BSc Economics, University of Liverpool
Private Equity Analyst, Macquarie Group, MIRA
What work experience/internships did you have before beginning with Imperial College Business School?
I had three internships and one research experience before I started my studies at Imperial. The first one was in Soochow Securities in my hometown Suzhou, China, where my role as an assistant. I conducted daily stock research and initiated cold calls. The internship was more like an insight programme, so I stayed there for just two weeks. However, I still gained a lot of insights into the Chinese equity market.
The second internship was at GLB Capital and Strategy fund in Shanghai, China. My main duties were to carry out due diligence and to write reports on projects my team was responsible for. The company at that time was looking for investment opportunities mainly in pharmaceutical companies and labs, and it was fun getting to know the industry that I had no previous knowledge in.
The third internship was in Arete Complete Talent Management. I was in the sales and marketing team the education consultancy. It has nothing to do with the finance industry, yet I enjoyed it a lot. Not only was I responsible for bringing up creative ideas of the sales and marketing events, but I also built a new model using the econometrics knowledge I acquired during my undergraduate study for the company to improve its operational efficiency.
Finally, the research project I worked on took place when I was at the University of Liverpool. I was a research apprentice to my previous lecturer. We produced an academic paper on the relationship between real estate price and market liquidity, and it was published later.
Why did you decide to study an MSc Investment & Wealth Management at Imperial College Business School?
There are many aspects I took into consideration when choosing what postgraduate programme to study; location, alumni, teachings and the university community. I decided to apply at Imperial because the Business School has the perfect location for networking and it’s convenient to attend company events and interviews. Imperial also has amazing alumni connections - I can always reach out to alumni for help with the assessment centre preparations. In terms of programme specifics, MSc Investment & Wealth Management is very quantitative and programming-focused, which were areas of study I wanted to focus on. In today's increasingly competitive financial market, it is important to know how to code. The programme offers the perfect opportunity to learn this. In the spring term, almost all the coursework requires programming. Therefore, it also gives you a chance to apply theories into practice.
What aspects of the programme do you most enjoy the most?
I think it is the general Imperial community and the friendliness of the cohort that I enjoy the most. The people around me are all very determined and diligent, and they are very willing to share tips and advice to help me with interviews. As an international student, I have never felt excluded - I have always been surrounded by nice and genuine people!
Which has been your favourite module so far and why?
International Finance in the spring term was my favourite module. I have always been fascinated by macroeconomics and the financial market. In this module, I found my interests connected well with useful and practical knowledge. I was so inspired by this module that my applied project is under the topic of international finance. In addition, the lecturer is humorous! He always made sure the class was interesting.
What has been the most rewarding part of the programme?
The most rewarding part of the programme has been learning how to code. Before I came to Imperial, I never thought of myself as someone who could write lines of codes in order to deal with real-life issues, portfolio constructions or exchange rates predictions. I know you can always learn coding by yourself through online programmes, but without the encouragement of the Business School and my lecturers, I would have given up halfway and I might not have been able to link the results with theories and apply them in practice.
What has been the most challenging part of the programme?
The programme is very quantitative and focuses a lot on coding. Although this is the most rewarding part of the programme, it is also the most challenging.
How did you find the unprecedented switch to remote delivery due to COVID-19?
I'm glad the Business School responded to students’ requests quickly and has been constantly keeping us updated on what measures they are taking to ensure we have a safe and enjoyable experience.
How would you describe your cohort at Imperial?
I had the most amazing cohort I have ever been in! Everyone is nice and willing to give a hand when I need help. Plus, there is always someone organising fun and spontaneous activities for the students to have fun together.
Did you have a favourite professor/lecturer and why?
My favourite professor is Pasquale Della Corte, he teaches International Finance. He is so humorous and can combine textbook knowledge with the daily market news. In addition, he replies to emails and students’ requests quickly, which is extremely helpful.
What has been the greatest opportunity you have had at Imperial?
We are fortunate that we have been taught by many industry professionals, especially in the summer term. This gives us an opportunity to hear from experienced professionals and their opinions regarding the current market and industry trends.
Which workshops, events or guest lectures at the school have been useful in developing your skills and knowledge?
The guest lectures organised by the Student Investment Fund was very interesting. The lecturer spoke about the current risk models and forecasted how much of an influence the pandemic would be to the world economy.
What clubs, societies or other activities have you been involved in at Imperial?
I was a student ambassador for my programme. I also joined the Student Investment Fund, which aims to equip its members with essential skills for the buy-side industry and enhance your teaching and learning with practical experience.
Have you had opportunities to work/socialise with students across programmes within the Business School?
Yes! I have had the opportunity to socialise outside of my programme by attending the Business School social events and have made plenty of friends just from meeting students who were also studying in the library.
How have you benefited from the Business School’s connection to the Imperial College London community?
There have been activities co-organised by both the Business School and Imperial College London for all the postgraduates, this has been great for us to help get to know each other. For instance, there was a spring ball earlier this year where all the postgraduates enrolled at Imperial could attend. In addition, there was a charity programme called What the Tech!?, which all students could sign up for.
What are your future career goals and how have they been realised since being at Imperial?
Once I have gathered enough experience in the buy-side finance industry, I want to be an individual investor. With the help and encouragement of the Business School and my peers from the cohort, I am lucky to start my career in the right direction. In addition, the MSc Investment and Wealth Management programme has a focus on buy-side, which equips me with the useful knowledge and skills for my career.
Have you received any job offers since commencing your programme?
I secured a graduate role as a private equity analyst at Macquarie Group, in the London office. I will be working in their famous asset management division, focusing on infrastructure and real assets direct investment.
How did the services from Careers help in your professional development/securing employment?
The mock assessment centre activity was useful because I had the chance to participate with peers who I didn’t know before. This very resembled a real-life scenario, where candidates would most likely have to work with people, they are not familiar with. Not only did the practice help me familiarise with the real scenario I would have, but I also received valuable feedback from both Careers coaches and my peers in that activity.
Do you think studying in a central location such as London is beneficial for networking and career opportunities?
Absolutely! The South Kensington station, where you can take District, Circle and Piccadilly lines to literally anywhere in London, is just 10-minutes away from the Business School. I found it very convenient when I had classes during the daytime and company events to attend at night.
Where do you live in London and why did you choose to live there?
To be honest, I really enjoy the busy side of London during the daytime, but when dusk approaches, I would like to enjoy some rare tranquillity. Therefore, I chose to live near Ravenscourt Park in Hammersmith. It is a quiet and safe neighbourhood, but also very convenient. There are grocery stores that are within 10 minutes’ walk and the tube station running the district line is just 5 minutes away.
When you’re not studying, what do you enjoy doing?
I like to hang out with my friends, tick as many boxes as possible on my to-go and to-eat lists for London and enjoy a good glass of wine at night.
If you had to move to London for the programme, what have been the benefits and challenges of moving to London?
I think searching for an ideal place to live in London can be very time-consuming. The city is quite spread out, meaning there are many choices for you to choose from. On the one hand, it can be a good thing as you can compare between options to get the best deal. On the other hand, too many possibilities can make you feel a bit indecisive. My advice is to choose a place near a tube station that runs District or Piccadilly line (ideally both) so you can get to the Business School quickly.
Looking back to when you were applying for the programme, did you attend any online webinars or on-campus information sessions?
I didn’t attend an information session when I was applying but I did reach out to a friend of mine who was studying on the programme to find out more about her experience at Imperial. It was quite useful for my personal statement as I could hear stories from someone who had a reliable and accurate first-hand experience. I would recommend future applicants who would like to know about the overall experience of studying in the Business School to get in touch with student ambassadors withy any questions they may have. If you have any questions related to the recruitment and application process, I’d recommend attending the information sessions, as Imperial staff can help with any queries you may have.
What advice would you give someone who is thinking about applying for the programme?
MSc Investment and Wealth Management is a very quantitative programme and you will be assigned a lot of coursework that requires coding – make sure you’re prepared for this! It will be a challenging yet rewarding year! Also, if you would like to find a job in London, start preparing now, instead of waiting until the programme starts. Get your CV ready, kick off your endless coffee-chat journey and send your applications as soon as the positions are open.