Gloria Guo

MSc Finance
Undergraduate education
BA in Economics and Pure & Applied Mathematics, Boston University
Year of graduation
Gloria Guo, MSc Finance 2021-22, student at Imperial College Business School
Gloria Guo, MSc Finance
“Besides its world-class reputation, I was most interested in the MSc Finance programme’s comprehensive design. Core modules would help me build a concrete understanding of corporate finance, derivatives, and econometric techniques.”

About you

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

I completed an Enterprise FP&A internship at Iron Mountain during the summer of my junior year at university. This triggered my interest in finance and led me to a position at E*TRADE after graduation. It is an online brokerage platform in the US, which has been acquired by Morgan Stanley. During my two years of working experience, I started from E*TRADE Risk Management and Fraud and ended up in Morgan Stanley Wealth Management after the merge and acquisition were settled.

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

I affirmed my passion for finance through numerous exciting moments during my work experience. It is interesting to see the correlation between daily work and real-time news. The only constants in the financial service industry are changes, which are undoubtedly challenging to keep up and adapt to. In the meantime, I saw it as an excellent opportunity to push myself to accommodate, learn, and be a better version of myself.

With a STEM academic background, I was aware of a gap in my skillset, which prompted me to pursue a graduate degree in finance. Imperial grabbed my attention during my grad school research. Besides its world-class reputation, I was most interested in the MSc Finance programme’s comprehensive design. Core modules would help me build a concrete understanding of corporate finance, derivatives, and econometric techniques. More importantly, elective modules, such as Advanced Options Theory and Credit Risk, perfectly meet my interests. I knew this programme would be ideal for preparing myself with knowledge and methodologies to meet challenges, and I am still very satisfied with my choice.

Did you receive a scholarship?

Yes, I was honoured to receive the Women in Finance scholarship. Receiving a scholarship didn’t affect my decision to study at Imperial, but it definitely gave me more courage and confidence to continue pursuing a career in finance, and it prompted me to think about being a future women leader in finance too.

All applicants who apply before the scholarship deadlines and receive an offer for their programme will be considered for scholarships automatically, therefore I didn’t apply directly for it. If any advice, I would say apply early and make sure to showcase the best self in your personal statement!


Which has been your favourite module so far and why?

Mathematics in Finance is my favourite module so far. It provides insights into how mathematical theories and models are utilised and interpreted in finance. It combines my interests in mathematics and finance perfectly, but it is undoubtedly an extremely challenging module. It might sound intangible, but for me personally, I found it truly rewarding after figuring out a math problem.

What has been the most rewarding part of the programme?

Teamwork! All coursework projects so far have been done in groups. There were weeks where we had multiple deadlines, and it was impossible to finish all of them with one single brain. That’s when teamwork comes into play. Although the collaboration process wasn’t perfectly smooth, it was rewarding when we eventually clicked the submit button and received good grades as a team.

What has been the most challenging part of the programme? 

Time management. Since the length of the programme is relatively short, I wanted to make the best use of this year – receiving good grades, engaging in Career club activities, hunting for a job after graduation, meeting new friends, and creating lifelong lasting memories in London. I felt overwhelmed at the beginning of the semester. As time went by, I developed a habit to revisit and prioritise tasks daily, and got lots of support from my classmates, friends, and Careers Consultant. Although I am still a bit stressed, I am now more comfortable having several things on my plate simultaneously and more confident of getting things done in time with high quality.


How would you describe your cohort at Imperial?

Talented, diverse, and supportive. Diverse not only in terms of geography but also experience. We have fresh graduates and experienced professionals with several years of work experience sitting in the same class. It’s also an inclusive community, where everyone is willing to offer help and has strong intellectual curiosity.


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

Due to the pandemic, all the career fairs have been conducted online so far. It is definitely a different experience compared to in-person fairs, but still an excellent opportunity to learn about companies and available job positions. I also attended several workshops for group interviews, cover letter reviews, finance industry development in China. They are all beneficial in gathering information and preparing for job hunting.

Have you had opportunities to work/socialise with students across programmes within the Business School?

Definitely. I had lots of chances to meet and socialise with our club members through activities and events. They are from very diverse backgrounds geographically and experience-wise. Most of them are full-time Master’s students, but also there are part-time Master’s and PhD students. Imperial College Business School and the programme team also arranged several social events, including the Business School-wide welcome day at the Science Museum and Student Leadership Day.


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

Given that Imperial College Business School offers a wide range of Master’s programmes, reaching out to current students or alumni for detailed information will help you find the most suitable programme. You should want to learn more about the curriculum for each programme, topics covered, and their difficulty levels, as well as the year plans.

For the personal statement, don’t be shy to showcase yourself – state clearly why you want to pursue a Master’s degree and how this programme will help you get closer to your career goal. Try to jump out of the box and be the unique you.

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