Biochemistry, Imperial College London
J.P. Morgan Chase Bank
What work experience/internships (if any) did you have before beginning with Imperial College Business School?
I was a Biochemistry student at Imperial College London previously, thus I have had several experiences interning at a research and development facility back in Malaysia where I’m from. However, I soon discovered my interest in looking at businesses from a more financial and strategic aspect, thus quickly took the opportunity to intern in a boutique consulting firm and also at Nomura Asset Management as a summer investment analyst prior to attending Imperial College Business School.
Why did you decide to study an MSc Management at Imperial College Business School?
Having known that I was going to move towards a more business-centric role in terms of my career moving forward, I wanted to make sure that I had the core foundational knowledge that one should have, and the breadth and depth of courses that Imperial offers was a good fit for what I was looking for.
In addition, Imperial offers a multitude of networking opportunities with a host of companies which is quintessential for someone that is in the position that I was in, which undoubtedly allowed me to gain context and a deeper understanding of potentially working in different fields such as FMCG, Investment Banking, Consulting, and many more.
Did you receive a scholarship? If yes, what were the benefits of receiving this?
I received a scholarship from Imperial, which gave me the opportunity to be a part of the MSc Management course and to learn and be in the presence of like-minded students. It has also given me the honour to take part in the networking sessions and company engagement events which has shaped my thinking context and knowledge of how businesses function in the world we live in today.
What aspects of the programme do you most enjoy the most?
The programme has modules that cover the very basics of what a business student should know, such as economics, accounting and finance, but also is very practical as there are modules that challenge our knowledge and provide us with information that are of the status quo. It has also given me the courage and confidence to be more outspoken in the context of presentations and engagements with people in a professional context, not only through the resources available from the careers service but also from the presentations that we have had throughout the course.
I have also enjoyed the vast amount of training opportunities that have been arranged for the students. For example, there was a training session with David Ohrvall from MBACASE that provided an extremely engaging and informative training session for potential consultants that gave me core foundational knowledge for cracking the case interviews.
Which has been your favourite module so far and why?
I really enjoyed the Innovation Management module because we were exposed to a completely novel way of analysing companies, supported with an excellent amount of case studies to reinforce the learning we did in other modules.
What has been the most rewarding part of the programme?
The most rewarding part of the programme so far has been the ability to make new friends and bond with like-minded people, solving problems not only related to the work we do during the course, but mostly bonding on other aspects such as our careers and lives outside of work.
What has been the most challenging part of the programme?
The most challenging part of the programme thus far has been having to juggle so many novel activities at the beginning of the programme whilst keeping up with the social fabric of the programme and also job applications at the beginning. Looking back, it has been extremely rewarding albeit a challenging few months – and it was extremely important to have a solid support system in terms of family and friends at that time.
How would you describe your cohort at Imperial?
My cohort is highly diverse, which is amazing because when managed well, we have a wide range of cognitive abilities, perspectives and skillsets, which makes doing our work exciting and efficient. My cohort is also extremely hardworking, and we embrace teamwork in the work that we do. In addition, my cohort is actually very social which is extremely important for a business school and complements the work we do.
What has been the greatest opportunity you have had at Imperial?
The greatest opportunity I have had is the ability to form a network, not only with my cohort and students from my year – but also with my seniors and juniors, because Imperial provides us with the opportunities to form student societies that bring people with similar interests together.
Which workshops, events or guest lectures at the school have been useful in developing your skills and knowledge?
The most useful one thus far was definitely the case study session by David Ohrvall – it was a full on, intense 3-hour training session but it was extremely useful for everybody of all level of experiences, even those without prior knowledge of how to conduct a case interview. Although it was aimed at students who were venturing in to consulting, I believe that the skills that were taught were relevant for everyone and has added value to any work that is done.
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)?
I was previously in Imperial, reading Biochemistry. During that time, I was the Events Officer of the Imperial College Union Malaysian Society and had the opportunity to organise events for the society.
Have you had opportunities to work/socialise with students across programmes within the Business School?
There has definitely been a good amount of opportunities especially via clubs like Telecommunications, Media and Technology (TMT), FMCG, and many others. In my opinion, it’s about seizing the opportunities that are provided and being proactive in what you do during your time here.
How have you benefited from the Business School’s connection to the Imperial College London community?
I was previously in Imperial, thus having the chance to extend my network and also be one of the links between the business school and the central university has been rewarding because I have been able to bring the new concepts that I have learnt from the Business School back to my existing network with Imperial College London and take part in more thought-provoking conversations.
What are your future career goals and how have they been realised since being at Imperial?
I applied for the course with the primary goal of landing a job in consulting – that was before I had my summer internship in an Asset Management firm. It was during that internship when I realised that given my skillsets and way of working that I wanted to work in the financial services industry. Nevertheless, the course and careers service together with the host of diverse events that the Business School organises for us has been very accommodating towards my goals and has helped me gain knowledge and context as to what the financial service industry is today and has thus positioned me better for all my applications.
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 have just secured a graduate role at J.P. Morgan Chase Bank in Kuala Lumpur. It is a rotational programme where I’ll be able to experience different divisions of a bank (back, middle and front office) over 2 years. I had a few one-to-one careers session with my career consultant at the beginning of the year and I think the questions that I was asked really pushed me to think of what I really wanted in my career – without which I would not have been able to give a compelling and structured answer during my interviews.
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.
Imperial being so central is definitely a plus point because some days we have had to juggle between classes and company visits – and I wouldn’t have had to attend these events if not for the central location that Imperial has.
Where do you live in London and why did you choose to live there?
I live 5 minutes from Imperial so it’s very accessible. I also live and close enough to a tube station which allows me to stay connected to the rest of London.
When you’re not studying, what do you enjoy doing?
I enjoy hanging out with my friends and exploring London, travelling around Europe, and reading.
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 definitely found the information session which had a mini-lecture extremely useful and insightful in terms of the quality of lectures that Imperial had (I had one with Prof Yuri Mishina), and also it was useful for expectation management as I then knew how to prepare myself prior to beginning the programme.
What advice would you give someone who is thinking about applying for the programme?
Talk to the programme team, current students and alumni about what to expect from each programme and don’t forget to look around other programmes at Imperial to find out about what they offer in addition to your first choice as well.