Jonathan White graduated from MSc Investment & Wealth Management in 2016. He now works as Portfolio Investment and Business Development Manager at Oasis Holding. In this profile, he shares how MSc Investment & Wealth Management at Imperial gave him the skills he needed to pursue a career in the sector.
Studying MSc Investment & Wealth Management at Imperial
Why did you choose to study MSc Investment & Wealth Management and why specifically at Imperial College Business School?
Imperial has an incredible worldwide name. I was most excited about the lecturers on the programme. They really stood out, for example David Miles who taught me on Macro Economics and Seb Canderle, who taught me on Private Equity & Venture Capital. The Faculty come from incredible backgrounds and offer amazing business insight which is tough to find elsewhere.
The location of the university is also great. I’ve lived in London for three years prior to starting at Imperial. My friends are based in London and many work in similar industries so it made sense for me to stay in the area.
What industry knowledge and skills did you learn on MSc Investment & Wealth Management?
The Real Estate Investment elective was incredibly handy to my current job role. This was the first time I’d looked at large scale property investments, learning how to model using real-life examples. It’s practical and covers methods used in real commercial environments.
The Private Equity and Venture Capital module tied in perfectly with my internship. Again, the models taught were useful to real life scenarios, but it was the speakers who were the best part. The lecturer brought in a series of professional speakers, all of whom were accomplished individuals, e.g. CEOs of huge private equity or private debt firms. It was good to hear about the industry from their perspective. The programme covered many sectors within the PE industry so you can really think about what you want to do in that sector going forward.
Experiences of a Business School student
Looking back on your time on the programme, what do you miss the most?
My classmates. It was a close cohort and we had very good relationships with each other. On most programmes I have experienced, you only know c.20% of your colleagues, but we gelled quite well. As Social Secretary, I organised events from dinners to parties which seemed to pick up quite a lot of traction. We still organise the occasional dinner or weekend where some colleagues from Europe fly into London for the weekend.
It’s great to have friends everywhere in the world. And it helps that we all work in a similar industry so generally have the same schedules. The camaraderie within our cohort was superb. For example, the internship I did prior to my current role was recommended by a fellow student who had also applied and met the team. Everyone helped each other out despite most of the time applying for the same roles!
What was a typical day like as a student?
Being a masters student at Imperial gives you plenty of flexibility. The only real fixed element was lectures and classes, so you can really structure your day as you please. Sometimes if there was an afternoon lecture, I would work from home in the morning and come in after lunch. For morning lectures, I’d come in, read some notes prior to the lecture, go to class and then grab lunch with other students in South Kensington area. After lunch, I would work for a couple of hours before the next lecture, then either go home or work for a couple of hours in the library. It is a truly flexible working environment which really allows you to pursue your key interests in depth.
Living in London
How important was it to your experience on the programme to be located in London?
It’s very important if you want to work in London. Even if you don’t, the London education system has a great reputation. There’s also the ease to meet people face-to-face for interviews. It is difficult to portray characteristics like charisma over the phone, whereas you can portray a lot more in a face-to-face interview. We even had classmates on MSc Investment & Wealth Management who would personally hand CVs to offices for jobs that were advertised on the internet. In a very tough and competitive market, any advantage you can get thinking outside the box and elevating your game can get you one step closer to that dream job.
Career support and aspirations
Did you make use of the Career and Professional Development Service?
I went to workshops to improve my CV. There was one session where an expert recruiter took it in turns to review our CVs and provide immediate feedback. I received really good advice to take a lot of things that were not relevant off my CV and to highlight extra-curricular leadership positions that set me aside from other candidates. I also went to a few interview practices prior to key interviews which helped me prepare.
Advice for prospective students
What advice would you give to someone who’s thinking about applying to the programme?
1) Keep in touch with your classmates. Your network is everything in business. When you join Imperial, you’re given a network of 14000 alumni. A lot of people underestimate that. You can offer each other great advice as you’re all going to work in the same industry. For example, further down in your career you might want to branch into something else. Having a network of contacts gives you insider knowledge that would help you make that decision.
2) Make use of tutorial time. When I shared with the lecturer on the Derivatives module that I wasn’t confident in my maths, he gave me advice that helped me not only to pass, but to exceed my greatest expectations in my exams, without this advice I wouldn’t have achieved what I did.
3) Turn up to guest lectures. The School brings in senior people from large firms e.g. senior directors from Unilever Ventures. Take advantage of people who want to talk to you about what you’re doing and give you real advice about how to get where you want to be.