Programme: MSc Management
Nationality: New Zealander
Undergraduate Education: BA History and Economics, Oxford University
Job after Imperial College Business School: Associate Consultant, Bain & Company
What work experience/internships (if any) did you have before beginning with Imperial College Business School?
After my second year of university, I did two consulting internships to get a better understanding of what consulting entails. Before I came to Imperial, I also interned at a boutique strategy consultancy.
Why did you decide to study MSc Management at Imperial College Business School?
I was drawn to MSc Management at Imperial College Business School for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the programme itself appealed to me because it seemed very practical in nature, which I appreciated especially because my undergraduate degree was very theoretical. Secondly, I knew that the careers service at Imperial College Business School was world-class and would really help me to pursue a career in strategy consulting. Of course, being in London is never a bad idea!
What aspects of the programme do you most enjoy, and find most rewarding?
For me, the opportunity to work with different people on a variety of group projects was something I really enjoyed and tried to capitalise on as much as possible. Being inspired by different people’s ideas and working together through the ups and downs is a great way to learn and develop both personally and professionally, especially for someone like myself who wants to go into consulting post-graduation.
Which has been your favourite module so far and why?
My favourite module was Entrepreneurship simply because it really felt like the culmination of everything we had learnt up until that point, from strategy to finance to innovation management. Working with a group of friends to turn an exciting idea into reality is always fun and required a level of risk-taking that I thought was really cool.
What has been the most challenging part of the programme?
It was quite challenging balancing the programme with everything else going on in life, especially during recruiting season – there were a lot of late nights preparing for interviews as well as presentations! However, as cliché as it sounds, the value you gain from the Master’s is really dependent on how much you put in, and at the end of the day all the effort was very much worth it.
Did you attend an international trip? If so, which trips did you attend and how have they been beneficial to you?
I went on the trip to Prague, which was a really enjoyable experience. Not only did we get a valuable insight into the local entrepreneurship and business environment, but we also got to enjoy ourselves in the city as well which was a great bonding experience for everyone.
How would you describe your cohort at Imperial?
Fun, intelligent and ambitious.
Did you have a favourite professor/lecturer and why?
Nelson Phillips. Got to love a lecturer who isn’t entirely glued to just the syllabus and really encourages wider discussions – his lecture on the trolley problem and how it affects the development of autonomous cars is something I still think about from time to time.
Imperial places a large emphasis on group work; what did you like the most about working in this type of environment?
The best thing about group work is being in a position to learn from your peers, either from a content/knowledge perspective or just in terms of how different people work and approach tasks. It really taught me how to better communicate my thoughts to others as well as how to incorporate feedback in order to improve my own work.
What has been the greatest opportunity you have had at Imperial?
The Consulting Project was a pretty awesome opportunity that is hard to come by. My group and I got to work on an actual project with a consultancy and were in a position to make a real difference, which was stressful yet exciting at the same time.
Which workshops, events or guest lectures at the school have been useful in developing your skills and knowledge?
Going to a guest panel featuring founders of an array of exciting start-ups (including Bloom & Wild and HelloFresh) was very fascinating. I personally came away with a better understanding of the challenges of launching a business from scratch and what kinds of skills and qualities really make a successful entrepreneur unique.
What clubs, societies or other activities have you been involved in at Imperial?
I served on the executive committee of the Imperial College Business School Consulting Club as the External Liaison.
How have you benefited from being part of the wider Imperial College London community?
One of the great things about the Imperial community is just how diverse it is. Not only do you have people from different cultural backgrounds but also people who have done different things before coming to Imperial, be it studying a really interesting undergraduate degree or working in industry. For me personally, this meant that there was always someone I could chat to, get some advice if I had a question about anything.
What are your future career goals and how have they been realised since being at Imperial?
My internship experiences made me realise that a career in strategy consulting is something I wanted to pursue, and this past year at Imperial has definitely allowed me to take the first steps towards that. Not only was I fortunate enough to secure an offer from a great firm, but all the different experiences both in and outside the classroom have put me in a much better position to achieve the careers goals I have moving forward. I haven’t quite decided what I want to do in the long term, but I’m confident that I’ll be able to draw from things I learned at Imperial in whatever I choose to do down the line.
Have you received any job offers since commencing your programme?
I received five offers from consultancies based in London and ultimately chose to start my career at Bain, which I’m really excited about! I’ll be starting as an Associate Consultant.
How did the services from Imperial College Business School Careers help in your professional development/securing employment?
The Business School’s Careers service helped me immensely throughout my job hunt. I attended numerous CV and cover letter workshops to make sure my applications were as good as they could be – the level of detail that the Careers Consultants went into with regards to this was extraordinary and something that, I believe, ultimately proved to be the difference in getting me through initial CV screens. I also did practice case interviews that were super helpful and I felt myself getting more and more comfortable with them each time I went. After I received my job offers, the Careers Consultants also helped me evaluate my options, and I could tell that they really wanted me to be in the best possible situation, which I really appreciated.
Do you think studying in a central location such as London is beneficial for networking and career opportunities?
Coming from a university that wasn’t based in London, I was definitely (positively) surprised about how many networking events are available in London and how easy it is to go to them. Being a world-class university, Imperial brought many of the big names in finance and consulting on campus. It was also a lot easier for me to schedule office visits and coffee dates with people as well, which proved to be really helpful.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time in London? Have you had opportunities to travel?
I’m all about chilling – I like making the most of my weekends catching up with friends at a café or at a pub, and you’re never lacking options in London. I try to travel as much as possible especially during the holidays (why not?) – Definitely go to Cornwall during the summer if you can!
What advice would you give someone who is thinking about applying for the programme?
Do it! The best advice I can give is to really think about what you want to get out of the programme because it’s designed to give you what you think you need (and maybe even things you never thought you’d need!). The Imperial community is really friendly so don’t be afraid to reach out if you have any questions!