Programme: MSc Corporate finance, 2014
Current role: Investment Director, Astarte Capital Partners
I started my career in Switzerland as a certified Technical Draughtsman after a four-year apprenticeship at Schindler Group and Translift Schweiz AG. After my apprenticeship, I took my undergraduate degree in Business Engineering, where I discovered an interest in finance in my final year. However, getting into investment banking from an engineering background turned out to be more challenging than I initially thought.
Consequently, I completed two internships at Credit Suisse in Switzerland. One in in-house consulting, and one in foreign exchange trading, both of which I genuinely enjoyed. After, I did another internship in the mergers and acquisitions team of PwC in Frankfurt, which inspired me to break into investment banking.
Of course, at that point, I had limited formal financial knowledge. In order to change my career path and get an investment banking role, I decided to study at the Business School (formerly Cass), as it is one of the top-ranked business schools with a very strong reputation. In addition, the Business School has an excellent location in the City, adjacent to the financial centre, and the academic staff are excellent – most of the professors have worked, or are still working, for major financial firms.
The MSc in Corporate Finance is especially tailored for people who want to start their careers in corporate finance, investment banking and private equity, so it was perfect for me. The programme is academically rigorous with a strong practical focus that provides relevant financial knowledge and skills that are useful once you are on the job.
I was part of a great, international cohort, with students from all over the world, which I really enjoyed as it improved my interpersonal skills and broadened my horizons. All of the students were very ambitious and talented, which inspired me to push myself further. I’ve made lasting friendships and many of my cohort now work in the major financial hubs, which is a testament to the programme.
For me, the careers fair was one of the highlights. It’s a one-day event that gives you a great opportunity to meet and network with representatives from major financial institutions.
One of my key tips to any student is to start with the application process as early as possible. I started to apply straight after the careers fair. The Careers Team was a great help with my CV, applications and cover letters. They obviously have a great deal of insight into the standards expected, so their input was really valuable.
By the end of the first term, I secured my first role in investment banking, signing my contract with Macquarie Capital, which I was due to start once I had graduated.
From that point, I was able to tailor my electives to my graduate job, selecting modules in investment banking and corporate finance to make my finance knowledge as relevant as possible.
After graduation, I started in the mergers and acquisitions team of Macquarie Capital in London, where I gained broad transaction exposure and developed a strong commercial skillset. After several years in the job, I decided to transition to the private equity side of things. Today, I am working in a private equity firm, Astarte Capital Partners, as an Investment Director as part of the investment team.
My experience was excellent and I genuinely believe it can be a door-opener to a career in corporate finance, investment banking or private equity.