Academic and industry experience before Imperial
Work experience/internships: Before I was clearer about my career interests, I had varied work experiences ranging from shadowing barristers to supporting a fashion designer in her studio. However, I since realised my interest in business development, strategy and communications. My most significant internships have been working in the strategy and communications department for a Magic Circle law firm, developing communications and investor relations strategies at a corporate communications consultancy, and developing solutions for varied business problems at a major news media organisation.
Greatest academic, professional or personal awards/achievements: My greatest academic achievement so far has been my scholarship to study MSc Management at Imperial College Business School. During my undergraduate studies I was elected as Marketing Officer and then Vice-President of the UCL Energy Society, and at secondary school I was elected Head Girl and was awarded an art scholarship aged 13. My greatest professional achievement so far has been the opportunity to compile an important strategic report whilst working at a Magic Circle law firm and personally presenting it to the Managing Partner.
Studying MSc Management
Why did you decide to study your programme and why specifically at Imperial College Business School?
Having studied a humanities degree for my undergraduate studies, I sought to broaden my skills set to ensure that I was equipped to pursue opportunities in the business world. I wanted to hone my ability to interpret opportunities and threats that influence strategic decisions, assess how corporate operations are harnessed to implement strategic goals and strengthen my ability to analyse quantitative material or macroeconomic dynamics to identify strategic opportunities. I wanted to study specifically at Imperial College Business School having learned of Imperial’s academic excellence, international reputation and rigorous intellectual environment from my late grandfather, who studied engineering there over half a century ago. The global diversity of Imperial’s student body and faculties is a significant source of invaluable insights, as I aspire to embark on an international career.
What makes the MSc Management at Imperial College Business School unique?
My fun, inspiring and international peers on the course; the unique attention paid to every job seeker by the careers department; the attention to detail of the programme team in ensuring that every student feels their time at Imperial has been fulfilling and enjoyable; the unique focus of the course on personal and professional development instead of focussing too much on theory; and our unparalleled opportunities to tailor the course to our career pursuits or interests through electives.
What aspects of the programme do you most enjoy?
Developing innovative or futuristic ideas with my team for certain courses and projects, having fun brainstorming in the process; meeting and getting to know individuals from a variety of backgrounds and countries; electives that are relevant to my career goals; and learning from my peers and spending time with them.
What has been the most challenging part of the programme?
Coordinating group work and balancing the job search with university work.
What has been the most rewarding part of the programme?
Completing and doing well in a group project, surprising myself with good grades for subjects that I initially may have struggled with, using soft or hard skills that I had learned from the course in interviews or assessment days during the job search, and making some wonderful (and hilarious) friends.
Which has been your favourite module so far and why?
So far I have enjoyed the Digital Pathway and Innovation Management modules the most. Studying certain companies in case studies was fascinating and I enjoyed learning more about the digital and technological developments that shape our world. Learning about how to make inventions or new ideas commercially successful was particularly interesting.
What pathway (Digital Business, Financial Services or Strategy and Leadership) have you chosen and why?
I chose the Digital Business pathway because it was both interesting and relevant to my career goals. Given that marketers are relying ever more on big data, digital marketing tools and web analytics to target customers for example, I thought that studying this pathway would provide me with useful knowledge and skills. I also did so because many companies are developing their business models in response to changing customer purchasing behaviour in this digital age.
Which seminars, events or guest lectures at the school have been useful in developing your skills and knowledge?
The industry related events have been particularly important for broadening my knowledge. I particularly enjoyed the Digital Marketing Festival, which involved leaders in digital marketing from Buzzfeed, BBC Radio 1, Adobe and Google among others, discussing the latest trends and considering the future of marketing. The networking or careers events that included large companies such as Unilever, as well as up-and-coming organisations like Farfetch, have been invaluable. A presentation by a leading figure from Moet-Hennessy discussing the luxury goods sector has been highly relevant to my future career goals.
How would you sum up the Business School faculty?
Attentive, efficient and friendly, with individuals who care about your student experience and experts who want you to do well.
Imperial places a large emphasis on group work, what inspires you the most about working in this type of environment?
Learning from my peers, particularly with regards to skills or techniques that I lack in comparison; enjoying the process of developing innovative ideas together; seeing team members demonstrate or play to their strengths; and hearing about, and being inspired by, another team member’s fantastic idea.
How would you describe your cohort at Imperial?
An incredibly fun, inclusive and energetic bunch that doesn’t seem to tire from having a good time (read: partying), whilst managing to balance getting good grades and landing some fantastic jobs. In sum, they are balanced people – my peers are a diverse and intelligent group with bright futures ahead of them.
What clubs, societies or other activities have you been involved in at Imperial?
I have been most involved in ambassadorial activity and I have enjoyed meeting potential new candidates interested in joining the cohort next year. I have also been blogging as an Ambassador, I am a member of the Marketing and Digital Society, and I have attended many employer or industry related events.
Opportunities from studying at Imperial
What has been the greatest opportunity you have had at Imperial that you wouldn’t get anywhere else?
The opportunity to do an elective in Luxury Management at HEC Paris over the summer whilst completing a degree in general management (usually, Luxury Management is a separate and specialised Master’s degree at other institutions), the chance to complete a work placement at a leading diamond jewellery company as part of my degree and having unique one-to-one advice from careers consultants.
How have you benefited from the services provided by the Career and Professional Development Service?
100% – my careers consultant discussed and amended my cover letters and CV with me, taught me how to improve it and advised me on innovative ways to make my applications more unique.
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.
Absolutely – given that many major companies are headquartered in London, attending interviews or assessment days is very convenient. Networking opportunities are also easy for the individuals with whom students are networking (i.e. existing employees / representatives of companies). This means that on-campus visits are frequent, and small or large companies attend.
Career goals and jobs
What are your future career goals and how have they been realised since being at Imperial?
I am hoping to pursue a career in the luxury goods industry within the marketing and communications function. I have gained a better understanding of core management principles (e.g. marketing, strategy) that are relevant to any industry and can equip me with relevant knowledge, should I become a leader in the field in future. The Digital Pathway has been vital, given that many luxury companies are now trying to optimize their e-commerce platforms and digital marketing is increasingly important. The chance to study Luxury Management at HEC and my work placement at a diamond jewellery firm have clear relevance to my career goals.
Life as a student in London
What can a weekend in London look like for an MSc student?
Lots of eating around London (brunch or late-night dinners after a night out are great fun), house parties or get-togethers on Friday nights, group nights out (our favourite seems to be Bounce, a bar where you can play ping-pong whilst enjoying a drink and dancing), writing cover letters or applications whenever the opportunity arises and completing university work or reading for classes in the following week.
In your opinion, tell us about the most exciting, undiscovered place in London.
Evans and Peel Detective Agency: a prohibition-style bar, which has a secret entrance and requires you to tell a convincing story to the Detective at the entrance before you are let in to enjoy cocktails and food.
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?
Benefits: you will not get bored and there are a multitude of restaurants, exhibitions, parties and events that you can attend; transport is convenient; and food in London is great. London is just an all-round fantastic city.
Challenges: transport is expensive (get a student Oyster card) and so is everything else!
Advice for future students
What advice would you give someone who was thinking about applying for the course?
It’s not a problem if you you may not be 100% sure about your future career goals but make sure that you demonstrate how ambitious you are, that you are willing to learn and that you are forward-thinking in your application. Keep an open mind with regards to career opportunities and attend as many career events as you can. If you are unsure, use the Careers Service to your greatest advantage, manage your time well and don’t leave anything to the last minute.
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 myself did not attend the online or campus information sessions prior to becoming an Imperial student but as an Ambassador who attends these events and answers queries, I have received feedback about how useful they are for prospective students. Many often get in touch with me via email or LinkedIn afterwards and I give them very thorough answers where I can. I would definitely recommend that students attend these events because they can find out more about the courses and about Imperial, ambassadors can provide experience based advice or insights, and it is a nice way to network with other individuals, including alumni who have already secured great jobs.
Share with us a handy hint or trick which makes campus life that much easier!
Manage your time as tightly as you can, set regular times for group meetings and take full advantage of the amount of food there is on campus!