Rachel Kavita Thomas
Tell us what your greatest academic, professional or personal awards/achievements have been.
As I believe strongly in hard work and perseverance, I feel that one of my greatest achievements is having worked as a barista at Starbucks several days of the week. Taking on the job was not easy as the working hours were long, and having to make drinks, especially during peak hours, was physically demanding. However, despite these challenges, I was able to find meaning and fulfilment in the job, and even forge close friendships with my colleagues who come from different backgrounds and cultures.
Why did you decide to study your Summer School course and why specifically did you choose to study with Imperial College Business School?
I decided to study the Summer School course to gain some exposure into what studying finance and pursuing it as a career would be like.. Having looked at the programme description, I felt that the programme at Imperial College Business School would be extremely holistic as it gave me the opportunity to go beyond the textbook and explore the city of London which is one of the world’s greatest financial hubs.
What makes your Summer School unique?
I feel that the friends that I have made from all over the world has made my experience at Imperial a truly memorable and unique one as despite the fact that we all have different perspectives and views, we are always willing to hear each other out, and from there we learn and grow at the same time.
What aspects of the course did you most enjoy?
I enjoyed the field trips to Canary Wharf and the London city centre as I got a first-hand feel of the bustling city life.
What was the most challenging part of the course?
I feel that mastering the work load, especially in the last week, was the most challenging aspect of the programme as time was very tight.
Imperial places a large emphasis on group work, what inspires you the most about working in this type of environment?
I feel that group work is very important as it allows us to learn from one another and respect each other’s’ views and opinions. I think that in the future, having good teamwork skills is very important as the best ideas usually come from the thoughts and ideas of multiple brains thinking together instead of just one.
How would you describe your Summer School class?
I think that the people are very friendly, open and easy to get along with.
What parts of the social programme did you most enjoy?
I enjoyed the lectures as I felt that the lecturer ensured that the class would be an interactive one. It was also very enlightening to hear from people who come from different places as it makes the discussion more enriching.
What has been the greatest opportunity during your summer at Imperial that you don’t think you would get anywhere else?
I think the networking opportunities, specifically being able to make close friends from different parts of the world is truly an invaluable experience.
What are your future career goals and how do you think your time at Imperial will help/has helped?
I would like to work at a big company in the future, possibly in the finance sector. Imperial has sparked my interest in finance and has pushed me to want to learn more about the subject and go beyond to textbook, and to hopefully be able to apply what I have learnt in the future at my workplace.
Whereabouts did you stay in London and why did you choose to stay there?
I stayed at Wilson house which offers summer school students accommodation over the summer. I chose to stay there as it was only a 30 minutes’ walk from the business school.
What can a weekend in London look like for a Summer School student?
Going out to explore the city!! London is a melting pot of different cultures, people come from all over the world so take the time to explore every inch of the city – each street has something unique and special about it.
In your opinion, tell us about the most exciting thing you’ve done in London.
I think going to the play – the Lion King was the most exciting thing I’ve done. Coming from Singapore, we don’t get the opportunity to watch theatre very often. Hence, having the opportunity to watch the film I’ve always loved growing up come to life before my eyes, was truly an enthralling and unforgettable experience.
What advice would you give someone who was thinking about applying for the Summer School?
Go for it!! The experience of studying with like-minded individuals from all over the world is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and getting to do so in London is an even greater plus!!
Share with us a handy hint or trick that made settling into Summer School that much easier!
Be open and be yourself!