We are continually looking for ways to help our students develop their skills and knowledge outside the classroom. At UCL School of Management, we host many networking events and workshops where we invite keynote speakers from relevant industries to share their experiences and advice with our students.
As an international hub for talented students, this year we have welcomed individuals from 72 countries across the globe into the School. This cultural diversity allows us to offer more than just great teaching and careers support, as students get to work with fellow students and staff from different backgrounds and cultures, all sharing their knowledge and experiences to help globalise one another, and to create a positive working atmosphere.
MSc Finance student Jean-Baptiste Limonier realised the benefits of networking with his peers and what he could learn from their different backgrounds, experiences and cultures, and how this reflects the diversity of the global finance industry our students are striving to work in. That helped to inspired his decision to organise a networking event for MSc Finance students from other top universities to meet with recruiters, build relationships with each other, and share their experiences, as it is these students that will most likely be the future colleagues of our graduates.
We asked Jean-Baptiste what sparked his initative for this event and how he organised this so quickly and with such success.
What inspired you to organise the event?
I thought it would be interesting to meet graduates in London with similar aspirations and the same passion for Finance. As we are all going to work in the same sector, I thought an event like this would be a good opportunity to get to know everyone and share what we have learnt on our different Master’s programmes. I also proposed sharing tips - interview techniques, books to read or even how to stand out during the recruitment process. I soon realised that, having so many elite graduates in one place, meant this would be an ideal opportunity to get recruiters involved, so invited appropriate recruiters.
How did you organise the event?
I first gauged the level of interest from the MSc Finance students - UCL, LBS, Imperial and LSE - by asking their student representatives and in some cases contacting their careers services. There was a unanimous positive response to my proposal. Once I had an idea of numbers, I reached out to recruiters I knew and asked my network and other MSc Finance students to invite any other recruiters they thought would be relevant and interested in joining us for this event. We received a great response and had several recruiters & head-hunters at the event from the Hedge Fund & Investment Banking industry.
Who was involved?
This was a student led initiative. However, the UCL School of Management staff and the MSc Programme Administrators were very supportive in coordinating the drinks & food, securing a photographer for the event and organising registration and security. I also received support from my close friend Giovanni Fanin, who greeted external guests and ensured a smooth transition up to UCL School of Management’s home on Level 38 of One Canada Square.
What were you hoping to get out of the evening and do you think you achieved this?
There were many things I wanted to achieve from the event, but mainly I was hoping for a favorable synergy between the graduates from different institutions. I also wanted create an opportunity for graduates to network with recruiters and develop their understanding of the recruitment processes of the respective companies. The aim was to organise a laid-back, yet constructive evening socialising with sharp, intelligent and ambitious individuals. I believe we achieved this and the evening was a success. People were mixing well and had a good time. It even went beyond simple networking as students from LBS and UCL met for drinks a few days later and I was even invited to a student from LSE’s birthday party.
Did you encounter any difficulties with organising the event?
The only real difficulty was the uncertainty of exactly how many people would show up. As this was a free event, there was no financial commitment and therefore if people’s plans changed, or they were running behind at work they may simply not come. I pre-empted this and tried to avoid it by compiling a list of all the participant’s names and liaised with their student representatives for support in reminding people about the event and ensuring they were really committed to attending. In the end we had a great turnout with 75 attendees, which was a real success!
What feedback have you had about the evening?
I’ve had amazing feedback! Many people sent me messages and congratulated me for hosting this event. Some people were even keen to make this a regular thing and have UCL host it every year and further develop it to incorporate a “finance talk” before the networking event. This was very constructive feedback and I’m certain next year’s MSc Finance will be very interested in holding the same type of event.
Like what you’ve read? Learn more about the MSc Finance programme at UCL School of Management.