Yanina Opanasenko

MSc Financial Technology
Undergraduate education
BSc Economics and Econometrics, University of York
Job after graduation
Technology Business and Data Analyst, Morgan Stanley
Year of graduation
Yanina Opanasenko, MSc Financial Technology 2019-20, student at Imperial College Business School
Yanina Opanasenko, MSc Financial Technology
“The opportunity to select modules that reflect my interests is something that I valued hugely whilst studying MSc Financial Technology. My favourite modules were Derivatives and Big Data. I enjoyed these two modules because of how technical they are and the depth of material they cover.”

About you

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

My work experience prior to joining Imperial was in various sectors. The first UK work experience was a part-time internship during my second year of undergraduate at North Yorkshire and East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership as an Economic Data Analyst, 2018. That summer, I joined the Institute of Economic Affairs as an intern. The year after, I secured a Technology Summer Internship – Business and Data Analytics at Morgan Stanley, where I will be returning to after graduating.

Why did you decide to study an MSc Financial Technology at Imperial College Business School?

MSc Financial Technology is a unique programme. Having studied BSc Economics and Econometrics, I realised the importance of technical analysis and how the financial industry is changing due to technological innovation. Learning to code became an interest of mine and I wanted to bring my skills to the next level, whilst working on projects with financial applications. This programme perfectly brings all these aspects together due to the modules covering topics from Blockchain Technology to Big Data.

Did you receive a scholarship?

I am proud to say that Imperial College Business School decided to award me with a Women in Finance Scholarship. Apart from the monetary benefits, being a scholarship recipient provides exposure to a community of scholars and some exclusive events throughout the year at Imperial.


What aspects of the programme did you most enjoy the most?

I enjoy working in a team with talented people who have outstanding work ethics. We all came from various backgrounds, so when working in teams, it was fantastic to see how different skillsets and opinions result in an outstanding outcome.

Which was your favourite module and why?

My favourite modules were Derivatives and Big Data. I enjoyed these two modules because of how technical they are and the depth of material they cover. They also perfectly prepared me for my future job and reflect my personal interests.

What was the most rewarding part of the programme?

The opportunity to select modules that reflect my interests is something that I valued hugely whilst studying MSc Financial Technology. Selecting Derivatives, Advanced Options Theory, and Machine Learning with Finance Applications, together with the Research Project, I believed that by graduation I would have developed the necessary skillset and fundamental knowledge for the start of my career as a Business and Data Analyst. I was also extremely excited for my Research Project and am adamant that completing this challenge was the most rewarding project I ever completed academically.

"The opportunity to select modules that reflect my interests is something that I valued hugely whilst studying MSc Financial Technology."

What was the most challenging part of the programme? 

The challenge for me personally was to manage my time appropriately in the spring term. We had a vast number of deadlines: approximately three every two weeks. There are also students who apply for internships and/or full-time positions. Making sure that all the aspects of the workload are delivered to the highest standards requires consistent motivation to allocate time appropriately.


How would you describe your cohort at Imperial?

Everyone is extremely motivated to do well, challenges you with their ideas and incentivises you to do better than you can. Especially considering the number of group projects that we had, this is a great environment to be in: I was constantly learning something new outside of the lectures.


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

One of the best opportunities for me was the chance to be a part of the Student Investment Fund (Quantitative Department). Taking on the role of the Director of Quant Operations, I was exposed to all the strategies being developed, whilst also organising events for the Fund. For example, the Morgan Stanley Hackathon that took place in February and was targeted to quants at the Fund was a great success and received strong positive feedback. Taking part in this competition was interesting and rewarding for me, as I developed further my quantitative skillset whilst networking with Morgan Stanley employees.

What clubs, societies or other activities were you involved in at Imperial? Did you hold a student leadership position?

I was a Student Ambassador, where I helped prospective students by answering any questions that they might have about MSc Financial Technology and the Business School. It was a rewarding experience, as being part of the Student Ambassador community gave me access to exclusive leadership events and networking opportunities.


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

When applying, I would recommend researching the programme as much as possible by looking at the website and talking to people. Then, when you start writing your Personal Statement, please talk about things that you are truly passionate about and not what you think recruiters want you to hear. I applied to a few Master’s programmes (and many internships); I was only rejected when I was overthinking about what they wanted me to say instead of thinking where my passions match with what that institution offers.

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