Berenberg Bank, Graduate Trainee

Academic and industry experience before Imperial

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

Two large investment banks (Deutsche Bank, Societe Generale) and three smaller boutique funds.

Tell us what your greatest academic, professional or personal awards/achievements have been.

In 2014, whilst already being on my year abroad studying in Moscow, I was picked out from thousands of students in the UK for a full scholarship for the Study China Programme, a UK government funded programme that sends students from the UK to study in a Chinese university for 3 weeksIn 2015, I received a full bursary to complete the Loan Market Association (LMA) programme, chosen among thousands of students at UCL. My highest personal achievement was to reach first team status for both the football and the tennis teams at UCL (out of 35,000 students); a milestone that had never been reached previously.

Why did you decide to study an MSc in Investment & Wealth Management and why specifically at Imperial College Business School?

I decided to pursue an MSc as I was struggling to get the jobs I wanted and I also wanted to get some more quantitative knowledge in Mathematical finance as well as programming. Imperial College Business School was the ultimate choice for my career and academic ambitions. No other university offered such a programme.

Studying MSc Investment & Wealth Management

What makes the MSc Investment & Wealth Management at Imperial College Business School unique?

The MSc Investment & Wealth Management is unique as it’s a Masters in Finance with an added specialty in Asset Management; this is a very specific course that is hard to find elsewhere. In addition, the Imperial College name adds to the quantitative material that is taught on this postgraduate degree. The boost of knowledge, combined with the reputation of the university and a specialised degree makes it an unbeatable choice.

What aspects of the programme do you most enjoy, and find most rewarding?

Being taught by world class lecturers with top class industry experience is the most rewarding thing students can expect from this world class university.

What has been the most challenging part of the programme?

Balancing job applications, programme work, interviews, exams, extra-curricular activities and friends has been challenging but improved and optimised my organisational skills.

Which has been your favourite module so far and why?

Asset Allocation taught by Andrea Buraschi was by far my favourite subject as it covered in detail all the different investment strategies used in the industry. This module single-handedly clinched me my job as I quoted Professor Buraschi in my interviews. In addition, Andrea is at the forefront of the academic literature and knows most of the well-known academics which makes his experience invaluable.

Guest speakers

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

All career events in the first two months were very useful but I must point out the Fintech Conference which was particularly interesting as it got all the leading start-ups of the payment and banking services to come along and talk at Imperial. This is when you understand how world class Imperial is: companies want to come to Imperial and so do the best students.

The faculty

How would you sum up the Business School faculty?

Striving for Success.

Did you have a favourite professor/lecturer and why?

Professor Ravi Bulchandani was amazing. His CV includes Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan in M&A, Trading and Wealth Management. Ravi is capable of teaching in a style that captivated the audience like no other professor, as he fascinates students with his anecdotes and experiences from the industry.

I would also mention professor David Miles whose invaluable experience at the Bank of England delivered us a great module in Macroeconomics in the first term.

Your cohort

Imperial places a large emphasis on group work; what did you like the most about working in this type of environment, whether it be group assignments or class discussions?

Working in groups forces you to forge ties, cooperate and understand people’s strengths and weaknesses.  It’s an excellent exercise to prepare students for the working world.

How would you describe your cohort at Imperial?

Multicultural.

Extracurricular activities

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

I was part of the Table-Tennis Team at Imperial, playing once or twice a week regularly across the year and representing the college against other universities.

Opportunities from studying at Imperial

What has been the greatest opportunity you have had at Imperial that you wouldn’t get anywhere else?

The calibre of professors and the emphasis on the quantitative knowledge.

Career goals and jobs

How have you benefited from the services provided by Careers?

Careers were dedicated to organising as many events with employers as possible and I remember having one event per night for the first two months of arriving at Imperial College Business School, something again you wouldn’t find elsewhere.

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

I wanted to start on a graduate programme in London within a major investment bank in either asset management or equity research. I can now proudly say I have achieved this objective and will even be on a rotational programme that lets me rotate within the bank as well as across geographic locations.

Have you received any job offers since commencing your programme? 

I will start in October at Berenberg Bank as a Graduate Trainee on a 14 months rotational programme across Investment Banking, Asset Management, Private Banking and Corporate Banking with opportunities in Germany, Switzerland, France, U.S.A and the UK.

Life as a student in London

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.

Imperial College Business School’s location is perfect for everything: proximity to employers, shopping, tourist attractions, etc. Most of my interviews were within 30 minutes of access while some students had to commute from other cities in Europe. London is the financial capital of Europe.

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

I live in Gloucester Road, a 10 minute walk from Imperial. I live with my mother and sister. This has been my family home for quite some years. For me, staying at home offered several advantages and cost saving incentives.

Advice for future students

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

Think twice before applying and make sure you know what you want to take away from this programme before  joining.

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

I applied before Christmas and received my offer on Valentine’s Day in February. I did not attend information sessions but merely joined for the Offer Holders session in June once I had already accepted my offer. As a Student Ambassador, I strongly recommend students attend information sessions as it helps you to understand what challenges you will face and is narrated by students like myself. In addition, it is the first point of contact for the university who already starts selecting information on prospective students.

Role
MSc Investment & Wealth Management
Nationality
Serbia
Pre-MSc Investmnet & Wealth Management :

BA (Hons) Economics & Business with East European Studies with a Year Abroad at University College London

Job after Imperial College Business School :

Berenberg Bank, Graduate Trainee