“Imperial College is a globally recognised university. MSc Finance is a highly ranked programme and previous students have been successful in getting jobs at top firms across the finance sector. The alumni network and London location also were appealing to me.”
Read Godiraone's story
What work experience or internships did you have before beginning with Imperial College Business School?
Prior to joining Imperial College Business School, I undertook a one-year placement as a financial analyst at Goldman Sachs as part of my undergraduate degree. Upon completion of my degree, I then held a summer analyst position at investment management firm Alliance Bernstein.
Why did you decide to study MSc Finance at Imperial College Business School?
Imperial College is a globally recognised university. MSc Finance is a highly ranked programme and previous students have been successful in getting jobs at top firms across the finance sector. The alumni network and London location also were appealing to me. For the programme itself, I wanted something with lots of quantitative options given my mathematics background. Imperial’s programme is broad and future-facing, offering modules in topics such as blockchain, fintech as well as climate finance, which are some key emerging areas.
"Imperial’s programme is broad and future-facing, offering modules in topics such as blockchain, fintech as well as climate finance, which are some key emerging areas."
Did you receive a scholarship?
I received the Africa Regional Scholarship. The benefit of the award includes a £10,000 reduction in my tuition fees and also exposure – I have been invited to talk to prospective students and share my experiences in applying and being a student at Imperial. The scholarship is a great idea in that you can save some money and use it elsewhere, given how expensive London can get. For anyone applying to a scholarship, just know that the process is competitive, as is the rest of the application with Imperial being a top school. Excellence is recognised and rewarded. Don’t be shy to showcase your previous success and whatever it is that you are currently working on. Demonstrating your genuine interest is key to an impactful scholarship application.
What are you enjoying learning about the most?
It has to be Investments and Portfolio Management taught by Professor Marcin Kacperczyk. As an aspiring research analyst, I learned about valuing different financial securities like stocks, bonds, and options. In addition, the professor used real-world examples of investment and trading strategies utilised by investment managers, like betting against beta and value vs. growth stocks portfolio performances.
How would you describe your cohort at Imperial?
It’s a diverse group of very smart people. There is a saying that if you are the smartest person in the room, then you are in the wrong place. I am always learning from everyone and their raw hunger for success pushes me to challenge myself, there are some future CEOs among my cohort for sure.
"I am always learning from everyone and their raw hunger for success pushes me to challenge myself, there are some future CEOs among my cohort for sure."
On easy days we normally gather over drinks at the Student Union and discuss our experiences growing up. I’ve had several holiday recommendations around the world, what makes it even better is I will know someone to show me around if I visit. I recommend for anyone wanting to go on a safari and see the big five animals to visit my home country Botswana, as well as going on a boat cruise in the majestic Okavango Delta.
Which workshops, events or guest lectures at the school have been useful in developing your skills and knowledge?
Two events stand out for me. We had a two-day financial modelling workshop with Professor Marc Kitten. The first day was focused on building case flow and DCF models to be used for valuing companies. The second day was focused on working on a leveraged buyout case. These were done early when we started our programme and the skills obtained were useful in completing several assignments throughout the past terms.
The other event would be learning how to build effective networks by reaching out to people via LinkedIn or sending them a cold email, hosted by InvestInU Academy. I have been able to leverage the information shared to connect and have coffee chats with people from big companies like JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs.
What are your future career goals?
I am aspiring to become a Research Analyst in the investment management space. I find it intriguing to study companies and be able to pick out winners. The markets are hot right now, people have excess savings, and the extra spending has had an influence on the current inflation levels. We are seeing action through central banks to slow this down through various means such as interest rate hikes and increased tapering. To work in this area you need to be commercially aware. At the same time, the field allows me to make use of my quantitative and analytical skills gained from my mathematics degree in building financial models and forecasts for future company performance.
Being a research analyst is challenging in that one needs to be able to know which companies are expected to outperform during certain economic cycles for example in the comparison of growth vs. value stocks. For now, I am learning through my own stock portfolio. My previous internship experiences at Goldman Sachs and Alliance Bernstein have given me real-world experiences of what I enjoy and am good at.
How did the services from Careers help you secure employment in your professional development?
I have attended various workshops hosted by the Careers team such as one-to-one CV and cover letter reviews. They also host other events such as mock interviews, assessment centres and presentations which are useful for preparation and building confidence ahead of the actual final application rounds.
Do you think studying in a central location such as London is beneficial for networking and career opportunities?
Yes – London is a European financial hub and for someone wanting to work in finance, it has given me a lot of networking opportunities. Companies like Tikehau Capital have at times invited us over to their headquarters. In my own capacity, I have had catchups with former colleagues. It’s also easier to talk to anyone via LinkedIn and set up coffee catch-ups since you are in the same city. Although often possible via Zoom, I personally prefer in-person meetings as they feel more real.
Looking back to when you were applying for the programme, did you attend any online webinars or on-campus information sessions?
I attended several online webinars, some hosted by the recruitment team and some by the School alumni. They were great in that I could ask specific questions about how to make my application stand out. Furthermore, by having the alumni sessions, I could ask them about their experiences at Imperial and the support they got. It’s something I would highly recommend.
The application process is competitive, and you should reach out to previous students and attend online webinars to get as much information as possible. Imperial means intelligence, the programme is challenging and you learn a lot. The benefits far outweigh the challenges. The programme is taught by excellent lecturers with diverse backgrounds, and there is something for everyone to do outside the classroom no matter their interests. My cohort is very social and there is support, this is the true Imperial culture.
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