For Zubair Hasan, there’s only one thing more he’d like from his time at London Business School (LBS) and that’s “a couple more hours in the day”.
Zubair is a chartered accountant by trade and worked at KPMG Canada for three years before joining Deloitte in Bermuda. Most recently he was an assurance manager specialising in alternative investments.
Zubair observed several different transactions while working with his clients, but after three years, he decided he wanted to be part of the team executing deals, instead of auditing them afterwards. “I saw different transactions,” he says. “I watched people transact with unique finesse – it was inspiring.” He knew he wanted to work in finance, but saw the possibilities of pursuing a career in corporate finance. So he turned down a promotion and left Bermuda to study LBS’s Masters in Finance (MiF).
The combination of a London location and a full-time finance programme made the choice easy, says Zubair. “I knew I wanted to change careers to an extent – I wanted to go headfirst and immerse myself in finance.”
“We’ve all sacrificed something – our jobs, lives and free time – to be here. It means I’m surrounded by people who want to be challenged, and who really value this incredible learning experience.”
Having relocated from Bermuda, with a population of 64,237 people, to London, with a population of 8.6 million, his opportunities for networking have never been better.
In Bermuda, Zubair says he could meet his entire network on Front Street – Bermuda’s main location. Now he thrives on London’s vivacity and cultural diversity. With current market conditions, business is more global than ever – everyone works with everyone, he says.
“London is central to all markets. Everyone is coming through the capital, that’s the beauty of it. It’s an intermediary place.
“Doing business better means understanding people better. One of the biggest realisations for me is that yes, financial statements are important, but organisations are run by people. So I’ve gained a well-rounded finance education, both technically and qualitatively, at LBS.”
The network at LBS – Zubair’s classmates, the faculty, his alumni mentor and the Career Centre team – push him to constantly evolve. The career workshops and informal advice have advanced his networking ability and provided real opportunities.
He’s also gained access to future target companies. “I went to six large real estate investors in the City on a student trip recently. That’s unparalleled exposure to how companies work, as well as what they look for in candidates.”
Prioritisation is a key lesson. “It’s hard not to want to do everything while you’re here,” he says. “The hardest thing is making the most of your time and maximising the MiF experience.”