Alessia Cheng

Programme: MSc Management

Nationality: German

Undergraduate Education: BSc Technology & Management (Chemistry & Business), Technical University Munich

Job after Imperial College Business School: Fellow, McKinsey & Company

MSc Management 2018

About you

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

I had gained a variety of international work experience including at HSBC (Taipei), Bosch (Hong Kong), EY (London) and Strategy& (Germany) prior to my studies. I’ve also been an active member of a student consultancy where I worked on several independent projects for international companies especially on the topics of digital transformation. I believe gaining practical experience prior to a Business Master’s degree is very valuable. It provides insights and exposure to the corporate world which creates a balanced cohort with different industry knowledge and interests.

Why did you decide to study MSc Management at Imperial College Business School?

I chose to study MSc Management due to the possibility of flexibly tailoring the programme to my interests and area of focus whilst still allowing the breadth of different business topics to be covered. It was important for me to study a programme that bridges the theory and practice and the MSc Management degree allowed that. I choose Imperial College Business School because of its outstanding brand, numerous opportunities in corporate and social, its diversity in student body and staff and its location in central London. Furthermore, Imperial College Business School also has a large emphasis on entrepreneurship and provides a large diverse network especially through the interaction with the rest of Imperial College that is renowned for its world-class education, research and development.


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

I really enjoyed the electives such as my study abroad at HEC where I took the module Geopolitics, Globalisation and Business Strategy. It was a rewarding two weeks, where I got to meet students from other renowned business schools and experience the teaching in one of the top Business Schools in the world. I also very much enjoyed the Design Thinking elective and the Finance module.

What has been the most challenging part of the programme?

The most challenging part was probably at the beginning of the programme, when the job application period overlapped with our first term, which was most likely the busiest. Juggling all the applications, study work load and socials required good time management to make the best of all the things and meet the deadlines. However, we had a strong Careers team that provided a lot of support and organised a lot of networking events, careers fairs and company visits which facilitated the process.

Did you attend an international trip? How was it beneficial to you?

I did, I went on the European Immersion Trip to Lisbon with my cohort and had a lot of fun! Besides the company visits, which allowed us to learn about a new European market and the entrepreneurial drive of the Portuguese capital, we were also able to explore the city and enjoy the South European hospitality. The trip also brought people from the cohort closer together, as you get to spend more time with people you haven’t worked with before and allowed a better interaction in the bigger group.


How do you describe your cohort at Imperial?

My cohort was very diverse – we had a colourful mix of educational backgrounds, nationalities, industry knowledge and also way of thought. I really enjoyed working and learning with a group of people who are very open-minded, driven and of such international exposure.


What has been the greatest opportunity you have had at Imperial?

One of the most rewarding experiences for me was the World Government Summit in Dubai. We had to apply to represent Imperial College Business School and I was chosen to be part of a team with another MSc student and four MBA students. The World Government Summit was a global platform that brought together global leaders, innovators and policy makers to open dialogue to discuss initiatives on educational transformation, technological innovation, and economic prosperity to shape the future of governments. Parallel to the conference, 16 of the world’s leading universities were participating in the Global University Challenge that brought together the brightest minds to craft a strategy and execution plan for UAE’s vision of becoming the best country by 2071 revolving around the topic of happiness of its citizens. It was such an inspiring conference and it was amazing working with such a great team!

What clubs, societies or other activities have you been involved in at Imperial? Do you hold a student leadership position?

During my time at Imperial College Business School, I was the Chair of the MSc Management programme, so I was leading the Student Staff Committee and had a seat in the Dean’s Student Advisory Council, which allowed me to interact with the other programmes of the Business School and foster cross-programme relationships.  It was a great experience working with the other committed and hardworking student leaders to improve the student experience, liaise between the staff and students and be a voice of the cohort to ensure the smooth workings of the programme. I was also a Student Ambassador for Imperial College Business School and participated in events for prospective students in giving them insights and advice about the programme and the college. I was also a member of the Consulting Club.


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

My career goals were pretty clear when starting the programme. I wanted to pursue a career in the Consulting sector and was hoping to enter one of the big strategy consultancies after the Master’s – I am happy to say that I was able to realise this.

Have you received any job offers since commencing your programme?

I have received offers from Oliver Wyman, Strategy&, GLG, Deloitte, and McKinsey & Company. I will be joining the Berlin office of McKinsey & Company after the MSc Management programme and my travels to South America in the autumn.

London location

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

I lived in the Notting Hill Gate area, close to the Queensway tube station and I can highly recommend it! Imperial College is only a 20 minute walk away through Hyde Park just around the corner (always loved my walk to uni!) or a quick 15 minute tube or bus ride away. There are plenty of restaurants, cafes and grocery stores around and you’re only 10 minutes away from Oxford Circus on the tube. I definitely enjoyed having Hyde Park so close by and the convenience of all the amenities around, whilst still living in a safe and residential area.

What have been the benefits and challenges of moving to London? What advice would you give to someone in a similar position?

I love living in London, and I could list out a hundred benefits of moving here – there’s always something happening here! London, being such a vibrant hub, allows you to meet people from all walks of life, it has the fancy and the edgy, it’s got the Arts, culture and nature covered, you’ve got new events, shows, festivals happening every weekend, the night life is great and it has some of the best restaurants… From a young working professional viewpoint, you benefit from being in city that offers a myriad of opportunities to network with international companies across various industries, you find yourself surrounded by like-minded young professionals, as well as industry leaders, and get exposure to the newest developments in the business world.

I think the biggest challenge for me of moving to London was finding a flat – I am sure a lot of people struggle with it, especially if you are an international. Housing is quite expensive in London, especially around the area of the university, so I would suggest coming at least two weeks earlier than the start of the programme and begin with the search. To make it easier on your wallet, I would suggest you find a flat share (I found my flat mates through the MSc Management Facebook group) or go on flat sharing websites to find available rooms.

Programme: MSc Management

Nationality: German

Undergraduate Education: BSc Technology & Management (Chemistry & Business), Technical University Munich

Job after Imperial College Business School: Fellow, McKinsey & Company