Shirley has a BA in Biological Sciences from the University of Oxford. In her studies before university, Shirley came in the top 1% in the world in her International Baccalaureate examinations.
The Summer School experience
Why did you decide to study your Summer School course and why specifically did you choose to study with Imperial College Business School?
I am genuinely interested in learning about finance and the summer school courses at Imperial matched my needs. I wanted a short, comprehensive and high quality course to prime me for applying for a Master’s in Finance. Imperial College Business School’s well-regarded reputation was also a factor I took into consideration when selecting this course.
What makes your Summer School unique?
The courses are of a high academic level (on par with final year undergraduate courses) and are of a very high quality. The academic trips and guest speaker events interspersed throughout were a refreshing change from lectures and showed us the real-world relevance of financial concepts. There was also careers advice on offer if students needed it.
What is the most challenging part of the course?
The pace – having to learn advanced topics and equations in lectures and applying them in afternoon workshops on the same day really tests your ability to grasp concepts rapidly. The material is advanced and I did find some parts difficult to grasp, especially since I don’t have a background in finance. However, our lecturer, Lara was fantastic at explaining concepts – she was pithy, intelligible and very to the point with no waffle at all. She would repeat explanations as many times as the class needed and made the course really enjoyable.
What is the most rewarding part of the course?
Looking back at lecture notes and realising what a vast quantity of topics you have covered in a short 3 weeks – it’s very gratifying!
How would you describe your cohort at Imperial?
Bright, international, friendly, open-minded. They come from a diverse range of backgrounds both in terms of countries, universities, subjects and career paths and there is something to learn from everyone.
What parts of the social programme do you most enjoy?
There is a good range of activities that allow you to explore London and wider Great Britain. The boat party was fun and it was a chance to meet people from outside your course.
A wealth of opportunities
What has been the greatest opportunity during your summer at Imperial that you don’t think you would get anywhere else?
I think the greatest opportunity was being able to meet the cohort of summer school students I did and the quality of teaching.
What are your future career goals and how do you think your time at Imperial will help you achieve these?
I am interested in applying for a Master’s in Finance and the summer course was a “taster” of what the masters courses will be like. It has given me a strong technical foundation, which I had previously lacked. I feel more knowledgeable and well-positioned for applications than previously.
Living in London
Where are you staying in London and why did you choose to stay there?
Wilson House – because it is close to Imperial College Business School and central London.
What can a weekend in London look like for a Summer School student?
A leisurely breakfast at Granger and Co (go for their amazing ricotta hotcakes and scrambled eggs!) followed by some work (reviewing lecture notes). A museum visit or shopping in the afternoon, followed by dinner with friends.
What is the most exciting thing you’ve done in London?
I recently went to watch a showing of The Notebook by Rooftop Cinemas. It was a really fun and unique experience being able to watch a movie outdoors. I also managed to catch a Beyoncé concert a couple of weeks ago – that was pretty incredible.
As an international student, what are the highlights to staying in London?
There is so much going on in the city, you’ve got fantastic range and diversity in restaurants, shops and sights to see. There is plenty going on in London during the summer.
Advice for future students
What advice would you give someone who is thinking about applying for the Summer School?
Make sure you have done sufficient research on the course and can explain which areas in particular interest you and how the course can benefit you.
Share with us a handy hint or trick that made settling into Summer School that much easier!
People are really friendly so do not be afraid to say hi! Ask what courses they are taking, where they are from, where they are staying and that should break enough ice for a decent conversation and voila – you have made a new friend.