Justine Goldzahl

"[The Business School] really helped me to explore the investment sphere, including corporate finance, the markets and new venture creation, which really opened my mind to potential opportunities in the sector."

Justine Goldzahl

Nationality: French
Programme: Full-time MBA, 2020
Pre-MBA: Entrepreneur – Your French Artisan, London, UK
Post-MBA: Senior Associate Fund Manager – Innvotec Ltd, London, UK
Current industry: Finance
Transitions made: Industry, Function

What was your situation before you joined the MBA?

I had a background in marketing, communications and entrepreneurship. I completed my Master's in Public Relations in London at London College of Communication (UAL), before joining Weber Shandwick, a leading communications consultancy.

I later joined a fintech start-up as a marketing manager and really enjoyed it. So, I decided to work on my own start-up project, Your French Artisan. At the same time, I was onboarding into my family’s commercial property business as a board member.

The origins of the business date back from the 1920s so we are soon to be turning centenary with a strong culture of female entrepreneurial figures. Alongside our history, both my great-grandmother and grandmother were at the head of our business.

It really inspired me to move into female entrepreneurship. I decided to do an MBA to upskill and explore the investment sector, so I could help address the female funding gap and help female entrepreneurs to establish and grow businesses.

Why did you choose the Business School Full-time MBA programme?

I really liked the fact that the Business School has such an entrepreneurial atmosphere, which is something that makes it stand apart and fitted with my personality and aspirations. Plus, location-wise, it’s ideal as it allows you to be part of the city and take advantage of the conferences and opportunities.

From an academic perspective, it really helped me to explore the investment sphere, including corporate finance, the markets and new venture creation, which really opened my mind to potential opportunities in the sector.

I was able to take electives on Private Equity (PE) and Advanced Corporate Finance, which really helped me further my exploration of the investment world.

The events were also valuable, as they brought together academics, entrepreneurs and practitioners to discuss the different aspects of venture capital and entrepreneurship. I was also part of the Women's Business Club, which enabled me to meet other students and professors.

So, all of this really helped me to broaden my network and explore the different aspects of possible careers. Plus, the Careers Team really helped me to investigate the different options and define where I wanted to go.

What impact has the programme had on your career development?

I did my Business Mastery Project (BMP) at fund management company, Innvotec, on the energy storage market as part of the due diligence for a start-up, alongside three other MBA peers Claire Angus, Nawaf Droubi, and Sumedh Lalge.

However, the BMP became a stepping stone to the next stage of my career. Due to my passion for female entrepreneurs and the gender investment gap, Innvotec were working on a project which was related to both topics and so I was invited to convert my BMP into a full-time role.

This year, Innvotec has welcomed its second MBA cohort with Full-time MBA student Purvee Hetamsaria with a BMP on ESG and Full-time MBA student Jorge Atton with a BMP on deal and data flow.

I am now a Senior Associate Fund Manager, working on a fund creation project that aims to change the venture capital landscape in the UK. The fund will be targeting female-led and female-focussed scale up businesses.

The MBA helped me through the process of changing career, enabled me to upskill and transfer skill sets into a different ecosystem and helped me to fulfil my career ambitions.