Samuel Harrison (UK) is a future student of the Master in Finance September 2011 intake.  A published Financial Analyst in the ‘Financial Times’ and ‘Investment Week’, and a CISI certificate holder (Certificate in Securities, Chartered Institute of Securities and Investments), Samuel is currently doing an internship at Morgan Stanley in London before joining the IE Master this fall intake.

Samuel´s recent articles include Sector comment: Wary investors flock back to safer sector  (Financial Times) and How beneficial is the yen’s impressive performance? (Investment Week)

In this blog post, Samuel will share with us his financial background before IE, his expectation of how IE will add value to his existing abundant knowledge on finance and some tips for prospective candidates on the admission process.

A member of the class of 2008, I read Management Studies at the University of Nottingham. Following graduation, I immediately began an internship at the Royal Bank of Scotland in the back office. Following this, I completed a snowboard season in France and started a snowboard company (uStomp). Subsequent to some gap-year travelling, I began my first real job as an Account Executive for Financial Express; a fund data and analysis company.  My first year flew by and before I knew it, I was promoted to handle accounts such as Aviva (Ireland) and AXA Financial. I learnt a phenomenal amount about business, sales, presenting and finance during my time at Financial Express. I even managed to get several thought provoking articles published in leading financial magazines. However, hungry for a new challenge, in 2011 I began an intensive off-cycle internship at Morgan Stanley, within Private Wealth Management. Specifically focusing on equity sales, within capital markets, the role suited my passion for finance, particularly portfolio construction and stock picking.

Working at Morgan Stanley was an enlightening experience. It is fair to say that the office was a very international environment and I quickly noticed that the majority of my colleagues were multi-lingual or originated from somewhere outside of the UK.  It really emphasised how attractive an international profile can be. On a personal level, perhaps even subconsciously, I have always associated an international background with individuals who are outgoing enough to leave the comfort of their home environment and seek challenges internationally. Thus, I immediately ruled out completing a domestic MSc and following significant research, the obvious choice was IE. It offers financial expertise, my favoured teaching style (a pragmatic approach), and the potent mix of a great reputation paired with an attractive location.

Adding a strong finance MSc to my repertoire was something which I have wanted to do for a considerable period of time. The addition of another powerful brand (IE) and its prestigious Master in Finance to my CV, alongside a strong alumni network, complimented by the valuable experiences and personal development I hope to undergo during my time at IE is an extremely attractive prospect. The course is something I not only look forward to, but also believe will improve my prospects, for what I hope to be a long, successful and enjoyable career.

For those looking to apply to IE, my advice would be this: Be yourself and show tangible evidence of your passion for your subject. For me, the activities I had enjoyed for years, such as actively trading a stock portfolio, helped me exemplify my eagerness to learn and master the subject.  It provided a great talking point for my interviews, whilst really helping me feel confident about the experiences I could bring to the course.

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