With one semester left at Maastricht University as an undergraduate student, and having just returned home from my exchange semester at Fairfield University in the United States, I started applying to several business schools in order to specialise in the area of finance. Prior to my application for an MSc Investment Management at Cass Business School, I saw the possibility to enrol in a double degree during my studies at Cass, which would allow me to study at Bocconi University for an extra year towards an MSc in International Management. I was extremely enthusiastic about this idea and I could already see myself studying in London and Milan at two of the most prestigious universities in Europe.
In the first place, my decision to apply for master’s in London was an easy one. After I decided to stay in my hometown for my bachelor’s, I was certain to study abroad for my master’s. This came from the idea to explore more of the world, aiming to develop myself in a competitive environment. Studying a finance-related track in one of the financial hubs in the world has been a goal since my first year of undergrad. The teaching method at Cass, in comparison with Maastricht University and Fairfield University, has been more lecture-based, yielding more freedom in terms of organising a day.
After I got accepted to Cass, I knew that I had to work hard in the first term in order to achieve a competitive average to be considered for Bocconi. Spots for dual degree programmes are scarce and allocated based on your average in the first term and a short motivation letter. Students from the MSc in Investment Management and from the MSc in Corporate Finance are eligible to apply for the dual degree at Bocconi, and the programme fees are waived. During the first term, the course officers send an e-mail about the possibility to apply. One of the requirements is to take on a Business Research Project (master’s thesis) in term three, which you will elaborate at Bocconi.
My studies at Cass have deepened my knowledge of financial markets, portfolio management and its wide range of securities. As I aim to work in the financial services industry, I specifically enjoy the real-world aspects of the programme. For example, creating structured products based on derivatives in a Bloomberg terminal has not only given me exposure to theoretical aspects like pricing of financial instruments, but also opened my eyes to the practicalities of these can be replicated within Bloomberg. Studying at Cass in London gives you the opportunity to connect with many employers in the financial services sector, giving you a wide range of insight to different roles. Cass’s careers centre is very active and organises many events, which are always beneficial to attend.
After applying, and hoping to get one of the two spots, I got the good news and was accepted at Bocconi! Studying towards an MSc in International Management will give me exposure to a broader perspective of international business situations, deepening my theoretical knowledge of how corporations function. This builds upon the foundational knowledge I gained during my BSc. Being able to study in another international environment surrounded by intelligent students will widen my horizon and add towards my professional skillset and social life.
As I pursue my career in the financial services sector, I believe that the combination of my four study programmes at four different universities worldwide brings significant added value to my understanding and evaluation of finance, international organisations, and their management strategies. My international experiences over the last three years have brought me many friends and possibilities to learn about different cultures. As business is globally oriented, I think it is necessary to widen your horizon and study business in different parts of the world. As a current CFA level 1 candidate, I also aim to complete the CFA program in the early years of my future career in order to keep learning within the broad area of finance.
Chiel Dupont, MSc Investment Management (2019)