BSc Actuarial Science, The University of Hong Kong
Internships in investment fund and insurance, VMS Investment Group
Toby chose the MSc Risk Management & Financial Engineering programme as an extension to his Bachelor degree in actuarial science. He was keen to learn more about sophisticated mathematical modelling methods applied to the financial world, as well as understanding the dynamics between different stakeholders that contribute to the complexity of the financial market.
Your time at Imperial College Business School
Why did you choose to study your programme and why specifically at Imperial College Business School?
I chose Imperial College Business School because of Imperial's close links to innovation and technology. As much as I like mathematics and finance, I get excited about the latest technology which disrupts the way of living and completely changes how people approach the same problem, in a more efficient or better way. Imperial advocates latest technological trends such as machine learning, which is rapidly gaining popularity in the financial industry as well. And being a part of Imperial means you want to innovate yourself.
What was the most important learning point you took with you from the Business School?
The most important lesson I learned from the Business School was the importance of diversity. At Imperial, there are students from all around the globe, different languages, different specialties, but you can all work together to contribute to developing solutions and change for the better. This was an eye-opener for me when I did my group projects in the first semester at Imperial.
What advice would you give to a prospective student considering studying the same programme as you?
Be ambitious. Imperial offers a wide range of academic programmes, and also student-led activities. Taking different opportunities at Imperial can definitely widen the angle of viewing the world, and it will never be the same ever since.
What was the most surprising thing about the programme?
Everyone was very motivated from start to finish throughout the programme, despite high workload, tough exams and presentations. Everyone worked hard to keep up with one another and was willing to lend a helping hand whenever one felt discouraged.
Tell us about your current job
How has your programme contributed to your career success?
During my study at Imperial, I was exposed to new technologies such as machine learning and deep learning in lectures, and gained real-world insights from guest presentations by industrial experts. I decided to pursue a career that integrates the latest technologies and my domain expertise, which led me to where I am right now - a data scientist in a multi-national corporation.
How do you plan to use the skills and knowledge you gained during the programme within your career going forward?
The finance knowledge allows me to see clearly where the business values reside when I read about different managerial decisions in the news or in my workplace. While modelling techniques are ever-changing, I have the confidence and tenacity to keep up with the changes. I always recall the days at Imperial when I stayed up until late night to read through chapters of a book full of mathematical formulas.
What do you enjoy most about your current work and what are the main challenges that you face?
At my current workplace, I help to drive business values with latest technologies using a data driven approach. I work with researchers, developers and management to create data driven solutions that can help the company to optimise resource allocation, make better decisions and automate error prone manual processes. There are a number of challenges ahead, for instance, to identify the bottleneck of the business or to come up with innovative solutions and develop them from start to finish.
What is your proudest achievement in the job so far?
I have completed two small-scale proof-of-concepts projects for the company, handling different stages of the projects on my own, including data collection, data analysis, model building and also evaluations. I am proud that my hard work paid off really well, as the management and end-users are satisfied with the results.
In what way is remaining connected to your alumni network important to you?
Most of the friends I met at Imperial keep in touch using LinkedIn and they will share career insights and advice to each other. Since they are in all parts of the world, it is interesting to read about initiatives in different businesses.
Have you volunteered at the Business School since you graduated? If so, why do you feel it’s important to volunteer your time and experience?
Writing this profile will be my first time giving something back to the School. I think it is a very meaningful as it helps people who aspire to study at Imperial to know what Imperial means and why they should choose to study here.