Charles Martin, MSc Management 2019-20

Programme: MSc Management

Education: BSc Political Science, LSE

Job after Imperial College Business School: Six-month Corporate Finance Internship, FirstCapital

About you

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

Prior to Imperial, I had a mixture of work placements having worked in political consulting, a stem cell company and asset management. I also set up my own startup called The Futurist and developed a social initiative called ‘Take 2’ which sought to get students from poor backgrounds into top work placements. Overall, a pretty varied background!

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

I wanted to study at Imperial to improve my business acumen, skills and stand out to employers.

Did you receive a scholarship?

I was fortunate enough to receive the Business School’s Social Impact Scholarship, without this I would not have been able to afford the tuition. The scholarship also appeals to employers, who often ask about it in interviews.


What aspects of the programme do you most enjoy the most?

The programme is great. It gives a solid foundation in business and then allows you to specialise, I will be specialising in finance. The content is also highly applicable and is presented in a practical and relevant manner.

Which has been your favourite module so far and why?

The Strategic Management core module has been my favourite so far. The professor is fantastic and the concepts are highly up-to-date, giving us a great introduction to the strategic implications of the new economy, while also outlining some more traditional concepts

What has been the most rewarding part of the programme?

The group work is probably the most rewarding part. Our first project was to design a product and pitch a ‘go to market plan’. Working collaboratively and then presenting your work to your peers gives you a great taste of the real world and allows you to develop your soft skills.

What has been the most challenging part of the programme?

The most challenging aspect of the programme is balancing your study time with job hunting. Often lectures will conflict with interviews, so you have to really stay on the ball.


How would you describe your cohort at Imperial?

The cohort is fantastic, filled with ambitious, interesting people from a variety of countries. Studying together constantly gives you a great opportunity to bond with everyone. We all like to get have fun once work is done as well, so don’t worry, it’s not all work and no play.

Did you have a favourite professor/lecturer and why?

The professors are all great, in particular my Strategic Management lecturer, James Eteen, is fantastic. Our Corporate Finance module lecturer Iva Koci is also phenomenal, as tricky as the subject gets, she always gets you where you need to be.


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

 You get a load of amazing opportunities at Imperial. For me, the opportunity to improve my public speaking through regular presentations has been particularly important.

What clubs, societies or other activities have you been involved in at Imperial? 

I’ve really enjoyed Imperial’s societies. The Career Clubs attached to the Business School are great, in particular the TMT Club. I’ve also enjoyed mixing with the Science School’s societies, in particular the debating society. I’ve also been involved with the pitch and mixes run by the Imperial Enterprise Lab and incubator – if you are into tech and startups, you should get involved with them.

Have you had opportunities to work/socialise with students across programmes within the Business School?

The School has a fantastic alumnus network. I’ve been in regular contact with ex-students who have been really helpful for career advice. In particular, I’ve spoke to a lot of ex-students giving me advice on the finance/banking side of tech.


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

My future career goals really took form at Imperial. I knew that I want to be associated with technology on the banking/finance side. I’ve been thus looking to work in either VC or at an Investment Bank focusing on technology firms. I recently received an offer from FirstCapital, a really exciting investment bank that assist tech firms with M&A and growth capital.

How did the services from Careers help you secure employment/in your professional development?

Careers were useful in helping prep for interview and also in assisting me in editing my CV.

London location

Do you think studying in a central location such as London is beneficial for networking and career opportunities?

Having studied in London for the last three and a half years, I’ve had a lot of time to notice the difference a London-based education provides. Word-class research, great teaching and good facilities are to be expected; plus, you are right in the thick of the action. It is easy to network and access those in the same space as you. Additionally, given the range of business endeavours occurring in the capital, inspiration is easy to come by. I’d attribute my entrepreneurial output to this. Many of my ideas came from seeing or hearing about things going on in London.

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

I’m living at home in Fulham to save money. I was at LSE before so I’m very much used to the city. London’s great, and if you are organised with your time there’s no city better. It’s got great nightlife, great people and a contagious energy.

When you’re not studying, what do you enjoy doing?

Chelsea matches, nights out, science/art exhibitions and writing articles take up most of my leisure time. Occasionally I’ll go for a run. I don’t mind the odd weekend trip down to Bristol as well.


What advice would you give someone who is thinking about applying for the programme?

I’d say you should have a good idea about what you want to get out of the programme, don’t just apply to consulting because everyone else does. Also, don’t be put off if you are not especially numerate, there’s plenty of people who started the programme without a maths background and are now thriving. Lastly don’t just hit the books and look for jobs, this is your last taste of freedom. Take a risk, set something up, or join a society at the least!

Programme: MSc Management

Education: BSc Political Science, LSE

Job after Imperial College Business School: Six-month Corporate Finance Internship, FirstCapital