MIF students take Canary Wharf by storm
Students on the MIF (MSc International Finance) program recently had the opportunity to travel to London to gain a deeper understanding of some of the most influential financial institutions in the world.
The trip featured numerous presentations focusing on areas such as capital markets and corporate and investment banking, private equity, hedge funds and asset management. Students participated in networking events and group-working activities with as much as 18 different recruiters, providing them with a more hands-on experience in various areas within finance. This also served as an opportunity to engage and familiarize themselves with potential future employers whilst gaining insights on the application process, company culture and job roles open to graduates. Students selected which sessions to attend based on the topics presented by the companies and the personal appeal of the institutions themselves.
Two alumni networking events were held in the Royal Society and Caledonian club, two iconic venues in the heart of the city, each with a particular focus; capital markets and asset management and corporate finance. Following the busy day-time itinerary, this enabled time to relax in a less formal setting whilst adding once again to their knowledge of the financial institutions. The trip was then rounded off with the famous pub crawl on Friday evening.
See what 3 students of the MIF class of 2016 have to say about the study trip
Lessons from the study trip
London study trip is a very useful opportunity for us. During the study trip, I visited four leading financial institutions in different areas, namely Goldman Sachs, Fidelity Worldwide Investment, Bloomberg and Houlihan Lokey. After visiting their offices and listening to presentations while networking with both senior managers and junior staff, I gained considerable insight from the perspective of employers concerning which qualities and skills they desire in their applicants. Simultaneously, we did real interview case studies directed by experienced managers and talked to frontline staff face to face.
The two alumni dinner events were especially interesting. HEC Paris is famous for its strong alumni networks. These two events provide us treasured opportunities to meet them, learn from them and take advantage of the strong network. HEC alumni are very warmhearted and they give us very constructive advice and tips on our application process and career development.
Lessons from the study trip
I learnt that recruiting in the banking industry is a highly competitive and long process. I discovered many interesting job opportunities aside from M&A or Sales & Trading. I also realized that networking was key and that discussing with insiders can really make the difference. Thanks to this trip, we are one step ahead of other candidates.
This study trip was extremely beneficial for several reasons.
Firstly, it was a perfect opportunity to meet and discuss with both junior and more senior bankers about the reality of the job and get some precious application tips.
Then, thanks to the HR presentations, all of us now have a clear view of the different recruitment processes that may be fastidious (i.e. numerical tests, essays, assessment centers, interviews, etc.) and the different job opportunities offered by each bank.
Finally, this trip allowed us, MIF students, to get to know each other better and network with alumni, which is crucial to pursue a career in banking.
On the first day, a HEC alumni and banker at Deutsche Bank talked us through the recent evolution of the European Health Care industry and the transactions he worked on. He also explained the firm's strategy to expand its Corporate Finance activities including M&A, ECM and DCM.
The next day at Goldman Sachs, a VP in the Consumer and Retail team, specializing in Luxury, told us the story behind the sale of a minority stake of Versace to Blackstone, from origination to execution and the rationale of this transaction.
Again, this trip was a unique opportunity to learn from experienced and inspiring professionals and alumni.
Frank Marcel Messer
Lessons from the study trip
During the London study trip, I had the opportunity to talk to many alumni and company representatives and therefore I got to know about many different career paths in the field of finance.
The broad range of companies which participated in the London Study Trip ensured that each of us had the opportunity not only to talk to people working in the field we aspire to work in, but also to broaden our horizons by talking to people who work in other fields.
The London Study Trip was a marvelous opportunity to network with alumni and company representatives. The companies visited provided us with detailed information about their respective application processes and answered all of our questions openly. Furthermore, they enabled us to meet senior employees, HR representatives, as well as young employees who recently joined the firm. This ensured that there was the right person present for every kind of question we had.
I am convinced that the London Study Trip will have for most of us at least an indirect, if not even a direct impact on finding a job or internship. On top of that, it was great getting to know our classmates better during the London Study Trip.
For me, the highlights of the company visits were the parts when we had the chance to talk face-to-face to employees of each company.
In general, what I enjoyed the most about the trip was meeting so many interesting people.
This study trip was organized by the HEC Paris United Kingdom Office and the MSc International Finance program team.
See the list of Financial Institutions visited:
A.T Kearney, Barclays, Bloomberg, BNP Paribas, Citi Group, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Fidelity, Goldman Sachs, Holihan Lokey, HSBC, Lazard, M&G, Macquarie Group, Morgan Stanley, Nomura, Royal Bank of Scotland and Société Générale.