English and DMIS, University of Glasgow and MSc Information Science, UCL
Program Management Intern, Uber and Graduate Program, Amazon
What work experience/internships (if any) did you have before beginning with Imperial College Business School?
I actually didn’t have any relevant work experience before studying at Imperial College Business School! I think it speaks volumes about Imperial’s reputation and our incredible Careers service that I was fortunate in being able to pass screening with most of my top choices including Facebook, Amazon, Uber, Google, Microsoft, LinkedIn etc.
I ended up confirming a Program Management internship with Uber and a graduate role with Amazon and I truly believe that the unwavering support that our Careers service provided has played an instrumental role in helping me achieve my goals. From CV and cover letter optimisation to tailored mock interviews and case studies, Careers were with me every step of the way.
Why did you decide to study an MSc Management at Imperial College Business School?
Prior to coming to Imperial College Business School, I had been quite set on pursuing a PhD before later realising that I wanted to combine my interests in technology and business to pursue a career in program/product management at a technology firm. MSc Management was the perfect way for me to be able to make that transition and get some relevant experience along the way.
What aspects of the programme do you most enjoy the most?
I really enjoyed the flexibility of the programme; it enabled me to explore all of my interests outside of the fundamentals covered in the form of our core modules. I ended up pursuing really interesting modules in leadership, business analytics and strategy.
Which has been your favourite module so far and why?
Global Operations and Projects by Paolo Taticchi has been my favourite module this year – he has meticulously crafted an innovative curriculum for Global Operations and Projects. Combined with his confident lecture style and his memorable, modern-day examples, he delivers an exceptionally well-rounded take on an incredibly broad topic, prompting students to seek out areas of interest while simultaneously helping them develop a solid understanding of the fundamentals of project management. From detailing every step of a Gantt chart to an innovative demonstration on 'How to Present Effectively', Paolo's teachings have been instrumental to my success in securing job offers and I am extremely grateful for both his module and his constant support.
What has been the most rewarding part of the programme?
Personally, being able to understand so much more about the world of business has been the most rewarding part of the programme for me – from case studies and theories in Organisational Behaviour to networking with some of the top companies in the world at Imperial College Business School career fairs, this programme has given me an incredibly well-rounded foundation from which I feel confident to start my career.
What has been the most challenging part of the programme?
Time management. A year flies by and I wanted to do so many things – while the academic content is definitely manageable by itself, it gets a lot more challenging to juggle it with job applications, leadership roles, volunteering, consulting projects, career events, case study competitions and an active social life!
How would you describe your cohort at Imperial?
Bold, ambitious, diverse.
What has been the greatest opportunity you have had at Imperial?
Being chosen as the President of the Consulting Club has been the greatest opportunity I’ve had this year at Imperial. Being able to play a role in helping others has been really rewarding for me - I’ve had the chance to help equip members with the skillset and tools to succeed in consulting through networking events, case study sessions and data analysis workshops. The leadership experience has also been incredibly valuable and my committee of both MBA and MSc students have taught me so much this year, including the benefits of stepping out of your comfort zone in order to create change on a much bigger scale. Imperial is an extremely supportive community; my VP with 4 years of work experience has taught me that it’s a safe place to fail. There’s no better time to take risks and discover your leadership style and find out what works for you and what doesn’t.
Which workshops, events or guest lectures at the school have been useful in developing your skills and knowledge?
David Ohrvall's 'Crack the Case' workshop was a transformative experience. David walks you through the mindset of a seasoned consultant to help you envision the case and find the right questions to ask. An interactive, fast-paced and thought-provoking workshop, he has really helped me transform the way I look at cases and develop a more logical mindset and understand how to effectively break problems down. His materials were very well-prepared - from a workbook that includes homework and practice tips to online videos tailored to hand-picked cases.
What clubs, societies or other activities have you been involved in at Imperial? Do you hold a student leadership position (including club leader, SSC, Dean’s Student Advisory Council and Student Ambassador)?
During my time at Imperial, I’ve been elected as the President of the Consulting Club, the SSC Chair for MSc Management, selected as a Project Leader for Imperial’s Consulting Group and a Student Ambassador representing MSc Management. It has been incredibly rewarding being a part of student leadership and creating positive change – definitely some of the best learning experiences I’ve had at Imperial. I encourage all students to play an active role as part of Imperial’s community, it’s one of the best ways to bond with others outside your cohort and can help provide excellent leadership examples to use in your future job interviews!
Have you had opportunities to work/socialise with students across programmes within the Business School?
Absolutely – most of my opportunities have come from extracurricular activities. For instance, at Career Club events, group activities such as the Imperial Case Study Competition and volunteering as part of the What The Tech?! initiative - a fantastic opportunity offered by Imperial to teach residents at a local care home how to use technology.
Social events are another way to meet students across programmes within the Business School; Welcome Event 2019 was particularly memorable as Imperial rented the Natural History Museum as the venue. Being able to party under a 25 metre-long blue whale skeleton is a pretty unique and incredible experience.
How have you benefited from the Business School’s connection to the Imperial College London community?
During the start of this year, I applied to be a Project Manager at Imperial Consulting Group, a society run by the wider Imperial College London community. I had the chance to work on an exciting project on SEO optimisation with the founders of a start-up and team members hailing from incredibly different fields from medicine to mechanical engineering. Being able to work with and learn from such talented and fun people couldn’t possibly have happened without the Business School’s connection to the Imperial College London community and for that, I’m extremely grateful.
I’ve also enjoyed many career events organised by the wider Imperial community, which has given me access to a wealth of opportunities outside of the business school, which was invaluable during my job search.
How did you find the unprecedented switch to remote learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic?
Honestly, I’m so impressed by Imperial’s amazing staff who have worked tirelessly to ensure that the unprecedented switch happened as smoothly as possible. We’re extremely lucky to have staff that care so much about us and our futures. Our lecturers try to accommodate all our different zones and engage us through (digital) face-to-face interaction in order for us to feel just as much part of the community as before the COVID-19 pandemic.
What are your future career goals and how have they been realised since being at Imperial?
My short/mid-term career goals are to implement the knowledge that I’ve gained from MSc Management to pursue a role in program/product management. I want to own and lead the development of a product through effective collaboration and leadership. Imperial has helped me achieved both these goals by giving me the practical knowledge and teamwork experience to build upon my own foundations and research. Furthermore, it has strengthened my job applications through giving me a widely recognised credential, which looked very favourably upon by employers.
Have you received any job offers since commencing your programme (please give details of roles you have accepted, what you will be doing)? How did the services from Careers help you secure employment/in your professional development?
I've had the opportunity to extensively use our incredible careers service as I was fortunate in being able to pass screening with most of my top choices including Facebook, Amazon, Uber, Google, Microsoft, LinkedIn etc. I ended up confirming a Program Management internship with Uber and a grad role with Amazon and I truly believe that the unwavering support that our Careers service provided has played an instrumental role in helping me achieve my goals. From CV and cover letter optimisation to tailored mock interviews and case studies, Careers were with me every step of the way.
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.
Living in London means that you have unrivalled networking and career opportunities due to the abundance of companies who have their offices here. No matter which industry you’re considering to apply for, be it technology, consulting or investment banking, London is the place to be. Being at Imperial College London also gives you a fantastic amount of visibility too as we are widely considered to be a ‘target university’ by companies.
Where do you live in London and why did you choose to live there?
I live over in Bloomsbury, having already lived there prior to starting my studies at Imperial. Bloomsbury is an area filled with some of the best food in London – it’s a little far away from Imperial but I definitely recommend paying a visit!
When you’re not studying, what do you enjoy doing?
‘Please check out Week in the Life of an MSc Management Student!’
When I’m not studying, I spend a lot of time networking and socialising with both students and companies. Outside of being a business student, I also enjoyed volunteering, swimming and going out to karaoke with friends!
Looking back to when you were applying for the programme, did you attend any online webinars 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 applied very late in May and didn’t have the chance to attend these sessions but speaking as a Student Ambassador who ended up attending many of these events, they’re incredibly informative and would definitely have helped strengthen my application to Imperial. The Unibuddy feature is very useful too, giving you the chance to ask current students about their experience on the programme!
What advice would you give someone who is thinking about applying for the programme?
Go for it. MSc Management is an incredible opportunity. There are two key things I would emphasis to craft a really competitive application:
1) Your intent afterwards - what is it that you want to do in the future? How will Imperial help you achieve your goals? For instance, the flexibility of the course will allow you to specialise in marketing and give you a well-rounded education that’s useful for product management.
2) Why you? What makes you unique? Highlight your existing degree(s) and what you’ve learned from them. You could also mention your takeaway from internships in helping you define what you want to do.