Academic and industry experience before Imperial

Work experience/internship(s): Before starting my MSc Management I had completed a placement year at ZADI Group, a world-leading supplier of mechanical components. I also volunteered at National Consumer Union, a not-for-profit company in my home town in Italy, Modena.

Greatest academic, professional or personal awards/achievements: The best moment of my life was completing the final round interview at a major investment bank just one hour before my accounting exam last December. And yes, I was successful!


Studying MSc Management

Why did you decide to study an MSc in Management and why specifically at Imperial College Business School? 
In the current competitive job market, having an understanding of general management is essential. Personally, coming from an engineering background, I felt that I was lacking the connection between technical knowledge and management expertise. Imperial College Business School represented the best choice, in terms of rankings, location and student experience.

What makes the MSc Management at Imperial College Business School unique?
The MSc Management at Imperial finds the perfect balance between academic teaching and career prospects. Indeed, the Careers and Professional Development Service offers various precious resources, such as mock interviews, CV reviews, and employer events, which places students in the first row with regards to employability after the programme.

What aspects of the programme do you most enjoy?
The first experience that comes to my mind is the International Study Tour. This year we went to South Africa to explore sustainable development opportunities that the African continent offers. The trip has been one of the best experiences of my life as I spent the most amazing week with awesome people building life-long friendships.

What has been the most challenging part of the programme?
I would say that the first semester has challenged in two ways: while tackling different assignments and subjects, we had to apply to several companies to secure a job for the following year. The mix of these two aspects made the first four months at Imperial particularly intense but still rewarding.

What has been the most rewarding part of the programme?
The programme is designed in a way that students are challenged in the first semester with compulsory core subjects. However, after that first period, we are offered the opportunity to choose our own electives and pathway. This allowed us to particularly enjoy the second part of year, using the knowledge acquired in the first semester to flourish our own interests.

Which has been your favourite module so far and why?
So far, my favourite module has been the Risk Management section in the Finance pathway. The lecturer, coming from the industry, gave us precious insights into the 2008 Financial Crisis and how to face risks in a fast-changing financial environment. Furthermore, we had the opportunity to host different guest lecturers, from the Deputy CEO of Standard Chartered to the ex CRO of Lehman Brothers, as well as managers from London’s top financial institutions.

What pathway (Digital Business, Financial Services or Strategy and Leadership) have you chosen and why?
Among the four pathways, the Financial Services option interested me the most. First of all, it regarded the area of the job I secured, as well as offering interesting guest speakers and insights from the industry. Furthermore, having an expertise in both M&A and risk management is essential to start off a successful career in the finance sector.


Guest speakers

Which seminars, events or guest lectures at the school have been useful in developing your skills and knowledge? 
Every single event organised by the Business School, including employer events, alumni seminars and guest lectures, have all contributed to my personal growth. I can clearly say now that I do not regret attending any of those events.


The faculty

How would you sum up the Business School faculty?
The faculty as a whole is incredibly friendly and ready to listen to any comment or suggestion that students might have. In my role as an Ambassador, I got to know many members of the faculty, from the admission officers to the programme directors, and I have always found an open-door policy from each member of faculty. In one sentence I could sum up the Business School as an entity which is in constant improvement, continuously breaching previous limits.

Did you have a favourite professor/lecturer and why?
The first name that comes to my mind is Ian Mackenzie. Throughout his Strategic Management module, he analysed world-leading companies and their strategic choices, bringing our managerial expertise to an advanced level. Even after his module, I still revise his material and the case studies and I am sure I will continue doing this for a long time.


Your cohort

Imperial places a large emphasis on group work, what inspires you the most about working in this type of environment?
Having the opportunity to exchange ideas with students coming from different backgrounds is an incredible experience. The variety of thoughts and experiences represented in the programme make MSc Management a ground where personal growth is maximised, while life-long friendships are built throughout the entire year.

How would you describe your cohort at Imperial?
The most appropriate adjective is diverse. I personally learned so much form each of my classmates, and I will bring this knowledge with me for the rest of my academic and personal life.


Extracurricular activities

What clubs, societies or other activities have you been involved in at Imperial?
I took part in several societies at Imperial such as the Imperial College Consultancy Society, Italian Society and the Catholic Society to cite a few. I have been able to meet people from different departments, thus increasing my knowledge of different subjects. Moreover, the Business School organised football tournaments: many congrats to the ladies from our year who secured the trophy!


Opportunities from studying at Imperial

What has been the greatest opportunity you have had at Imperial that you wouldn’t get anywhere else?
The people that I had the opportunity to study with are for sure the greatest asset that the programme offers.

How have you benefited from the services provided by the Career and Professional Development Service?
The Career and Professional Development Service definitely helped me find my job. First of all, the career fairs give an incredible opportunity to approach companies, get business cards and talk directly to HR directors. After this first step, the Career Service offers the opportunity to have mock interviews and practice a real assessment day. Without the help of the Career and Professional Development Service I would have struggled much more to secure my job offer.

What are your future career goals and how have they been realised since being at Imperial?
I have always wanted to enter a corporate environment in order to work hard and build valuable experiences. However I also enjoy anything involving entrepreneurship, such as finding innovative and creative solutions to improve day-to-day life. At Imperial, I have been able to secure a job offer as well as developing an entrepreneurial mind-set.

How have you benefited from being part of the wider Imperial College London community?
Indeed, I have been part of the Italian Society and the Consultancy Society. I believe the possibility to enter this big community is a great added value to MSc Management.

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.
London is just incredible when it comes to networking or job opportunities. For instance, I attended the Oil and Gas Forum event in Covent Garden and I was able to meet experts from that area. After the event I was able to head to class just 20 minutes away. This is something that Imperial allows you to do: being inside a microcosm such as London with plenty of opportunities that are waiting to be caught just a couple of minutes away from the Business School!


Career goals and jobs

Have you received any job offers since commencing your programme?
I did. I received a job offer last December as an Analyst at a prestigious investment bank.

What are your career aspirations upon completing the programme?
I will start this new adventure as an analyst abroad, trying to represent the Imperial brand in the best way possible.


Life as a student in London

Whereabouts do you live in London and why did you choose to live there?
I live close to King’s Cross Station as my flat mates attend university close to there.

What can a weekend in London look like for an MSc student?
From a summer concert to a Sunday tea, I still haven’t spent two similar weekends in London. There is literally too much to do and discover that one year won’t be enough.

In your opinion, tell us about the most exciting, undiscovered place in London. 
Definitely, Monument Hill Park in Northern London. Simply beautiful!

If you had to move to London for the programme, what have been the benefits and challenges of moving to London? What advice would you give to someone in a similar position?
Finding a flat in central London has been the most challenging part of the year. Follow this advice and you might end up in a decent flat (hopefully): preview the house personally, don’t let others do that for you; make sure you are walking distance from a tube station; take pictures when you move in and do not trust agencies in general; and choose your flatmates carefully.


Advice for future students

What advice would you give someone who was thinking about applying for the programme? 
Talk to alumni and know your career aspirations; the MSc management could be the best way to fulfil them!

Looking back to when you were applying for the programme, did you attend any online or on campus information sessions? Did you find these a useful part of the recruitment process? Would you recommend that prospective students attend these events?
I did attend on-campus information sessions and I definitely recommend applicants attend these events. It is good to get a feel of the programme while on campus, and talking to admission officers at these events might fast-track your application.

Share with us a handy hint or trick which makes campus life that much easier! 
Eighth floor Blackett building, physics postgraduate room: view over London, coffee and a quiet study room!