Mark Collins

Mark Collins

Studying MSc Management at Imperial

Why did you decide to study MSc Management at Imperial College Business School? 
Having completed an undergraduate degree and Master’s in Law, I was seeking a course which would facilitate my transition from the legal sphere to the business sphere. MSc Management excels in this area, being exclusively tailored for students who wish to make the transition to the business world by providing a thorough and detailed grounding in business fundamentals, whilst giving students the chance to tailor the programme to their interest in the spring term through the elective pathways.

What is your fondest memory from your time at the Business School? 
My best time in the Business School was the time spent with classmates during the summer term working on the Business Plan competition.  This gave us the opportunity to really work together from the ground up on our own idea, and follow it right through from initial conception to final business plan.  This gave the opportunity for us to work together in a really creative way, leveraging each other’s strengths to deliver a business plan and presentation.  The friendships made in particular during that process are the strongest that I have from my time in the Business School.  It really gave all of us a taste for entrepreneurship too, and an insight into launching your own business.

Career & Professional Development

How did MSc Management at Imperial help you with your career progression to Associate Partner at McKinsey & Company?
My education at Imperial College Business School provided me with the ideal platform for a career in consulting.  The MSc Management expertly combines both detailed theoretical knowledge with deep practical experience and skill development in a truly compelling way.  To this day, the insights gleaned and the skills developed prove central to my day-to-day work with McKinsey & Co.

How did you benefit from the services provided by the Business School’s Career and Professional Development Services Team? 
The Careers Service at the Business School was invaluable, right from the time I accepted my offer to study at the Business School.  Before even starting my course, the Careers Service worked with me over the summer to refine my CV and various cover letters to give me a head start in the busy job application window in the first term.  This advice was then complimented and built upon by the really detailed and helpful feedback that I received when working with the Carers Service to prepare for interviews, both general and case study based.  They are an amazing resource to have and one which all students should really take advantage of.

Working at McKinsey & Company

What do you enjoy most about your work and what are the main challenges that you face?
My work is incredibly enjoyable, and has exceeded my expectations.  What particularly strikes me about my work is threefold.  Firstly, the people I work with are incredibly inspirational and very smart, but also and very importantly are incredibly good fun to work with. Secondly, I find the content matter of my work fascinating.  Sitting down to solve complex problems from some of the world’s leading companies as part of a team is a great experience.  The ability that I have to drive impact even this early in my career is considerable and it has been great to see ideas go from conception, to design, to implementation to really benefit the client.  Thirdly, I would say that the development opportunities that my work has afforded me have been invaluable.  It has given me the opportunity to develop and fine tune a very rounded, comprehensive professional skill set that can be easily transferred across industries, functions and geographies.

Keeping in touch with fellow MSc Management alumni

Are you still in touch with your Business School alumni network? How has the network developed as you have all progressed on your career journeys?
Absolutely, the depth and breadth of my network from the Business School is truly remarkable.  Just over 5 years after graduating, my class covers every corner of the world and every industry and function and remains in contact on a regular basis. Just recently I had the pleasure of meeting a classmate while working in Auckland, New Zealand, about as far as you can get from Imperial.  This network, in addition to providing true friendships, is a fantastic sounding board and source of expertise.

Advice to prospective and graduating students

What advice would you give to a prospective student considering studying the same Business School programme as you?
Embrace all the opportunities offered by your course, the Business School and Imperial more generally to develop a really well-rounded comprehensive skill set which be of huge benefit whatever your subsequent career is.  The MSc Management was the key catalyst for me as it not only gives the theoretical business education, it is also very practically focused through assignments, group papers etc.  These give you the best possible arena to develop skills, and your classmates enable this process further as they bring some many different perspectives and backgrounds.

What piece of careers advice would you give to a student who is graduating/just graduated from MSc Management at Imperial? 
My biggest piece of advice would be (though clichéd) to choose a career that you are truly passionate about and that is truly focused on your professional development.  The first will drive you, while the second is what will help drive progression in your career (the first few years can really help accelerate your trajectory).  Finally, I would say don’t be afraid to make changes, trust your gut, if something doesn’t feel right make a change.

Mark Collins MSc Management Imperial College Business School

MSc Management 2010-11

Nationality: Irish, based in San Francisco

Undergraduate education: BCL (International) at University College Cork, Ireland and LLM at Temple University, Philadelphia

Job prior to Imperial College Business School: Teaching Assistant at Temple University, Philadelphia and an internship at Matheson Ormsby Prentice, Dublin

Employment after studying at the Business School: Associate Partner – McKinsey & Company