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Shaping future careers

The latest career outcome report for the Master of Finance (MFin) cohort of 2017/18 shows that 93 per cent of the class went on to secure employment or further study within three months of completing the MFin programme.

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We caught up with some of our alumni from the class of 2017 to find out how they have progressed in their careers…

Markus Derenthal

Markus Derenthal, originally from Germany, joined the programme in 2017 having previously worked in a financial role for an international insurance company. We spoke with Markus recently to see how his career has progressed since graduating from the programme.

Markus Derenthal (MFin 2017)
Markus Derenthal (MFin 2017)

“I worked as a Global Key Account Manager for a Credit Insurance company in Germany before the MFin. However, it has always been my goal and dream to work in the Investment Management field.

“Whilst on the programme, I was fortunate to intern for Goldman Sachs Asset Management as part of my summer activity. I then went on to start a full-time role at GS earlier this year and got to work on the launch of their exchange-traded fund (ETF) business in Europe.

“Given that I hadn’t worked in this industry before, I struggled for a long time to find a way to transition from insurance into asset management. Without the education and coaching I received through the MFin, and the prestige that comes with the Cambridge name, it would have taken me a lot longer to make the move to London and get to the role I am in now, not to mention working for Goldman Sachs.

“Many, if not most MFins in my class, came to Cambridge in search for help to either move industries, work roles, or countries. The programme is very much geared to help you on this journey, providing you with the necessary knowledge and skills, career coaching, and connections to inspiring individuals across the full spectrum of financial services. But no matter the immediate career outcome, your time in Cambridge and being part of its unique community will almost inevitably forever change your perception of what you can achieve in life. Cambridge can only ever be the right choice.

” I found the careers coaching incredibly helpful because we would do things like mock interviews and CV checks. Ahead of my interview with my current company, the careers team equipped me excellently with support through things like a mock assessment centre and one to one advice.

“The MFin team were supportive if I felt I needed support in my job search. The reassurance the team and coaches gave us throughout the year helped me to understand the process and not feel down if I was rejected for any roles I went for. Other students in previous classes had been through the same process. The teams really did work to support you in every way and keep you motivated.

“I also found the Group Consulting Project, opportunities to connect with alumni and speakers from the City Speaker Series were excellent opportunities to learn more about ways into the industry and the potential roles you could go into in future.”

Jesica Andrews

Jesica Andrews, who is from the United States, worked for the United Nations Environment Programme. Based in Nairobi, Kenya she worked with Ministries of Finance and Ministries of Environment across the developing world as an advisor on Climate Finance.

Jesica Andrews.
Jesica Andrews (MFin 2017)

“I chose the MFin programme to gain world class expertise in project finance. Instead of focusing on ‘green projects’ through the MFin programme, I saw the systems change I wanted to work towards was emerging – in a few small pockets – more rapidly than I could have hoped.

“I am now based in Geneva, Switzerland supporting initiatives with large asset owners across the globe to assess climate change-related risks and equip them with tools that will allow them to work together their investee companies to make contributions. This shifts our economies away from fossil fuel dependence to safeguard capital for future shareholders.

“I participated in a several career service offerings, but the real career assistance I gained was from passing conversations with programme directors and key lecturers whose soundbites of advice will have a lasting impact on my career. Brief interactions allowing access to the industry’s thought leadership are the ultimate reasons for attending.

“If you are considering changing to a different area within finance, it’s essential to remember that the finance industry is the ultimate custodian of the world’s capital. Large asset owners and asset managers sit at the top of the investment chain and therefore have an important role to play in ensuring that the industry serves both shareholders and stakeholders alike.”

Nicolae Braileanu

Nicolae Braileanu now works as an Investment Banking Analyst at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Prior to the MFin, Nicolae worked as a Markets Analyst for a UK based energy supplier.

Nicolae Braileanu.
Nicolae Braileanu (MFin 2017)

“I feel that the MFin programme equipped me with all the necessary skills to make a transition which I had been attempting to make for quite a few years. My background was in energy trading but I was trying to shift into investment banking. Although I had the financial industry acumen, I had limited exposure to modelling and valuation techniques. The programme structure, core courses, electives and workshops were essential in improving my understanding of the industry and acquiring the technical knowledge.

“For my summer activity I completed an internship at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I then went on to accept a full-time opportunity with them to join the Investment Banking Division. The knowledge I acquired through the MFin was fundamental in this process.

“When it comes to changing your career, think about what skills and knowledge you will be bringing to the table and put them at the forefront of your story. Whether it is during your time at Cambridge or during your post-programme career search, you need to emphasise the things you know.

“It’s important to also be realistic about the changes you are trying to make in your career. If it looks a bit too ambitious, then be prepared to make gradual steps.

“During your time at Cambridge, you will get all the necessary tools, but it will be up to you to use them to work your hardest. Use the year to get the support you need from the team and the teaching and learning opportunities to fill in those financial knowledge gaps and you will come out the other side really prepared for your future career.

“The programme team played a central role in helping me to switch career. They do their best to tailor each student experience through the programme. In my case, the team provided me with the necessary support to get exposure to relevant industry experts and connecting me with MFin alumni.

“Speaking to the right people really helped me to better understand the industry and what to expect during interviews. The reputation of Cambridge and the programme opens a lot of doors and gets you interviews, but it will be up to the candidate to do the homework to secure those job offers.”