Imperial Masters’ Program Achieves Gender Parity

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Apart from its 1-year MBA program, the Imperial College Business School offers no less than 12 MSc programs in its suite of finance courses ranging from MSc Finance to Investment & Wealth Management. More than 500 students enrolled in the various MSc programs began their classes in September.

The London-based business school claimed to have achieved gender parity with 50% female representation in MSc Finance and an overall 44% in the Master’s programs.

“We are proud to have achieved a 50:50 gender balance on MSc Finance. Our focus has been on talent and we haven’t compromised on quality. This is a very encouraging sign that things are changing and the finance industry is becoming more and more attractive to women,” says Programme Director Dr Lara Cathcart.

Empowering ambitious, talented women with the skills, business acumen and network to achieve their potential in graduate finance education and beyond is a crucial step to tackling the global issue of gender equality in business and leadership, the school says.

“I enjoyed participating in the speed networking session with other peers within the MSc Finance cohort. It was a fantastic opportunity to get to know a diverse range of individuals from a multitude of academic backgrounds, geographies and cultures, and share our mutual interests in the finance industry,”

In matters of diversity, the school says the students come from a range of academic backgrounds and countries. As many as 60 nationalities are represented across the programs, a diversity that will enable them to develop a valuable network.

The students also get an opportunity to expand their global awareness and learning opportunities, as they are exposed to a variety of business cultures and working practices, especially while collaborating on group projects throughout the year.

“I enjoyed participating in the speed networking session with other peers within the MSc Finance cohort. It was a fantastic opportunity to get to know a diverse range of individuals from a multitude of academic backgrounds, geographies and cultures, and share our mutual interests in the finance industry,” says Katie Kwong, MSc Finance student.

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The participants in Master’s programs come with excellent academic credentials as 59% achieved a first-class (or international equivalent) for their undergraduate degree and 20 students studied their undergraduate programmes at Imperial College London before joining the Business School.

Across the finance programs, 40% of MSc Finance students have studied economics previously and 39% of MSc Finance & Accounting students come with finance or accounting background. While 38% of MSc Investment & Wealth Management students have studied finance or accounting previously, 48% of MSc Risk Management & Financial Engineering students have studied mathematics previously.

The induction program included several activities designed to enhance the students’ interpersonal and teamwork skills, essential for an international career in the finance sector. They took part in a host of team-building induction activities that would prepare them for group projects on the program. These included the Imperial Scavenger Hunt and the annual Imperial College Business School quiz that would help them build networks across the business school.

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As part of their induction, finance Master’s students visited Canary Wharf where they met alumni in the finance sector who provided advice on pursuing a finance career track and making the most of studying at Imperial. Alumni included finance professionals from Credit Suisse, J.P. Morgan, Citi, RBS, BlackRock, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank.

The students were exposed to cutting-edge research from faculty experts at the Imperial Business Insights 3:20 event, and networked with top banks and companies at the Finance and Consulting Careers Fair organised by the school’s Careers & Professional Development Service, including BNP Paribas and Société Générale, and consulting firms EY and McKinsey & Co.

In addition to the induction activities, students also had the option to attend master classes hosted by the Careers & Professional Development Service, including a “Success at Selection” session from EY and a talk from Lombard Odier’s Head of Family Office Ahmed Husain.

The major difference between these programs and the MBA is that the latter equips students with broader skills and knowledge in business and helps graduates apply them in many different areas. Master of Finance programs are more finance-specific. Also with no prior work experience requirement, the cohort tends to be younger in Masters Programs. The Masters program are considerably less expensive than MBA programs.

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