BSc (Hons) Financial Mathematics, The University of Kent
Private Equity Real Estate Intern, Europa Capital
What work experience/internships did you have before beginning with Imperial College Business School?
Before joining the Business School, I had an eclectic range of work experience which helped me understand all aspects of the big world of finance and what I was truly passionate about. I completed internships at PwC in the Data & Analytics - Asset & Wealth Management team, and at ING Bank within Wholesale Banking – Financial Markets. I also had an investment management insight day at M&G Investments and a full-time role at Legg Mason Global Asset Management in the International Global Fiduciary Platform team. This wide range of experience allows me to draw upon diversity of thought and solve problems from a unique perspective. I very much support the idea of collecting varying experiences early on in your career to widen your skillset.
Why did you decide to study MSc Investment & Wealth Management at Imperial College Business School?
Prior to joining the Business School, I knew I would be surrounded by an inspiring faculty and peers. Everyone at the Business School are innovators and change makers. This rubs off on you in many ways and is so valuable for personal and professional growth. It is a rare and unique environment to be part of and contributes to the Business School’s intrinsic value.
The Business School allows you to tailor the MSc Investment & Wealth Management programme to suit the career path you want in the world of investments; for me this was to support my passion for the real estate investment industry. The long list of optional electives to choose from makes the Business School unique to other universities.
Lastly, something that I was not aware of until after joining the Business School was the amazing alumni network. If I knew beforehand how nice, approachable and incredible the alumni network is, it would definitely have impacted my decision to join the Business School in a positive way. So hopefully a prospective student will read this and be aware of this great opportunity earlier than I was.
Did you receive a scholarship?
I was very happy and grateful to receive a CFA student scholarship. This scholarship covers a large proportion of the CFA exam fees and provides free revision resources to students. It has allowed me to study for the CFA Level 1 during my studies with no financial burden.
My advice for future scholarship applicants would be to make sure you want to make the commitment of taking the CFA exam in conjunction with your Master’s. It is just an added benefit to your degree and can always be completed after your studies, so do not let it jeopardise your MSc programme experience and learning. But if you do choose the take on the CFA, go all in and best of luck.
What aspects of the programme do you most enjoy the most?
Everyone at the Business School has such a diverse background. There are people from all over the world, and getting to meet, collaborate and learn from them is an extremely unique opportunity.
Being based in South Kensington is also amazing; even if there is rainy British weather, the campus looks and feels great. You get to spend the year in a beautiful part of London.
The teaching and academic timetable for the year creates an environment of non-stop hustle which leads to a proud feeling of how much you grow, learn, and accomplish throughout the programme.
Which has been your favourite module so far and why?
Real Estate Investment is at the top of my list because it has laid down the foundations for my knowledge to take with me into the real estate industry post-graduation. The module is highly applicable for a role in the industry and develops important skillsets. Like most electives, there have been fantastic industry guest speakers you otherwise would not have access to, such as individuals from Blackstone and Greycoat.
What has been the most rewarding part of the programme?
Whenever you get time to take a step back from your busy schedule and reflect, you realise that you have grown leaps and bounds both personally and professionally. After finishing all the exams, deadlines, group work and other commitments, you realise the Business School has helped you cultivate the necessary hard and soft skills that are vital for the professional world. Realising the Business School has done a great job of making you a well-rounded individual for your future career through the carefully structured/designed programme is the most rewarding part.
What has been the most challenging part of the programme?
Balancing coursework, exams, and job applications on top of any other commitments inside and outside of the university is a challenging aspect that everyone at the Business School gets to suffer through together. However, it is all worth it and everyone can happily agree that there is no one at the Business School who has not mastered time-management skills by the end of the degree. The university does a great job in the first term to help you frame your mindset and approach based on what to achieve in these areas which are extremely beneficial.
How have you found the multi-mode teaching delivery?
Multi-mode teaching has been as smooth as it can be during the pandemic and the Business School is certainly ahead of the curve compared to all other universities when it comes to delivering its teaching online when needed. I will always favour in-person teaching but I have had a great experience with multi-mode teaching, nonetheless.
How would you describe your cohort at Imperial?
Everyone in the cohort has a distinct characteristic or skillset that makes them unique and it is clear that they will all be successful in the future. Everyone has something to bring to the table and there is a strong ethos of collaboration and teamwork at the university — everyone succeeds together.
Did you have a favourite professor/lecturer and why?
Piero Novelli has been my favourite professor so far. He teaches Corporate Dealmaking and this has been his first year teaching this new module. He brings a great level of enthusiasm to all of his lectures and there is always so much discussion going on in class, which is helpful for learning, understanding and retaining information. Piero also has vast experience in mergers and acquisitions which shines through in his teaching, and the class gets to have access to his valuable views and perspectives of the finance industry.
What has been the greatest opportunity you have had at Imperial?
The greatest opportunity has been being able to meet and speak with alumni of the Business School. The wealth of help from the Business School and its alumni has been instrumental for my job applications and career. I was able to gain insights into companies and seek advice from those who once were in the position I am currently in. This also extends to having access to all the other people outside of the academic staff that make up Imperial College Business School like Careers and the Employer Relations teams.
Which workshops, events or guest lectures at the School have been useful in developing your skills and knowledge?
The most useful tool I have access to in developing my skills and knowledge is from the InvestInU Academy. InvestInU Academy is a new company run by two Imperial College Business School alumni — Stéphane Renevier and Reda Farran. Both Stéphane and Reda run workshops and one-to-one sessions to help Imperial students on industry knowledge, interviews and assessment centre practice. They have a genuine passion for helping current students and I was in a much better position in my interviews and assessment centres because of them. I highly recommend getting in touch with them.
What clubs, societies or other activities have you been involved in at Imperial?
I have had lots of fun being part of the Events Committee for the Social Impact & Responsible Business Club. I am also gaining rewarding experience as a Real Estate Equity Analyst for the Imperial College Business School Student Investment Fund. I have also entered the Business School’s five-a-side summer football tournament, which our team hope to be carrying the trophy in a few weeks' time. As a potential prospective student, hopefully, you can follow in our five-a-side success.
Have you had opportunities to work/socialise with students across programmes within the Business School?
Due to the pandemic, most of my socialising across programmes has been from my involvement in the extracurricular activities mentioned in the above question. Also, in the final term where students study their optional electives, classes are mixed across programmes and there are opportunities to complete group work with people outside of your cohort.
How have you benefited from the Business School’s connection to the Imperial College London community?
The Business School’s connection to the wider Imperial College London community means that your alumni network expands even further, and you get access to an even more diverse range of industries outside of just finance – all of whom are just as willing to help you out as Business School alumni. Imperial College London’s international recognition as a top university is another benefit of this connection. There are also plenty of Imperial College London careers fairs and extracurricular events that you get access to from being at the Business School.
What are your future career goals and how have they been realised since being at Imperial?
Just before joining the MSc Investment & Wealth Management programme, I realised my passion for the real estate investment industry, and I have used all possible resources to craft my career path into this industry during my time at Imperial. I have secured a role in the real estate investment industry upon graduation, and I am thrilled to start this next chapter of my career. A long-term goal of mine will be to start my own real estate investment company, and this has been influenced by the entrepreneurial spirit that has rubbed off on me at the Business School.
Have you received any job offers since commencing your programme?
Yes, I have accepted a role as a Private Equity Real Estate Intern at Europa Capital, a dedicated real estate investment manager.
How did the services from Careers help in your professional development/securing employment?
From the moment you are offered a place at the Business School and even before the start of the semester in September you are being prepared and helped on your professional development/securing employment. CV and cover letter sessions, industry insight workshops, assessment centre help, mentoring schemes with alumni and one-to-one interview help are all part of an extensive list of support available to you from Careers.
Do you think studying in a central location such as London is beneficial for networking and career opportunities?
To my surprise, the pandemic did not have as adverse an effect on networking opportunities as I thought. If anything, I believe the new norm of video calls made it easier to meet professionals and still develop authentic relationships. I have spoken with numerous alumni and employers over Zoom, Teams, Webex and FaceTime. Now that restrictions have eased, I have also had the opportunity to meet employers in person whereby being based in Central London makes it so much more convenient.
Where do you live in London and why did you choose to live there?
I have had the thrill of living in both Canary Wharf and Forest Hill during my time studying the programme. Being based anywhere around Central London is great and each area has its own perks. I chose to live in Canary Wharf to be with friends and moved to Forest Hill to be with family and who knows where I will be next. There is so much to do for everyone in London and if you are coming from abroad do not worry, I am sure you will have an amazing time here.
When you’re not studying, what do you enjoy doing?
I love playing rugby and play at club level. I also used to compete in tennis, but now I just play on occasion for fun. I love travelling as well and still have a long list of items to check off across the globe. Once the pandemic is over, I will be sure to get checking off items on my travel list once again. I also have a list of six-month hobbies that I started, and my next item is getting my hang-gliding certificate which I cannot wait for.
If you had to move to London for the programme, what have been the benefits and challenges of moving to London?
I have always lived just outside of London but now I have moved into Central London. A benefit of being in Central London that I extremely value is how quick and easy it is to get around. Your year on the MSc Investment & Wealth Management programme is extremely busy and there will always be an event or meeting to go to, so it is important to me that I do not spend too much of that time commuting. However, I believe that it is all down to personal preference. It is not the be-all and end-all if you are in London and there are many students who commute to Imperial from outside of London too. Location is a perk; the real fun and value is how your time is spent at the Business School, not how far away from your bedroom is from it.
Looking back to when you were applying for the programme, did you attend any online webinars or on-campus information sessions?
Yes, during the application process I attended a QS Top Universities event where I got to meet admissions staff, get my personal statement reviewed and gain insights into the Business School. It was a great way to learn more about the MSc programme and to get onto the university’s radar. I highly recommend that prospective students go to these events. The Business School’s website also has online webinars and on-campus information sessions you can sign up to that provide similar information.
What advice would you give someone who is thinking about applying for the programme?
Come prepared with what you want to achieve and get out of your time at the Business School beforehand — these goals and milestones will change as your time flies by at the Business School and that is a good thing, but to get the most out of the experience, it helps to know roughly the path you want to take.
Say yes to as many opportunities as you can. Whatever new comes your way at the Business School, just take it on and grow along the way. By the end of your time here you will be wishing the programme was longer. Everyone is willing to help you here at Imperial College Business School.