Warwick University: Politics & International Studies
Academic and industry experience before Imperial
Work experience/internship(s): Strategy and Analytics internship at an insurance syndicate (Mitsui Sumitomo), Research Consultant internship at a consultancy (KAE) and a Marketing internship at a small charity (Renewable World).
Greatest academic, professional or personal awards/achievements: Achieving a first in my Politics and International Studies degree at Warwick University was testament to my enjoyment of, as well as the work I put into, my subject. In particular I hugely enjoyed researching my dissertation, looking at the delicate balance between civil liberties and surveillance in the UK.
In my professional career my biggest achievement to date would probably be receiving a job offer from the Bank of England. I also enjoyed my time as a Research Consultant while at KAE, where I was able to work with a variety of clients, from live entertainment providers to high-street banks, applying my research and analytical abilities in a professional context.
In terms of my personal achievements I’m still impressed I managed to travel the world for five months and come back in one piece!
Studying MSc Management
Why did you decide to study your programme and why specifically at Imperial College Business School?
I looked at MSc Management courses because I believed they were the best option to gain a comprehensive understanding of essential business concepts and management skills, enabling me to both increase my employability and allowing me to progress faster when my career starts. Imperial College Business School was attractive to me not only because of the rankings but because of the practical nature of the curriculum, the dedication and reputation of the careers team, and the numerous links Imperial has with employers.
What makes the MSc Management at Imperial College Business School unique?
While I haven’t been to other business schools, I believe Imperial is unique because of the tailored nature of the curriculum, which they ensure is both current and practical (as opposed to theoretical).
What aspects of the programme do you most enjoy?
I hugely enjoy the variety of the programme. The modules themselves cover a huge range of topics, while the different elements of the modules – from creating your own marketing strategy for a product, to working individually on a presentation – are also hugely enjoyable.
What has been the most challenging part of the programme?
While my previous degree required analysis, I think this programme requires a lot more application of the concepts you learn, so the type of work itself is fairly different.
What has been the most rewarding part of the programme?
Understanding concepts that previously baffled me and enhancing my understanding of how and why businesses work in general.
Which has been your favourite module so far and why?
Strategy: as well as having a fantastic lecturer, the content itself is fascinating. Furthermore, the module was almost entirely taught through case studies, so we were able to apply analytical frameworks to companies to see why they have a distinct competitive advantage that has enabled them to thrive.
What pathway (Digital Business, Financial Services or Strategy and Leadership) have you chosen and why?
I chose the Financial Services pathway because I thought it was probably the main area I believed needed further developing.
Which seminars, events or guest lectures at the school have been useful in developing your skills and knowledge?
In general, we’ve had some fantastic guest lecturers. The Financial Services pathway in particular had some incredibly insightful guests, as our lecturer was able to utilise his connection through his very distinguished professional career to attract speakers from a variety of financial institutions, including the former Lehman Brothers and Blackrock.
How would you sum up the Business School faculty?
Always willing to help and very easy to talk to.
Did you have a favourite professor/lecturer and why?
Ian MacKenzie: He’s incredibly passionate about what he’s teaching, very knowledgeable and has the highest class participation of anyone. His subject, Strategy, is very interesting already but becomes even more so due to his style of teaching.
Imperial places a large emphasis on group work, what inspires you the most about working in this type of environment?
This is an essential skill to have in any professional career and therefore it was important for me to develop it. Furthermore, working in groups brings out a whole range of ideas you won’t have personally considered, so effective group work should drive the best results.
How would you describe your cohort at Imperial?
They’re all really friendly; everyone meets up a lot outside of Imperial and generally gets along incredibly well.
What clubs, societies or other activities have you been involved in at Imperial?
I’m involved in the Consulting Club, and have also been helping set up Imperial’s new student-led conference called ‘Big Data: Destination Unknown?’. I’ve also joined some projects that I’ve found through Imperial – for example, I am about to start a project for Cambridge Consulting Network. I also use the gym.
Opportunities from studying at Imperial
What has been the greatest opportunity you have had at Imperial that you wouldn’t get anywhere else?
Due to Imperial’s prestige, location and network, throughout the university there is always something happening. For example, some friends and I literally stumbled across a talk by the CTO of Facebook and I was able to attend a fascinating talk about where he considers the future of technology to be going.
How have you benefited from the services provided by the Career and Professional Development Service?
I’ve mostly used the CV and cover letter services to help tailor my applications, as well as attending practice one-to-one interviews and interview workshops.
How have you benefited from being part of the wider Imperial College London community?
Imperial College is a fantastic brand in itself, and the societies across the entire college, such as the consulting and finance societies, are extremely helpful.
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.
Definitely – employers that students are looking at tend to be from around the area and this means they are far more likely to come to Imperial College to give recruitment talks, case study workshops etc., and we are able to much more easily visit their offices than non-London based universities.
Career goals and jobs
Have you received any job offers since commencing your programme?
Yes, two, and I’ve since stopped looking.
What are your future career goals and how have they been realised since being at Imperial?
I’d like to be in a position that I find interesting, that offers a lot of variety and responsibility. I’ve received a job offer that I’m extremely happy with and I’m looking forward to starting my role.
Where do you see yourself upon completing the programme?
I’m interested in a number of areas, particularly finance and consulting, and therefore I see myself in one of these areas in the future.
Life as a student in London
Whereabouts do you live in London and why did you choose to live there?
East Dulwich – I’m living in my parents’ flat.
What can a weekend in London look like for an MSc student?
London has a huge amount going on. In the day time you can meet up with others to go to the numerous markets, exhibitions, museums, parks, cafes etc. At night there are plenty of restaurants, bars, clubs, cinemas, theatre events etc.
In your opinion, tell us about the most exciting, undiscovered place in London.
I like the bagel shop in Brick Lane – cheap bagels! Neither undiscovered nor particularly exciting (unless you really like bagels and frugality), but frankly I couldn’t think of much else, I’m not very edgy.
Advice for future students
What advice would you give someone who was thinking about applying for the course?
Think about the different industries you may want to end up in, what skills you’ll need and how the MSc Management programme will actually help you to achieve these goals. Be specific in terms of what you want and how you can use Imperial’s resources to achieve your goals.
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 personally didn’t use these (although I should have done). However, I’ve been on the other side of these as a Student Ambassador for Imperial, and it does give you an opportunity to talk to current students at the school, and hopefully we can help out wherever needed!
Share with us a handy hint or trick which makes campus life that much easier!
Book a vault (the rooms we work in at the Business Café) – they get filled up.