Qianni Zhang

Qianni Zhang

Academic and industry experience before Imperial

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

I have six months working experience in the Investment Bank Division in China before my master studying at Imperial College. My job involved the delivery of an IPO and a private placement, and several projects in mergers and acquisitions.

Studying MSc Risk Management & Financial Engineering

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

Once I decided to study for a masters degree in financial engineering, Imperial College is always my preferred destination. Imperial has an outstanding reputation and great teaching facilities and I applied for the MSc in Risk Management & Financial Engineering at Imperial with the intention to deepen my quantitative knowledge in mathematics and computer science, which will help me have a better understanding of the mathematics underlying various finance-related areas.

What makes the MSc Risk Management & Financial Engineering at Imperial College Business School unique?

Studying at MSc Risk Management & Financial Engieering has been a fantastic experience. The programme integrated mathematics, finance and computer science and goes into great depth. It is taught by great faculty and industry practitioners. We have gained not only the quantitative skills, but also the insight in the industry development.

Beyond the degree-related aspects, the diversity of the people and cultural integration make the programme unique. It gives me the opportunity to make friendships for life, both with students and with members of the faculty. Studying and working with people from different backgrounds, such as mathematics, engineering, computer science, finance has broadened my knowledge and horizons in various subjects. Besides that, the international environment enables us to enrich the studying process and to grow together.

What has been the most challenging part of the programme?

The balance of studying and job hunting is not easy to find. Studying life could be intense when you need to find a job at the same time. Fortunately, careers gives you their full support even before the beginning of the programme. They always help us no matter what stage we are in the job hunting.

Which has been your favourite module so far and why?

My favourite module is Empirical Finance: Methods & Applications. This module is about several key problems in empirical finance and economics. Professor Karim Abadir gives us the module in a very structured and clear way. He always answers every question with great patience, provides guidance for us to explore our interest in the programme, and gave me the inspiration for my dissertation.

Guest speakers

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

I learnt some key skills from the seminars on using the data resources available on campus. This included training on how to use the Bloomberg Terminal, Thomson One etc.

Did you attend an international trip? If so, which trips did you attend and how have they been beneficial to you?

I have attend to an international elective about Algorithmic Trading in New York. It was definitely one of best experience I ever have. We had the opportunity to visit the trading desk inside New York Stock Exchange, the headquarters of Goldman Sachs, IEX (the Investors Exchange) which broadened our horizons. In addition, people from different programmes joined this trip and we had a wonderful experience when we were exploring New York together.

The faculty

Did you have a favourite professor/lecturer and why?

We all love Professor Paolo Zaffaroni. He gives us the full knowledge of statistics, which lay a foundation for us to learn asset pricing and risk management.  More importantly, he delivers the lecture clearly and humorously, which made statistics far more interesting to us.

Your cohort

Imperial places a large emphasis on group work; what did you like the most about working in this type of environment, whether it be group assignments or class discussions?

Working with people from different countries and backgrounds gives a different perspective on problem solving.

How would you describe your cohort at Imperial?

Inspirational, innovative, clever.

Opportunities from studying at Imperial

What has been the greatest opportunity you have had at Imperial that you wouldn’t get anywhere else?

The support from Careers.

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

Insight in the industry from alumni.

Career goals and jobs

How have you benefited from the services provided by Careers?

Undoubtedly Careers offers the best and useful career support for students. They not only provide the link between students and employers, but more importantly, they give very useful advice and skills training all the time. I benefited a lot from careers and I think the training and advice from them is one of the key factors that helped me find a job in London.

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

My long-term career goal is running a tech company.

Have you received any job offers since commencing your programme? 

I had an offer from Deutsche Bank’s technology division in London and the role will be divided into three different areas – project management, software/application development and business analysis. For example, working in the business analysis area means I will communicate with various business stakeholders such as vendors and upstream/downstream application users.

Life as a student in London

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

I live in South Kensington since it takes less than 10 minutes to walk to campus and the college gym, the V&A, Natural History and Science Museums.

What can a weekend in London look like for an MSc student?

Exploring London is always a fun thing to do with friends. There are many things to do at any given time, from museums to clubbing, London is a place for everyone!

If you had to move to London for the programme, what have been the benefits and challenges of moving to London? What advice would you give to someone in a similar position?

Life in London is great. Wonderful activities could be explored here. However, living in London is expensive. One should make careful research to find a suitable accommodation.

Advice for future students

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

Be prepared for hard work but an extremely rewarding experience.

MSc Risk Management and Financial Engineering 2016-17

Nationality: Chinese 

Undergraduate education: Mathematics with Finance at University of Liverpool

Job after Imperial College Business School: Business Analyst at Deutsche Bank

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