By Juan Diego De La Espriella, MIFFT2022
Tasked with discussing my career transformation, I am compelled to shed light on some of the remarkable journeys of my colleagues who, like myself, experienced substantial growth during and after their tenure at LBS.
So, if you’ve been eyeing that coveted Masters in Finance (MiF) at LBS, thinking it’s your golden ticket to your dream career, I might mention some factors to consider before joining the programme.
1. Small Dreams, Big Opportunities
Embarking on my career as an intern at JP Morgan Bogota after graduating as an Industrial Engineer, my initial ambitions were confined to becoming an FX or Fixed Income trader in Colombia’s market.
Seeking to broaden my financial knowledge and advance my career, I enrolled in the Masters in Finance at LBS with the intent of specializing in a single market. However, my perspective shifted dramatically when I discovered the expansive opportunities within LBS.
Suddenly, LBS opened my eyes to a world of possibilities I never even knew existed. I witnessed classmates founding their own funds, running family offices, participating in major transactions, and aspiring to bring social impact, I realized the potential to dream bigger.
Turns out, LBS wasn’t only helping me to tick boxes to reach my goal; attending the MiF provided a broader perspective on the financial world and allowed me to set up aspirations beyond my imagination.
2. Fear of Leverage
Yes, we’re talking about leverage – not just the financial kind, but a life-changing, career-shaping leverage offered by LBS. The Masters in Finance serves as a lever for students, providing the opportunity to amplify efforts and gain substantial benefits.
For instance, my involvement in clubs like the LATAM Club and the Investment Management Club built valuable networks. I understood my region’s business landscape and the recent trends in public markets respectively.
The leverage provided by LBS extended beyond networking, as evidenced by classmates excelling in competitions and securing offers from prestigious firms.
LBS empowers students with a multiplier effect on their efforts, akin to financial leverage, but only if they proactively utilize the resources available.
3. Not Just a Means to an End
If you think LBS is just a pitstop to your dream job, think again.
Choosing a Masters programme solely based on post-graduation outcomes may limit the richness of the educational experience. Although some landed that dream internship right on cue; others – like myself – had to embrace chaos. While my initial expectation was to secure a perfect internship in Global Markets, the reality presented a different path.
For instance, I ended up in a start-up working on Machine Learning tools for credit investments. Not exactly what I had in mind, still it was the perfect chance to gain unexpected insights into cutting-edge technology for investment decisions. Later, after embracing the unplanned turns, I deepened my understanding of asset management and eventually secured a position as a risk manager at a global asset manager.
It was this collection of experiences that, eight years after my initial internship, allowed me to return to JP Morgan as a full-time trader overseeing diverse markets across the globe.
The Masters in Finance at LBS is a transformative experience where every phase contributes to personal and professional growth, and you have to enjoy each moment of each phase.
In conclusion, the Masters in Finance at LBS can be a catalyst for growth, but success lies in aligning individual goals with the broader opportunities the programme provides. If you’re ready to discard modest aspirations, invest earnest effort, and navigate the twists and turns, then perhaps, just perhaps, LBS is the thrilling adventure you’ve been yearning for!