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Glenice Gao

  • Programme: Masters in Finance full time
  • Nationality: Chinese
  • Job Pre-programme: Vice President, Commercial banking, HSBC
  • Job Post-programme: Senior Director China Minsheng Investment Corp., Ltd

Professional background

Glenice was working in commercial banking with HSBC before completing the Masters in Finance in 2011. After a successful career move, she now works in Investment Management in China.

Preparing to switch careers

My previous job was in the corporate/commercial banking sector. However, I am more interested in project-based investments and deal structuring than in general banking and relationship management, so my primary motivation in attending the Masters in Finance programme was to switch careers. In addition, my previous education was not relevant to finance and my goal was to get a systematic education in finance. I had completed all three levels of CFA exams before applying for the programme.

London Business School’s reputation in finance is well-acknowledged and the Masters in Finance is unique as it is the only advanced programme targeted at experienced students.

During the programme, I had enormous opportunities to attend various seminars and activities. This firsthand information, coupled with guidance from Career Services, was very helpful in identifying my true interests and strengths. The communication with classmates and alumni was also extremely valuable, in terms of both knowledge and experience. With regards to my personal development, it is becoming clearer what kind of job I am looking for in the long term.

The Masters in Finance programme provided lots of flexibility in the curriculum set-up. Except for the core courses which are predetermined, students have the freedom to choose electives according to their interests/career path. The teaching quality is high with so many insightful star faculty who combine academic and industry knowledge with real business experience. The knowledge sharing from peers is another highlight of the programme.

Job opportunities

The market was recovering when we were searching for job opportunities, but it was far from perfect timing. As the majority of Masters in Finance students had a clear view of their dream job, it was sometimes difficult for us to compromise. However, the School has comprehensive resources, from job opportunities and interview preparation to mentoring and contract reviewing. I utilised a lot of information on Portal (the School’s intranet site) when preparing for my interview, but I especially appreciated the Masters in Finance career advisor's guidance and suggestions during my negotiations and final offer.

I got the offer from Khazanah to join its investment team in China. Although the position was at a lower level than I would have been at if I went back to my previous sector, the job provides a great opportunity for me to get exposure to general investments. My previous experience is less relevant to investments, so I believe the programme has provided a great platform and added value for me to make a successful career switch. Even though the current job is a new area to me, with the skills and knowledge I gained from the programme I do not foresee unmanageable difficulties or uncomfortable times.

Outperforming competitors

The sound reputation of the School is a good dooropener, but it is what you learn from your class, peers and various seminars and activities that helps you to outperform other competitors. Getting the right connections provided by the School is also invaluable.

To me, the Masters in Finance and London Business School are more than a programme and a school.

Talented faculty, classmates, career guides and the School community as a whole, contributed to this memorable experience.