

Have you had opportunities to work/socialise with students across programmes within the Business School?

Through clubs, I have been getting to know many other students from other programmes with different career interests. By attending Student-Staff Committee meetings, I’ve been able to connect with student leaders from other programmes. Apart from these meetings, we also host some virtual social events to share our experiences and lives with one another.


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

I would like to work in the investment management industry and I believe the content I am studying in this programme will equip me well for my future career.

Have you received any job offers since commencing your programme?

I have accepted an Analyst role at Goldman Sachs in their Private Wealth Management division.

How did the services from Careers help in your professional development/securing employment?

I went to a group case interview session with Careers. The feedback and interview tips I received were really helpful.

London Location

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

I believe that living and studying in central London is super beneficial for networking and interviews. During my undergraduate studies at Oxford, I had to travel via trains for interviews and commute back during rush hour. If interviews were scheduled super early, I would come to London beforehand and stay at my friend’s for a night. I feel like studying in central London would help avoid lots of these inconveniences and help prepare for interviews by getting better rest. Additionally, students might find it easier to attend events held by big companies in London, whereas if the student does not live in central London, I imagine going to these events could be difficult, especially if they find out about them last minute.


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

Attend the on-campus events or online webinars organised for students. Try to initiate conversations with current/past Imperial College Business School students to learn more about their studies and careers. Although I didn’t get the chance to participate in any on-campus events, I interacted with some Imperial students to learn about their programmes as well as their application processes. I found it particularly useful since I can get to know the programme and the School from the students’ perspective.

Interested in applying for a scholarship to this programme?

Programme: MSc Investment & Wealth Management

Nationality: Hong Kong

Education: MEng Engineering Science, University of Oxford