“LBS had the diversity I’d been looking for – this is somewhere with a truly international environment that isn’t always there at other business schools.”
When entering one of the business world’s most competitive sectors, broadening your skill set is essential. Shira Giat shares her impressions of the Masters in Finance programme and explains how she’s making the most of life at LBS.
An alumnus who’s also from Israel introduced me to London Business School. He’d studied on the MiF programme and is now the CEO of a well-known infrastructure company there. He was incredibly enthusiastic about the School and what it had done for him, telling me that it was the experience of a lifetime that would elevate my career in finance.
LBS had the diversity I’d been looking for – this is somewhere with a truly international environment that isn’t always there at other business schools. Having a global group of students from different sectors within finance sitting together in class makes discussions group incredibly rich and insightful. This, combined with the world-leading faculty, global network, central London location and the School’s rankings and reputation, made it very appealing to me.
I developed a passion for finance through my Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics and Economics, which I studied at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. I loved it and wanted to find a practical way to implement my theoretical knowledge. From there, my interest in finance grew, which led to me working for the Israeli Ministry of Finance.
As an associate at the Israeli Ministry of Finance, I'd focused on fixed income – and was attracted to the MiF programme because I wanted to broaden my horizons. I was looking to develop my knowledge in fixed income but also other areas of finance like investment management and private equity. Having the opportunity to choose my electives means I’ve been able to tread my own path.
Two of my favourite classes were Private Equity and Distressed Investing with Professor of Accounting Florin Vasvari. They were structured around real-life case studies which made them highly practical. Professor Vasvari also brought in many guest speakers, giving us the chance to learn first-hand from other people’s experience. Looking forwards, I’m additionally excited to develop my soft-skills through the Negotiation class, which I've heard lots of good things about.
I’m part of the Executive Committee for the Israel Club, where we organise business and cultural events related to our home country. I’m also a trek leader, with my most recent project involving leading a trek of 70 LBS students to Israel. LBS clubs organise a lot of cultural events, where we learn about our cohort’s home countries and get to know new people. One of the biggest annual events is Tattoo, which brings different clubs together to showcase the School’s diversity. This year, I performed as part of the Salsa Club, which was really exciting!
There are limitless extracurricular routes at LBS that can further your professional career. One of my favourite experiences was the Harvard PE competition, where I worked with a great team of LBS students on an M&A case, competing with teams from other business schools around the world. It’s a great learning experience: I got to broaden my knowledge about different industries while using my modelling and research skills.
The School has given me access to an unrivalled network of both students and alumni. In addition, the presentations and networking events on campus from leading organisations and individuals in the finance sector have been incredible – providing me with information and opportunities that have been really useful and relevant.
The school does an amazing job of empowering both men and women. My experience on the MiF programme has given me a unique view of the finance industry. Whilst traditionally male-dominated, it’s highly encouraging to see the sector actively employing more women in high-level roles - which gives me great confidence for my future career path.
I am fortunate enough to be the recipient of a merit scholarship, an award which I feel honoured and truly grateful to receive. Having my academic achievements recognised by such a prestigious school has boosted my confidence and encouraged me to make the most of every opportunity at LBS. It’s also made me want to give back, in an attempt to help and empower other people like the scholarship did for me.
I see being a student ambassador as my chance to give back. It gives me the opportunity to help prospective students, whether it’s over the phone, on LinkedIn or face-to-face. They ask about my professional background and my experience at the School, and it’s great to be able to give them the information they’re looking for to help them make their own decisions about their futures.
Shira Giat was a recipient of the MiFFT MiF Merit Scholarship (LBS Fund)