I decided to enrol in the part-time Masters in Finance programme mainly to expand my career options. I wanted to prepare myself for future management roles and promotion possibilities; at the same time, I was keen to consolidate my technical knowledge in corporate finance and M&A. This was ultimately why I opted for a programme that focused solely on finance, rather than a general management degree. The flexibility of London Business School’s part-time programme appealed as it meant I could continue to work whilst I studied.When I applied to the programme I was working as a Product Controller at Credit Suisse. My aim at that point was to seek promotional opportunities there, but enrolling on the Masters in Finance encouraged me to look at other options. Even though I was only half way through the first year of the programme, my studies really helped in my job hunt.Employers both recognise and value the London Business School brand, and in July last year I secured a new role as Senior Associate with J.P. Morgan.
Combining work with study is definitely a challenge. However,the programme does teach you to balance your priorities and of course, it helps that everyone else is in the same boat. The actual experience of studying alongside such a wonderfully diverse group of people – representing different nationalities,languages and industries – is second to none. My cohort ranges from corporate directors right through to junior associates and I’ve found it particularly interesting to learn how my more senior classmates tackle problems and assignments.My study group has just six people, it is a close-knit and relaxed environment, an easy place to discuss ideas and raise any issues. The first term we regularly met up in London after work to collaborate on bi-weekly group projects. Afterwards we would go out for a team dinner – a great way to share thoughts outside the classroom.The School’s central London location is a huge bonus for project work, and there are numerous project opportunities that come through the student and alumni network. One of my classmates has connections with Seedcamp, a venture capital firm focusing on helping start-ups. After meeting the investors, together with a couple of my classmates, I am now involved in a project helping a start-up tech firm to build financial models and pitch for more funding. My network is growing not just through my classmates, but also indirectly as I meet their extended contact base.
One of the programme’s core modules, Financial Accounting Analysis, is very closely related to my work. It focuses on financial statements and analysis, and Professor Chris Higson brings his own predictions about the future of regulatory reform to class. Back in the office I combine this new insight with my own ideas, and I’m generally much more thoughtful when performing analysis. Next year I will be concentrating my electives in corporate finance; it’s the area where I have the least experience but I’m keen to move into it when I graduate.Now that I’ve been working and studying in the UK for over ten years, I’ve learnt to get involved on campus as much as possible. As well as my involvement in the professional Finance and Investment clubs, I’m a member of the China club, the women’s Touch Rugby club, and I’m helping on the Tattoo committee, an event held each year celebrating the different cultures and nationalities represented on campus. I know that the more I get involved the more I’m going to get out of the Masters in Finance – it’s a great opportunity and I don’t intend to waste a second.