My name is Martin and I’ve just started studying MSc International Securities, Investment and Banking at the ICMA Centre, part of Henley Business School.
Making the switch
I previously studied European Studies and International Relations but (as many people do) I decided that I needed a career change. Even though I don’t have an academic background in finance, the ICMA Centre takes on people from a variety of fields. I was worried at first, in particular because of the Maths requirements, but they do provide support for this during the initial weeks of the course to prepare those worried about their academic numeracy for what´s coming up. (They also offer some English classes in case you or the staff think you might need them).
Obviously, there is a lot of Mathematics involved in the course – it is finance, so you should be prepared to encounter a lot of numbers throughout! I was lucky to have also had a little headstart from having worked at IBM for the past year, however I still needed to prepare for a lot of numeracy and quantitative methods.
Choosing the right business school
As well as the support available, I chose the ICMA centre out of an overwhelming pool of business schools around Europe because of their facilities – state-of-art dealing rooms, which have the most terminals out of all academic, non-investment banking institutions.
I also chose the Centre because of the qualified academic staff with proven success as industry professionals; a great teaching combination! I had heard and read about the quality of the career support team prior to arriving to Henley. After I arrived it did not take too long to find my way around and to recognize all of the above is exactly as promoted.
Although I’ve come from a background other than Finance, I feel that I am gradually getting the gist of what the year is going to be like; challenging, yes – but as the alumni and teachers say “you will get out as much as you put in”.