Law (LLB), University of Warwick
Analyst in iShares Sales, BlackRock
What work experience/internships did you have before beginning with Imperial College Business School?
Prior to joining Imperial College Business School, I gathered work experience through internships in consulting and the financial services sector. My internships were crucial in helping to shape my professional and academic goals; and moreover, have allowed me to find the industry and company that will help me to attain these goals. I interned at PwC in their deals division in 2018; Barclays in 2019, then I gathered experience through a short-term consulting project with Roland Berger in 2019. Finally, I completed a summer internship at BlackRock in Summer 2020 in sales ahead of starting my MSc Management. I highly recommend interning across various industries before joining Imperial, so that you know what you want out of your time here from the get-go.
Why did you decide to study an MSc Management at Imperial College Business School?
As a law graduate, I had acquired a solid foundation of analytical and verbal skills, which was amalgamated with relevant industry knowledge through my internships. However, before launching my career, I was looking to hone my quantitative and data analysis skills, my interpersonal skills, and build on my existing network. The MSc Management has lived up to my expectations entirely and continues to help me towards attaining these goals every day.
I chose to study MSc Management at Imperial College Business School for its diverse student community. Coming from the international school system, it was important to me to study with people from different backgrounds and disciplines, as I firmly believe that creative abrasion is key in shaping innovative solutions. Imperial stood out for its focus on community and teamwork, which offer phenomenal opportunities to learn with and through your peers by drawing on each other’s expertise. The combination of core modules allows every student to build on skills that are highly sought-after by employers including data analysis, emotional intelligence and strong quantitative skills. Further, the ability to select your electives in line with your chosen career path, allows you to be optimally prepared for the launch of your career. This combination was a true indication that Imperial was the right choice for me.
Did you receive a scholarship?
I feel honoured to have been selected as a scholarship recipient. The benefits range beyond the financial contribution and have allowed me to work closely with the Business School’s leadership teams through becoming a Student Ambassador and actively integrating myself into the community. As a scholarship recipient you benefit from becoming a voice for the School as you take on leadership roles within your cohort. These opportunities further contribute to shaping your interpersonal, time management, written and verbal skills.
My advice to future scholarship applicants is to never underestimate the power your extracurricular activities and projects that you are currently leading and involved in (at university or beyond) may have. I never expected that a small project launched by students at my undergraduate university would help me in landing such a reputable scholarship at a world-renowned business school. For the application process, I recommend several drafts and practice runs of your video application, ensuring that you are covering your thought-process and motivations behind the actions you took. You will ideally have an infectious passion for the project(s) you took part in, which will naturally come across to the selection committee.
What aspects of the programme do you most enjoy the most?
My favourite aspect of the programme has been the focus on interactive and collaborative projects and coursework. Coming from a legal background, the coursework I had previously completed was entirely individual. At Imperial, there is a strong focus on building your network, and becoming a team player. In the past term, around 80% of coursework has been group-based. I have really enjoyed getting to know my group members, drawing on our individual strengths, and working together to achieve a common goal. This term, we have been assigned new teams which is an opportunity to work with people from entirely different disciplines. Another benefit is that you often leave these teams having made new friends!
Which has been your favourite module so far and why?
My favourite module so far has been Marketing Decisions. This module offers a great variety of assessment including an individual written report and a group report, pitch and video presentation. The most exciting part of the assessment was the group assignment where we were asked to come up with an idea and a company, and market this to our chosen customer segments. It was inspiring to see all the creative ideas that my peers came up with, being able to present our pitch to the cohort, and receiving constructive feedback that we could carry through to other modules.
What has been the most rewarding part of the programme?
The most rewarding part of the programme has been the friends that I have been able to make, who are based around the world. Despite the programme being virtual, you can still form friendships and truly feel as though you are part of a community. Imperial sets you up for the future – at the end of this programme you will likely have a friend in every country you visit!
What has been the most challenging part of the programme?
The most challenging part of the programme has been adjusting to the multi-mode learning environment. As someone who greatly enjoys sitting in a live lecture hall, spending time on campus, and socialising with my classmates, the remote environment due to COVID-19 took some getting used to. Additionally, many students are based across time zones so it can be quite difficult to arrange group calls when it is midnight for some and midday for others, so this often takes compromise. That being said, Imperial has overall done a fantastic job of catering to the virtual environment with socials, careers presentations and extracurricular activities being hosted online. Even in the online environment you are part of a diverse, vibrant and active community.
How have you found the multi-mode teaching delivery?
The multi-mode teaching delivery showcases Imperial’s expertise in teaching, innovation and adapting to change. Professors and teaching assistants alike have done a great job in adjusting to virtual delivery. Our online classes are interactive and informative, as our professors have adapted to delivering content via Zoom, and they often feature Zoom breakout rooms and discussion sessions to offer a variety of teaching styles in every session.
How would you describe your cohort at Imperial?
The MSc Management cohort is diverse, welcoming and always up for a laugh. Even though we are scattered across the globe, there is such a strong sense of community and belonging in the cohort. Everyone is helpful, understanding, and supportive, and any additional information about classes is always shared. Even though most of our communication is online, you truly feel the mutual support through the screen!
Did you have a favourite professor/lecturer and why?
Imperial has a fantastic selection of lecturers who are experts in their field, but if I had to choose a favourite professor, it would be Christopher Tucci. The energy he brings to online classes is unmatched and his passion for Innovation Management is infectious. His classes are also very interactive and full of action and laughter – there is truly never a dull moment.
What has been the greatest opportunity you have had at Imperial?
The greatest opportunity I have had at Imperial was presenting my group’s pitch idea to a leading venture capitalist who was brought in as a guest speaker. The session itself was very insightful, but receiving personal tips on my presentation skills and the solutions we had come up with for our pitch was a very enlightening and exciting experience that I will be able to apply in any presentations I may lead both at Imperial and throughout my career in financial services.
Which workshops, events or guest lectures at the school have been useful in developing your skills and knowledge?
In our Strategic Management module, our lecturer Dr Elena Dalpiaz drew on her diverse network to bring industry leaders in as guest speakers. I particularly enjoyed talks from Managing Directors at Goldman Sachs and the European lead of fashion brand Tory Burch, who spoke about the impact of COVID-19 on their businesses and how both personal and brand resilience will lead to success. Their insights into overcoming challenges are something I will actively be able to apply throughout my career.
What clubs, societies or other activities have you been involved in at Imperial? Do you hold a student leadership position?
I am currently a Student Ambassador for the MSc Management programme, which is a role I have greatly enjoyed. I am able to help prospective applicants and candidates with their queries and give an insight into what the MSc Management and life at Imperial are all about. I really enjoy meeting prospective students and sharing my experiences about what makes Imperial such a great place to study. It feels great to give back, since it was not long ago that I myself was reaching out to Student Ambassadors.
Have you had opportunities to work/socialise with students across programmes within the Business School?
During the days I visit campus, the cafeteria and study areas are a great place to meet students from other programmes. I have been able to socialise with a few students from other MSc programmes here, while adhering to physical distancing. Additionally, during our introduction week we were introduced to students studying MSc International Management whom I regularly keep in touch with.
How have you benefited from the Business School’s connection to the Imperial College London community?
The benefits of the Imperial College London community range beyond those that are directly felt during your time at Imperial. Given the reputability of the School, it is highly likely that at least one or more colleagues at your future employer will be alumni. I have been particularly fascinated by the doors that studying at Imperial has opened – your experience at Imperial can create a connection between yourself and an interviewer or future employer in an instant!
What are your future career goals and how have they been realised since being at Imperial?
My future career goals are to work in sustainable investing and the promotion of ESG factors in corporate decision-making. Imperial offers a fantastic range of industry talks including on sustainability and finance, environmental sustainability and social enterprises. ESG factors are also being covered through the contemporary teaching styles of our professors, such as in our Corporate Finance module, where our professor (who is an expert in the field) will share his insights. I am fascinated by the natural integration of this topic into the MSc Management programme, which continues to shape my interest and knowledge of the field, ultimately helping me work towards becoming an expert in this area.
Have you received any job offers since commencing your programme? How did the services from Careers help you in your professional development?
Following my summer internship in 2020, I received a full-time offer to join BlackRock as a Sales Analyst upon graduation. I will be working in the ETF and Index Investing team in BlackRock’s iShares business in London, helping to find optimal investment solutions through passive investments to a range of clients. The Careers teams have been instrumental in helping to hone my existing skillset through small group sessions and careers talks including working on presentation skills, emotional intelligence in the workplace, negotiation skills and drafting an up-to-date CV.
Do you think studying in a central location such as London is beneficial for networking and career opportunities?
Living in London definitely has perks beyond the beautiful scenery. When restrictions allowed, I used to frequently attend networking events across the city, which were hosted by university societies and corporations. An added bonus is that you are never too far from your interview location (presuming you are allowed in the office). Imperial has done a great job at adjusting to the current limitations and can offer alumni connections in practically any industry you can think of.
Where do you live in London and why did you choose to live there?
I’m currently living in Southwark close to Borough Market. I loved the area when I first visited, since it is filled with small cafés by the Thames, is in walking distance of Borough Market (if you haven’t been here already it is always worth a visit and drop by Padella for the best pasta!) and Maltby Street Market. The area is very lively and there are lots of students from London universities here, so there is always the possibility to meet new people. I also love to take advantage of the central location and frequently go on walks from Southwark into Regent Street to meet friends or to grab bubble tea to-go in Chinatown. Although Southwark is around a 30-minute journey by tube to Imperial, I don’t mind as it gives me two distinct boroughs to explore!
When you’re not studying, what do you enjoy doing?
If I’m not studying, you can find me grabbing coffee and meeting friends around Hyde Park between lectures. The city has so much to offer and I love to take advantage of the beautiful nature – and coffee! Besides that, I’m an absolute foodie so you can find me trying out the most up-and-coming cafés and restaurants. London has pretty much every cuisine you can think of, so I never run out of new places to try. Since the lockdown, I have enjoyed recreating a lot of my favourite dishes at home, so I spend my free time trying out a new recipe every day.
What have been the benefits and challenges of moving to London? What advice would you give to someone in a similar position?
London is an incredibly vibrant and diverse city. There is always something going on in London, whether it be a dinner with classmates, meeting up with an old friend for a walk in the park or even going to theatre shows (pre-COVID); you will never be bored in London.
London is a very busy city. I know that this can be quite overwhelming for some, especially when it comes to growing and solidifying your social circle. Being a student at Imperial will set you up for success, and you will never be lost nor lonely in the city. It’s likely that you’ll soon have a friend in every London borough. My advice is to never stop meeting new people – Imperial has a multitude of opportunities for meeting people, whether it’s through a cohort social, going to class or even through attending a careers event. Continue to push yourself outside your comfort zone to get the most out of your time in London and leave with friends for life.
Looking back to when you were applying for the programme, did you attend any online webinars or on-campus information sessions?
I highly recommend the online webinars that are hosted by the MSc Management Programmes team in conjunction with Student Ambassadors. I found this incredibly helpful in beginning to draft my personal statement, learning how I should go about preparing my written application, and hearing what I could expect from the MSc Management programme. If you are thinking about applying, or have already made the decision to apply, these recruitment events will introduce you to what the MSc Management and Imperial is all about, and ultimately will help you to prepare your application to the best of your ability.
What advice would you give someone who is thinking about applying for the programme?
Imperial College Business School’s MSc Management programme is the ideal choice if you are looking to launch your career. Alongside the excellent Careers service that offer an abundance of application advice, you have a solid combination of modules that teach the quintessential knowledge you need to land your dream job. I recommend having a strong career goal that you want to achieve and have a clear picture how the MSc Management can help you to achieve this. Joining the programme as a goal-oriented individual will allow you to gain the most from this world-renowned programme.
As for your application, you should aim to convey the passion and dedication you have for your career goals and how the programme will be your next step towards attaining these. Don’t be afraid to mention how societies, clubs and even social events can be part of this. Imperial is all about achieving your goals, being yourself and having the best time whilst doing so.