Alexander Reed

Alexander Reed

About you

What work experience/internships did you have before beginning with Imperial College Business School?

Before starting at Imperial, I’d had internships and work placements at advertising agencies that produced media for major blockbuster films, as well as family business experience, and also corporate brand, marketing, and communications work. During the MSc Management programme, I continued to pursue the marketing industry, working in the data insights department of a global media agency over the Easter holidays.

Why did you decide to study MSc Management at Imperial College Business School?

The MSc Management programme really stood out, as it can indicate quite a lot on your CV to a potential employer. The degree rubber-stamps you and shows that you have a certain skill-set, which was something that I wanted to prove. Additionally, having assessed profiles of past students, it appeared that there was a huge range of co-curricular, leadership, and personal development opportunities available to incoming students, which provide chances to significantly improve your CV. The calibre of companies that graduating students go on to work for was also a swaying factor.

Programme

What aspects of the programme do you most enjoy, and find most rewarding?

The variety of work that you are faced with is really quite enjoyable. Whether this is in the form of group work, presentations, writing-up essays, or developing intricate slide decks, you are able to effectively advance and fine-tune your professional competencies, which will set you up for a future career incredibly well.

Which has been your favourite module so far and why?

The best module on the programme was Innovation Management. It was taught particularly well, and had lots of interesting theory that really engaged the whole class. We were able to understand concepts such as disruptive innovation, and apply its principles to real-life situations, often analysing business cases to get a holistic understanding of the concept. Considering the accelerating rate of change in technology, this module will be particularly useful for understanding how a wide range of industries will change in future.

What has been the most challenging part of the programme?

At the beginning of the programme, there really is quite a lot going on. Group work, job applications, extra-curricular activities, socialising, and more. Being able to juggle it all at the same time is certainly demanding, yet ultimately manageable. Though, as the programme progresses you get into your flow and find it easier to adapt to all of your commitments. Regardless of this, the first term will be challenging.

Did you attend an international trip? How was it beneficial to you?

The trip to Prague was incredibly useful. We were able to learn about how to do business in Europe effectively, and had insight given to us by senior representatives from General Electric amongst others. It was a brilliant opportunity to travel abroad with your cohort whilst developing professional awareness. In the evenings, we were able to explore the city and understand the history and culture of the Czech Republic.

People

How would you describe your cohort at Imperial?

The cohort is brilliant. Everyone is motivated, driven, and incredibly friendly! It’s a shame to be leaving.

Did you have a favourite professor/lecturer and why?

My favourite professor would have to be Dr Sankalp Chaturvedi. He was incredibly committed to making sure that students were able to learn to the best of their abilities, and gave personalised feedback to each and every member of the class. Whilst you often get comments on essays that you hand in, or written feedback following presentations, Sankalp took the time to address every student face-to-face, and provided insight on how to improve their presentation skills. I’ve never seen someone so keen to make sure that an entire class has such valuable information given to them from which they can improve themselves.

Imperial places a large emphasis on group work; what did you like the most about working in this type of environment?

Considering that we have such a driven programme, as well as a friendly cohort, group work is one of the best parts of the experience on the MSc Management programme. Everyone aims for excellence with regard to their output, and your group members want to actively contribute, meaning that everyone is happy to do their fair share of work. Sometimes you will be allocated by the programme coordinators to a syndicate team, yet there are also opportunities to select group members as the year progresses. The emphasis on group work also means that you really understand what it means to work in a professional setting alongside others. Teamwork makes the dream work.

Opportunities

What has been the greatest opportunity you have had at Imperial?

There are so many opportunities to involve yourself with the community at Imperial; career clubs, the student-staff committee, or sports. However, the Imperial brand-name also means that you can go to some of the best case-competitions in the world. Following a selection process I had the opportunity to attend a competition in Switzerland, and managed to win two awards whilst there thanks to the content that was learned on the MSc Management programme. These are opportunities and achievements that otherwise would not have happened had I not accepted the offer to study at Imperial.

What clubs, societies or other activities have you been involved in at Imperial?

I’ve been involved heavily with the Consulting Club, holding the position of MSc President throughout the year. We’ve been able to run lots of successful events with some of the best brand-name consulting companies in London, which has truly given lots of opportunities to students at Imperial; almost 20 events were organised by us in total. Additionally, I was co-academic leader of the MSc Management programme, where we won the award for Imperial College Union Academic Representation Network Postgraduate Team of the Year 2018. This was all in parallel with being a full-time student, so it provided a great opportunity to improve time management skills.

Career

What are your future career goals and how have they been realised since being at Imperial?

Having interests in marketing/media/technology means that these will be the industry routes to pursue following graduation. Imperial helped to understand the data-driven nature of the decision-making processes in these industries, and have helped to get more of an insight to the domains. The soft-skills and the hard-skills developed on the programme have provided lots of confidence to pursue a dream career.

How did the services from Imperial College Business School Careers help in your professional development/securing employment?

The Careers team helps to improve the way that your CV reflects you as an individual as well as communicating the considerable achievements that you have accrued during your time as a student. It’s surprisingly difficult to find a balance here without any external advice, and so the staff definitely bring a lot of value-added to you during your meetings. They’re always there for you to practice interviews as well as understanding the best way to negotiate job offers that you accept during the year.

London location

Do you think studying in a central location such as London is beneficial for networking and career opportunities?

Being in London has a huge advantage over other universities in the UK. Firstly, there are lots of networking opportunities both at Imperial and at company offices based in London. Secondly, travelling to interviews or networking meetings is a relatively simple task, as you don’t have to make long train journeys across the country just for a 30-minute face-to-face. Thirdly, on the social side, there is a huge amount on offer in London, such as bars, clubs, live music, restaurants etc, which makes the whole experience of being an Imperial student an incredibly positive one.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time in London? Have you had opportunities to travel?

In my spare time, I really enjoyed socialising with class mates, playing sports, or even taking trips to different parts of the UK. It’s quite normal for a lot of the international students to want to explore other parts of England, and plenty of trips have been made to Cornwall, Stone Henge, Manchester, and even Scotland. Being based in London means that you have great access to high-speed trains that can take you anywhere. Some people even managed to go for a long-weekend in Paris!

Tips

What advice would you give someone who is thinking about applying for the programme?

Don’t be afraid to reach out to the current student ambassadors if you have any questions about Imperial or the programme that you’re looking to study. The students will be able to give you advice from their first-hand experience, and really quite enjoy being able to talk about their time at the Business School. If you can, it would also be a good idea to visit the campus, as you’ll be able to get an idea of how brilliant Imperial is!

Alex Reed

MSc Management 2017- 18

Nationality: British

Undergraduate Education: BSc Marketing, Lancaster University

Job after Imperial College Business School: Programmatic Operations Executive (L’Oréal team), Wavemaker

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