Ronan Mullan

Programme: MSc Risk Management & Financial Engineering

Nationality: British

Undergraduate Education: BSc Applied Mathematics, University of Edinburgh

Job after Imperial College Business School: Rates Trading, MUFG Securities

MSc Risk Management & Financial Engineering 2018

About you

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

I completed a summer internship at HSBC’s commercial bank a year before joining the programme but quickly decided that it was not for me as I wanted to make more use of the skills that I had gained through my undergraduate degree in Applied Mathematics. The following summer (directly before starting the programme), I completed a summer internship in London with MUFG Securities on their Rates Trading desk. The fast paced and analytical environment was the ideal fit for me and so I accepted an offer to join the desk full-time following the programme.

Why did you decide to study an MSc Risk Management & Financial Engineering at Imperial College Business School?

I thought that a Master’s in Risk Management & Financial Engineering would significantly broaden my knowledge of finance and financial markets – helping to link my mathematical skills with financial knowledge. Imperial College was a good fit because I wanted to be close to one of the world’s largest financial centres in London at a university with an applied programme and excellent connections with the industry.

Did you receive a scholarship?

I received the Imperial Business Scholarship for £10,000 due to academic excellence in my undergraduate degree, strong prior internship experience and a clear career plan alongside leadership potential. I would have been unable to afford the tuition fees without it.


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

The wide range of modules available has been a good feature of the programme. This allows each student to tailor the programme to their individual career aspirations using their choice of electives. Many of these electives are taught by professionals from industry and the opportunity to interact with these professionals is one of the most rewarding aspects of the programme.

Which has been your favourite module so far and why?

The Applied Trading Strategies elective module was my favourite as it aligned well with my future career and was one of the most relevant modules. Its best feature was a six week project in which teams traded virtual portfolios based on the real time market. This module was also taught by a highly experienced professional.

What has been the most challenging part of the programme?

The most challenging part of the programme is the volume of information that you have to take on board throughout the year. The curriculum is so broad that you will inevitably finish with a well-rounded knowledge of the financial markets.

Did you attend an international trip?

I attended the international elective on Algorithmic Trading in New York City. The trip consisted of lectures in the morning and company visits in the afternoon. The company visits were very interesting and the elective did a good job of introducing the basics of algorithmic trading.


How would you describe your cohort at Imperial?

The cohort consisted of a wide range of nationalities and included both students with prior professional work experience and those who entered the programme directly from their undergraduate degree.

Did you have a favourite professor/lecturer and why?

There are a number of very good lecturers but Tarun Ramadorai who taught the Big Data elective was arguably my favourite. His teaching style is very engaging and his knowledge of the subject is extensive.

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

The large volume of group work encouraged interaction between students from many different educational and cultural backgrounds and allowed a diverse range of knowledge to inform the learning experience.


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

I think the greatest opportunity provided through Imperial is the access to all of the employers with which Imperial has connections and the alumni network.

Which workshops, events or guest lectures at the school have been useful in developing your skills and knowledge?

The preparation provided through mock technical interviews are a highly valuable resource that I took advantage of. I also found attending as many employer presentations as possible a good way of knowing what kind of roles are currently out there in the industry.

What clubs, societies or other activities have you been involved in at Imperial? Do you hold a student leadership position?

I was involved in the Poker Society all year at Imperial and was a Student Ambassador for the Business School.

How have you benefited from being part of the wider Imperial College London community?

I think having the recognisable Imperial name is a big benefit.


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

My career goals include developing as quickly as possible at MUFG Securities to a level where I am responsible for trading a certain region/part of the interest rate curve. I would also like to work internationally at some point in the next ten years. My time at Imperial will help me accomplish this as my increased and broadened knowledge should increase the rate at which I am able to progress.

Have you received any job offers since commencing your programme?

I had already secured a role for post-graduation before starting at Imperial, so I have not received any additional offers since being here. The role as a Trading Analyst at MUFG Securities will initially involve becoming familiar with trading process and market dynamics involved in hedging before developing into a position where I am trading myself.

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

Careers provided a variety of workshops on CV’s, cover letters, interviews that will be useful throughout my career.

London location

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

Studying in central London definitely puts you in close proximity with potential employers. I think this makes them more willing to come and present to students. I don’t know of any other universities that have as many employer presentations and visits as London’s premier universities.

Where do you live in London and why did you choose to live there?

I live near Fulham Road as it’s a short walk to Imperial and there are plenty of restaurants, cafes and bars.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time in London?

The programme is quite intense so spare time is fairly limited but there is always cool events on in London.

What are the benefits and challenges of moving to London? What advice would you give to someone in a similar position?

I think the main challenge was adjusting to living in such a large city but once you get used to how busy it is, then you can really start to enjoy living in one of the world’s leading cities.


Looking back to when you were applying for the programme, did you attend any online webinars or on-campus information sessions? Would you recommend that prospective students attend these events?

I did not attend any of these events but I did visit the campus before accepting my offer. Having attended a number of events on campus in my capacity as a Student Ambassador, I would recommend that prospective students attend if they are able as it is a great opportunity to meet current student and get their views on the programme.

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

I would advise them to ensure that they have a well-rounded background and a genuine interest in the topics covered in the programme. This will provide a good base from which they will have the opportunity to be successful in the programme.

Programme: MSc Risk Management & Financial Engineering

Nationality: British

Undergraduate Education: BSc Applied Mathematics, University of Edinburgh

Job after Imperial College Business School: Rates Trading, MUFG Securities