What work experience/internships did you have before beginning with Imperial College Business School?
Before I started at Imperial, I completed two internships. The first was at General Electric Healthcare (GE) as a Sales Analyst. I learned more about the market and business structure and predicted what a General Manager or team leader would expect to see from their sales data. From my time at GE I developed an interest in helping clients with proposals and coming up with strategies to help the company.
My second Internship was at a pharmaceutical marketing company named Johnson & Johnson, where I assisted the marketing team in launching a new drug in Singapore.
Why did you decide to study an MSc Management at Imperial College Business School?
I am interested in strategy consulting and it dawned on me that as an engineering student, I lacked the necessary business acumen for the position that I am passionate about. I discovered that Imperial College Business School’s Master's in Management programme has an excellent reputation with modules, that were tailor made for me to springboard myself to the career that I am looking for. When I researched about the Business Schools alumni, it was heart-warming to see so many people from various countries and different cultures attending the programme. Reading their biographies and learning about their success after graduating from the programme, further motivated me to join the Business School with the desire to succeed and immerse myself in a different culture.
Did you receive a scholarship?
I was fortunate enough (and honoured) to have received the Brilliant Minds scholarship from Imperial College Business School. The scholarship made studying in London more affordable and allowed me to interact with fellow scholarship recipients, gaining insights and long-lasting friendships.
What aspects of the programme do you most enjoy the most?
I enjoy working with people from different countries throughout the programme. The staff at the Business School ensured that each group for every module had students from a variety of countries and backgrounds, which made group work interactive, challenging and filled with many unique perspectives.
Also, it was great to be able to decide on the pathway I wanted to take, by tailoring my electives to what I want to do in the future.
Which has been your favourite module so far and why?
I chose to go to Dubai for the Global Immersion elective, because I wanted to learn more about the city and understand their business landscape. It was even more interesting as the elective allowed us to interact closely with the local Emirati people, gaining deep insights into their culture and business perspective, which would not have been possible if I had attended as a tourist.
What has been the most rewarding part of the programme?
Most of the modules required us to prepare presentations, and for almost all of them I chose to be the presenter. I knew that being able to present in front of large audiences was an essential trait to have, so through these presentations I was able to improve and become a confident presenter. Through hard work and consistently improving, I was eventually awarded with “Best Presentation” for the Strategy and Leadership pathway. This award further gave me the reassurance that I was improving my skills and felt very rewarding.
What has been the most challenging part of the programme?
I mentioned that group work was one aspect that I enjoyed the most, it was also the most challenging part of the programme. This is because I learned how to manage a group of people from different nationalities, backgrounds and cultures, and who also had very strong opinions. I was able to quickly pick up how to work well and effectively in very diverse groups. I also learned the importance of communication, by tailoring my communication style to each person’s nationality. Lastly, I learned how important motivation is. I tried my best to motivate everyone in the group and encourage them to perform at their best, and work as a team. This was especially challenging because of the large amount of work we were given in a very short time period. However, it was very rewarding as we always managed to work effectively as a team and achieve good results.
How was the international trip to Lisbon and did you attend an international elective?
Both the Lisbon trip and the Global Immersion trip to Dubai were absolutely great. These European and international experiences allowed me to learn how companies do business in different parts of the world, and how different cultures and types of environments affect the way of doing business. These trips have also allowed me to see the world around me in a different perspective - they were truly an enriching experience.
How would you describe your cohort at Imperial?
The cohort was a unique mixture of different nationalities, personalities and cultures. I would describe the cohort as captivating because of their different perspectives and backgrounds, which provided diversity to the programme. I am fortunate to have made many fun memories and some good friends, some of which I know will be for life.
Did you have a favourite professor/lecturer and why?
I don’t have a favourite professor, as all the professors were amazing in the way they taught. However, I would like to thank these two professors in particular - Dr Sankalp Chaturvedi, Associate Professor for the Leadership module in my Strategy and Leadership Pathway, and Jolande Bot-Vos, our Programme Director and lead for the Accounting and Corporate Reporting Analysis module.
Dr Sankalp made the leadership module highly engaging and interactive. It was always a joy to go to his class. He is the only professor who has memorised every students name by heart. One of the things I especially appreciated the most was that he would give us personal feedback to help us grow and become better.
Jolande taught the Accounting module, which was one of the toughest modules in the programme. It was impressive how she was able to condense a very difficult module into content that was easy to understand in a short period of time. She also made the lesson highly engaging and always took the time to ensure that we understood the programme material before moving on. Overall, the professors at Imperial have shown that they are willing to go above and beyond to help the students.
What has been the greatest opportunity you have had at Imperial?
One of the greatest opportunities I have had at Imperial was when I got to work on a consulting project with a real client through the Imperial College Business School Consulting Group. It was my first consulting project where we worked in an interdisciplinary team of seven to perform market analysis, identify potential drivers and provide strategic recommendations for the client. It was an enriching experience and extremely rewarding when the client appreciated the hard work we had put into the project.
Which workshops, events or guest lectures at the school have been useful in developing your skills and knowledge?
Imperial is constantly offering various workshops, events and guest lectures for us to attend. One guest lecture which I have especially enjoyed, and thought was extremely useful was the Negotiation workshop provided by Giuseppe Conti, an award-winning negotiation lecturer. This workshop provided me with valuable negotiation skills, not only which can be used in my professional life, but personal as well. This is just one example of the many workshops that the Business School offers us on a weekly basis.
What clubs, societies or other activities have you been involved in at Imperial?
Imperial has one of the biggest number of clubs and societies that I have ever seen, which made it tough to decide which ones I wanted to commit to. In the end, I decided to become members of the following clubs: Imperial Consulting Group, Caving Club and Outdoor Club. Being in the Imperial Consulting Group, I had the opportunity to work on a consulting project with a real client in the industry which was an eye-opening experience. The Caving Club was one of my favourite highlights at Imperial, as I was able visit Wales on my first caving trip. The Outdoor Club was also exciting, I was able to go rock climbing with other students who share the same passion as me. Overall, the university provides a great social atmosphere that allows you to focus on your studies and still have fun.
What are your future career goals and how have they been realised since being at Imperial?
I want to be able to add value to my future roles in the industry by helping others solve problems and drive efficiency through innovation and technology. Imperial has allowed me to further strengthen my business acumen, team work skills and leadership skills, which are crucial attributes that are highly sought out by employers in consulting firms.
The MSc Management programme has equipped me with the necessary skills to be a leader in my desired career avenue. In the long run, the skills I have picked up and the exposure to the industry that I gained, will allow me to improve business operations of emerging firms.
Have you received any job offers since commencing your programme?
The advice I was given from the Careers service was crucial in helping me understand the recruitment process in the UK. They have career specialists who sit down with you to provide feedback, advice and guide you through the whole job application process. They also give you the option to attend sessions where you can practice your cases, interviews and assessment centres. Having this advice readily available made me feel more confident during the recruitment process.
Do you think studying in a central location such as London is beneficial for networking and career opportunities?
Studying in London brings a plethora of opportunity, both for your social life and for your future career. The networking events in London are countless, and by being in such a central location, it made it very easy to network and get to know people.
Where do you live in London and why did you choose to live there?
I chose to live in South Kensington because it is a beautiful neighbourhood, filled with students and it’s the same area as the Business School. South Kensington has many shops, restaurants, museums, and is close to Hyde Park, which is good when you want to do some exercise.
What have been the benefits and challenges of moving to London? What advice would you give to someone in a similar position?
The benefits of moving to London are endless - ranging from employment opportunities, to never-ending things to do such as visit museums, explore different restaurants and go to exciting events and exhibitions. One guarantee of moving to London is you will never be bored. Of course, moving away from my home in Singapore was a little challenging. Leaving family and friends behind made it difficult at first, however, London has been very welcoming and with all the opportunities available here it made it very easy to adapt and enjoy life in the UK.
If you are worried about moving to a new country or leaving family and friends, my advice to you is to take the leap of faith. London has been an unbelievably enriching experience and I have made life-long friends, so I am sure you will too.
Looking back to when you were applying for the programme, did you attend any online webinars or on-campus information sessions?
No, but I got in touch with student ambassadors from the Business School and they were very helpful with giving me information and insights on the programme. So, don’t be afraid to contact them as early as possible to find the answers you are looking for.
What advice would you give someone who is thinking about applying for the programme?
My advice would be to spend plenty of time thinking about what you want to do for your career and how the MSc Management programme can help you achieve your goals. Try to make the most out of Imperial and living in London. Don’t be afraid to experience new things, try new hobbies and make new friends. Lastly, start your preparation for employment from day one, as most of the recruitment is done during the autumn period.