Tag: Masters (page 2 of 3)

CityStarters Weekend – Not a typical weekend

Being an MSc International Business student means not needing to confine yourself to one career path. Being a Cass master’s student gives you the opportunity to thrive. I am incredibly motivated by the commitment of my classmates. In learning that they all have very unique backgrounds and talents, my determination to really make this year at Cass count grew even stronger. That’s how I ended up at the CityStarters Weekend.

CityStarters Weekend is a startup hackathon held by CityVentures that features a series of workshops and talks, giving you the opportunity to innovate, to think out of the box and to come up with a ground-breaking solution with your team. I had never been to a competition that required so much thinking, not to mention coming up with a feasible, eye-catching startup idea in a seemingly impossible time-frame! Luckily, our team was full of passionate students that we were soon flooded with opinions on what should we be going for. Throughout the weekend, we worked on multiple problems, solutions and most importantly, we shared thoughts with our mentors, competitors and connected with a lot of intelligent individuals! At the end of the event, every team’s hopes rested on our entrusted pitchers. I am proud of my team and our pitchers who gave an excellent presentation.

While we did not win an award this time around, I left overjoyed and feeling like I had conquered the weekend. The most valuable I learned from this experience, as cliché as it may seem, is that it is the journey that really counts. The weekend taught me so much about the brainstorming and pitching process and I leave even more motivated to pursue my entrepreneurial ambitions.

Jonas Leung, MSc International Business (2020)

Studying finance with a scholarship at Cass

I come from a conservative business family, where higher education is not a given, and is something that is rarely saved for. Moreover, being part of a society where women’s education takes a backseat in the face of marriage, the decision to study at Cass was an uphill battle for me and my family. Having had an inclination towards quantitative subjects and hailing from a business family that has been involved in trade and commerce for generations now, it was only natural that I took an interest in finance.

This led me to choose the globally renowned Cass MSc Finance programme as well as taking up the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) programme.

The last six months at Cass have been a roller coaster ride but one that I will most definitely cherish. The challenges, opportunities and diversity that it has to offer its students is unparalleled. The strategic location of Cass in the heart of London which is the finance hub adds great value to the entire experience.

It was a huge achievement to have received the Cass Global Women’s Leadership Programme Scholarship. When I saw an e-mail stating that I had received the scholarship, I was elated! What better way to start off this new journey? It gave me a much-needed confidence boost in embracing the course ahead.

My experience on the Global Women’s Leadership Programme has been very enriching. Since the business world is male-dominated, we must work towards making it more gender-balanced. My views align very well with those of the other women on the Board, which makes it a treat to work with them. Organising various panel discussions, networking events and much more has given me the chance to interact with women who work in the corporate world and the exposure to myriad perspectives.

I look forward to what the rest of my journey at Cass has to offer, with some extremely exciting events in the near future such as the Frankfurt study tour and international electives, to name a few. I can definitely say – my decision to attend Cass has been extremely crucial in moulding me and preparing me for the fast-paced, competitive world of finance.

Aamina Asim, MSc Finance (2020)

Cass Innovate 2019: Entrepreneurial challenges put under the microscope

I attended the event Cass Innovate which took place on the 13th November 2019 at Cass Business School.

Cass Innovate is an annual conference with the purpose of discussing entrepreneurial challenges and leading research within the entrepreneurship ecosystem. These topics are, thereby, discussed with the best of both worlds by drawing from both theoretical research and practical knowledge. The edge of this event is that everyone aspiring in entrepreneurial topics can attend – you can be a student who strives for gathering the latest research in this field or a founder of an existing business who wants to discuss recent challenges with other founders.

I was one of this year’s volunteers that supported running the event, welcoming the guests and speakers in the morning, answering questions and guiding attendees to the correct panels, workshops or talks as well as looking after the smooth course during the day and of the final panel in the evening.

As an MSc Entrepreneurship student, it was an incredibly valuable experience for two main reasons:

1) Hosting an event

I learned many things in terms of event organisation and what it takes to successfully set up and run a conference this size. The organiser Aurore Hochard gave us the responsibility to organise ourselves, react flexibly to upcoming challenges and, of course, decide when to ask for help.

2) Networking

Networking and discussing the raised issues with entrepreneurs and industry experts gave me great insight from the perspective of people who have been working in the field for 20+ years, which has definitely changed my opinion on some of the topics.

Professor Scott Moeller: What should a startup do next? IPO, Acquisition or Dual Track

My perspective on the topic of a founder exit was that it was a question to deal with in the later stage of launching a company, after successfully running it for several years. However, after attending Professor Scott Moeller’s session “What should a start-up do next? IPO, Acquisition or Dual Track”, I had a conversation with him on this topic, and he said it is crucial for an entrepreneur to think about the exit even when you haven’t yet founded your company.

From my own experience, I would encourage everyone who is an (aspiring) entrepreneur or interested in these topics to keep an eye out for next year’s conference.

Fabian Ronig, MSc Entrepreneurship (2020)

Strength in Diversity

Recently, the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) hosted the first ever “Logistics and Transportation Diversity Challenge” event, a day designed to demonstrate how increased diversity in a team leads to higher productivity, performance and drives innovation.

The event drew 30 teams from companies such as Coca-Cola, DHL, National Express, Siemens, and more. As students in the MSc Global Supply Chain Management course, we have student membership to the CILT and were able to participate. So along with eight of my course mates in MSc Global Supply Chain Management, I travelled up to Newark to represent Cass Business School at the event.

After arrival and putting on our team shirts, the day began with a keynote speech highlighting the aim of the day and the significance of diversity in the work environment. Then we were off! Our team was tested through 14 challenges, requiring different levels of skill, stamina and problem solving, all while being incredibly fun. We climbed an unclimbable ladder, we learned archery, and we performed a Haka. We tested our knowledge in trivia, strategized through an assault course and more.

As we worked through the challenges, we were able to experience the benefit of diversity within our own team. Our varying backgrounds and identities helped us be strategic in earning the most points for each challenge. Each individual shined at a different event, and by the end of the day we were much closer as a team than we had been going into this diversity challenge.

While we may not have scored the top spot and coveted “Team of the Year” award, we did place 3rd out of the 30 competing, which we were very excited about! Overall, it was a great day of practicing team-building skills and meeting professionals from the logistics and transport industry. I look forward to future teams representing Cass and taking away as much from this event as we did.

Julia Elliott
MSc Global Supply Chain Management, 2019

Cass Real Estate Club Brings Together Speakers, Students, and Alumni at 2019 Conference

As an MSc Real Estate student and Vice-President of the Real Estate Club, I was delighted to take part in the Real Estate Club’s eighth annual May flagship conference at BAFTA Hall, Piccadilly, hosting industry-leading speakers from premier property firms for the 2019 Cass Real Estate Club Summit on Global Investment Strategy.

Focusing this year on global investment strategy, the all-day conference featured exciting panel discussions on a range of topics including global capital flows, innovations in real estate, property development and an intriguing investigation of ultra-high net worth and institutional investment strategies. With leading speakers from premier firms such as UBS, Knight Frank, GIC, CBRE Global Investors, Hines, HFF, Grosvenor, PGIM, LandSec and many more in attendance, over 250 attendees had the opportunity to hear from and network with industry leaders on a variety of subjects in today’s dynamic property market.

Keynotes delivered by Concrete Venture Capital partner, Chris Stephenson, and UBS’s UK Chief Investment Officer, Geoffrey Yu, on the future of innovation in the built environment and global macro-economic outlook offered context as to where the property market is heading near term. Their speeches decoded what we can expect as forthcoming graduates in a constantly innovating built environment.

The attendance and caliber of speakers on the day is not only a testament to the reputation of Cass, but also to the Business School’s continued commitment to engaging current master’s students with both industry leaders and our extensive alumni network. Nearly half of the speakers, all managing directors and department heads of prestigious firms, were Cass alumni or are affiliated with the Business School through professional or personal connections.

The level of engagement from alumni demonstrated the fantastic camaraderie fostered at Cass through an exacting education and continued networking opportunities post-graduation. The nearly six-month process of planning, pitching, booking and organizing the event underscores the hard work and dedication of the entire Real Estate Club team, with support from Cass and the events office.

The event is moving into its ninth year in 2020 and has evolved over the years to become a student-led initiative. Be it crafting panel content, leading sponsorship development for the club, and or gaining experience in organizing a boutique industry event, the conference provides students the opportunity to work with industry leaders.

Events such as Cass REC 2019 are the result of the Cass Real Estate Club’s continued commitment to supporting the Business School’s strategic goals. For nearly a decade, the club has done so through its two-fold mandate: providing forums for networking and learning so that master’s students and alumni can connect; and raising funds for the Real Estate Club’s scholarship initiative which benefits two incoming MSc Real Estate or MSc Real Estate Investment students each year. Successful venture partnerships with Drooms and Altus Group, along with strategic media partnerships with CoStar and Real Estate Fund Intelligence, made Cass REC 2019 a fun, successful and fruitful day of insight and networking. The club thoroughly looks forward to welcoming everyone next year to Cass REC 2020!

Myles Hooper, MSc Real Estate (2019)
Vice President, Cass Real Estate Club 2019

Top 4 Advantages of Studying Business Analytics

1. Choosing Cass

Prior to Cass, I had completed degrees in Commerce and International Business in Canada. During this time, I went on exchanges to Hong Kong and the Netherlands. I wanted to choose a degree that would equip me with the technical skills of the 21st century. So, when the opportunity to study in London came knocking, I did not hesitate to take up the offer. With data and tech making huge noise in the marketplace, and the MSc Business Analytics starting its initiation at Cass, the timing could not have been better!

2. A Supportive Cohort

Completing the online pre-course modules, I felt confident in my abilities. But after starting classes full-time in September, I realised there was a personal steep learning curve. Having primarily a background in business principles rather than coding applications, at times it felt like I was not good enough.

Thankfully, in Cass, and especially in my MSc Business Analytics cohort, I found a supportive bunch, always eager and willing to help you out. There is no sense of cutthroat competition akin to some of my previous schools which was a refreshing change. Outside of class it is a huge bonus to have a social community you can connect, spend time and enjoy with!

 

Fun with the MSc Business Analytics ’19 cohort

 

3. Societies, extracurricular fun and networking

I wanted to seek out extracurricular opportunities and reach my maximum potential. I am particularly interested in strategy consulting – and with the right mix of networking, putting my best foot forward and heading up the consulting department at Cass Consultancy Society, I managed to excel and take helm as president of the society.

In particular, the good thing about Cass is that it is not a mammoth school with everyone vying in a constant competitive space. You can have a strategy and execute it with efficiency to take leadership roles within the clubs and societies space.

The experience has equipped me with key skills in leadership, team management, communication and cultural mediation. It has been a challenging and rewarding experience.

 

Cass Consultancy Society meet-up

4. Ace Academia

Initially there was a steep learning curve, but the beauty of pushing yourself to the limit is that you are investing in yourself! When the second term started, I found myself much more at ease with the technical coding aspects of the classes and assignments. It helped me better understand the principles that were going behind the engine that is your computer, the coherence with the data, and making smart analyses and in a sense, data-driven decision-making based on the visualisations of data.

No doubt, I feel much more equipped to take up the pressing challenges of the digital economy and use data as a resource in my career. I always had an appreciation for tech, but not to the extent of studying engineering – but in Business Analytics, I found my true calling: a combination of business and technology applied to essentially take the analytics advantage! I know that within the short span of one year’s time, I have equipped myself with a unique skillset to bridge the gap between business and technology teams – effectively differentiating myself in a hypercompetitive job market. If your passion lies in business and you want to equip yourself with some essential technical skills, you cannot go wrong with the MSc Business Analytics programme at Cass!

Ashhab Ahmad, MSc Business Analytics (2019)

Study trip to Prague

During the second term’s reading week, MSc Management students were offered the possibility of going on a study trip to a European capital, to be chosen out of three options. The idea was to get to learn about a new place, from a professional perspective, but without it having any coursework, exams or any other source of stress attached. No need to say that along with that came a big dose of non-business-related fun, be it touristy visits, intense nightlife or just to enjoy our time with our cohort – there were fifty of us in Prague, so one couldn’t possibly get bored.

What brought me to choose Prague was how little I knew about the Czech Republic in many aspects, but specifically about its business ecosystem, its main industries, etc. The most surprising and interesting aspect of the trip was precisely to discover the economic reality of a country that, even as an EU member, remains very unknown for most of us. We had the chance to have a quite comprehensive grasp of how the Czech Republic is positioned in Europe and in the world in various industries. Personally, I was surprised to see how diverse and solid the economy of such a small country is, and it was interesting to hear experts from different fields talking about how they see the future and how they are preparing for it.

A trip to Skoda

We visited companies as diverse as Skoda, the car manufacturer owned by the VW group; Czech Invest, a government’s accelerator and foreign investment attraction office; the Ceska Sporitelna Bank, one of the biggest Czech banks; Avast, a global cyber security firm; and Sotio, a biomedical company specialised in drugs for cancer. Additionally, we had the chance to attend the presentation event of WeWork, which had just started operating in Prague. I found particularly interesting the visit to Sotio and to Avast, as they both are very innovative companies working on two of the most rapid-moving sectors nowadays. In both cases the speaker was a member of the direction board and their presentations were very insightful and inspiring.

Concretely at Avast, we had the opportunity to hear about the current challenges that the sector and the company face from the commercial director of the company, and then we could see the kinds of things they work on daily, with an impressive screen on the background, showing a world map with the cyber attacks that were taking place everywhere in the globe at that instant (no pictures allowed!).

Prague in the sunshine

Apart from the more “professional” aspect of the trip, I personally enjoyed a lot spending a few days with my cohort, and during the visits and during our free time we had the chance to create a much stronger bond among us. In our free time between visits we wandered around the city centre, sat on a terrace to enjoy the stunning weather, and visited some touristic sights such as the Castle of Prague and an obligatory visit to Karlovy, the five-story club that is supposed to be one of the biggest in Europe. However, if there’s something that makes Prague memorable, that is without doubt the Czech beer; world-class taste at an unbelievably affordable price. The party was served.

Overall the trip was a great experience, a good opportunity to take a break from the course in London, to build our knowledge about the realities of business in another country, and to create stronger bonds among the cohort. I am very much looking forward to the international elective I will be undertaking in May in Paris, which is going to be a more professional trip where we will apply what we have learned in class to a real business problem.

Pol Beà Navarro, MSc Management (2019)

Study tour to Berlin

When I found out about the international study tours offered to MSc Management students, I jumped at the opportunity to join. The study tours gave my cohort the chance to visit Lisbon, Berlin or Prague. I chose Berlin as I had the chance to discover the culture, the architecture, the food, but also to meet local entrepreneurs. We went to explore how their businesses are run, what issues they face and how they resolve them.

There is a world outside the classroom ready to back up young people who are willing to work hard. If you have a good idea and the character to pursue your dream, if London won’t be your home, Berlin could be. Personally, I have already worked in France and the UK, and I will now definitely take Berlin into consideration as another option. Cass Business school gave me the possibility to visit the city from a professional prospective that I could never had otherwise.

We met inspirational entrepreneurs who made us see the city through their own eyes. One of them in particular invited us to see beyond the cold German architecture and the cloudy weather, and instead look deeper to appreciate the thumping heart of the city, so open, dynamic and cosmopolitan. Germany is a country that has stood up twice from its own ruins, and both times it became stronger than before. The future is bright in Germany’s capital.

We mostly visited start-up incubators, so since the first day, I started questioning myself and wondering whether I should set my own business instead of working for somebody else. I had never thought seriously about this option, as it once seemed to be a world so far away that it was hard to imagine what it would really look like. However, by meeting these professionals who so openly talked about the failures and the challenges they had to face to get where they are now, I think I now have a realistic overview of what it takes to be an entrepreneur:  a mix of passion and resilience.

I was really inspired by the quote: “ask yourself where the pain is bigger.” This was told to us by Maurice Grassau, CEO at Architrave, which develops digital processes and solutions for the real estate industry. He delivered an incredible speech about launching a start-up that I will remember forever. He explained to us that from his experience, if you will ever find yourself looking for a valuable idea to base your start-up on, you should focus on what is the factor that causes more issues to get done, the thing that is so tricky or time consuming that people would love to pay for getting it sorted. During his speech, he gave us other important insights about managing a business, such as choosing a partner who will often challenge your ideas and thinks differently from you. He also imparted that you should always acknowledge the pressure on your co-workers, as he said “you can’t keep people on stress mode for 12 straight months”.

I’d like to thank Cass for the possibility to listen to such experienced people and see another part of the world. Sometimes we are so focused on the textbooks that we forget that the things we study are aimed to be applied. This trip was a good reminder of that.

Prost!

 

Bianca Gabellini, MSc  Management (2019)

 

Studying MSc Insurance and Risk Management at Cass: the Khatib legacy

Reem El Khatib

Prior to my bachelor’s degree in psychology, my father would sit me down and talk to me about the insurance industry’s potential, hoping that one day I would follow his path and that of his brothers. I was, however, fixated on a certain perception that stopped me from delving deeper into this misunderstood field. Upon finishing my bachelor’s, I soon realised that despite my passion for psychology, it was not the right career for me. By that time, I had lost my father and my main source of guidance and advice. I struggled to find a new passion that would give me the same excitement and thrill as that from psychology.

I am lucky enough to come from a family that looks out for each other. Although I lost my father, I had another father figure in my life that I looked up to, my uncle, Wael El Khatib, the Chairman of Lockton MENA. My uncle completed his MSc in Insurance and Risk Management at Cass in 1998. Upon completing his degree, he had unknowingly begun a legacy for the Khatibs to follow. Years later, my cousin, Ata El Khatib, followed in his father’s footsteps and also completed his MSc in Insurance and Risk Management at Cass in 2008. Ata is currently Deputy CEO at Lockton MENA.

I think by now you know where this is heading… Ata was not the last Khatib at Cass.  His brother, Faris, also joined Cass in 2012 and completed the same master’s degree. Faris is currently the head of Employee Benefits at Lockton MENA. Obviously, the list continues… In 2016, Zainab, their sister, also joined Cass. Zainab had a similar background to mine where, despite her bachelor’s in linguistics, she decided to venture into the world of insurance. She joined Liberty Specialty Markets in London, around two years ago, in an underwriting assistant role for the Strategic Assets team.

During my phase of confusion, Zainab spent hours talking to me about the beauty of the insurance industry. She described it as “the field that offers you something new every day, the field that challenges your analytical abilities and forces you to think about the unthinkable.” She helped me overcome the misconceptions and helped me acquire a clearer vision of what I wanted. That’s how the fifth member of the Khatib family joined Cass, as I am currently doing my MSc in Insurance and Risk Management.

Faris, Ata and Wael El Khatib

If it wasn’t for my uncle, I wouldn’t be where I am at right now. He encouraged me to join Cass and supported me in every way. They all told me about the strength of Cass’s education system, their remarkable memories at Cass and the unbreakable friendships that they developed. Hence, I knew that Cass was the place to be. There was always a common story that I heard, a story that described my family’s respect towards our professor, Chris Parsons. Professor Parsons managed to teach every member of my family. In the span of 20 years, he met the father, the sons, the daughter and the niece! Which is crazy if you think about it…

Zainab Khatib’s graduation

I am currently creating my own Cass experience, which so far has been indescribable. Not only have I acquired a new family that is so diverse and caring, I am discovering a world that I had no idea existed. Although I am leaning more towards Risk Management at this point, I am enjoying every aspect of the programme. I can’t deny it, it can be challenging sometimes, but I am definitely receiving the appropriate support and knowledge from my professors to help me overcome the obstacles. It is safe to say that my vision of what I want to do after my master’s is becoming clearer. But for the time being, I am planning to take my time in developing this vision. Every day I am learning something new, every day I am falling in love with a different aspect of this field. But, I am sure that Cass will eventually direct me towards establishing my vision.

 

Reem El-Khatib, MSc Insurance and Risk Management (2019)

From Olympics, to Colgate, to Marketing Strategy Innovation!

Just like I knew I wanted to compete in the 2012 London Olympics as the youngest ever Turkish swimmer, I knew at the age of 14 I wanted to be in the marketing and media industry.

Hazal Sarikaya at the 2012 Olympics in London

Prior to the Olympics Games, I was selected to be in Vogue Turkey and on the last sentence of the published article, it read “When we asked Hazal where she imagines herself in 15 years, she said ‘Someone who travelled the world, has friends all over the world and who has a successful career in marketing and swimming’“.

Swimming has been a big part of my life since I was seven years old and it taught me many things from patience, time management to leadership. Being a professional swimmer and travelling around the world to compete led me to understand different cultures and look at the world from the different angle.

I then decided to move onto my next passion: media and marketing. Before joining the MSc Marketing Strategy and Innovation at Cass, I had the chance to gain two years of work experience in two of the biggest firms in FMCG: pladis Global and Colgate Palmolive. At pladis, one of my key roles was to accompany press visits as the first representative of the company with senior exposure and to manage the social media accounts which involved monitoring the news agenda, creating content and liaising with agencies accordingly. These were very prestigious roles in a £3.5 bn company.

My time at pladis was ending so I decided I wanted another challenge away from the media aspects of a business. I applied for Colgate Summer Marketing internship and was successful with my application. Having had no previous marketing knowledge or experience meant that I had to work twice as hard and I was willing to do that! Perhaps this is something I’ve learned through managing education and sports at the same time, by putting in the extra hours and hard work.

During my first year at Colgate, my report on Colgate’s business highlighted couple million pounds worth of growth opportunity, and my recommendations were implemented shortly after. In the following year, I was asked to re-join as a project manager and led the most successful campaign to date! Having these internship experiences was very useful in confirming my passion for Marketing, but I still felt that I was missing the theoretical knowledge required in possible future jobs. To develop my knowledge for the industry, as well as to accelerate my career, I applied for the Master’s in Marketing at Cass knowing that with my experience and the knowledge I will gain from this year I will be ready for any challenge!

I was drawn to Marketing Strategy and Innovation because of the variety of modules offered. For instance, I was particularly interested in the Brand Management module as I aspire to be a brand manager in a FMCG company within the next few years. Considering my swimming background, I was also interested in modules such as International Sponsorships as well.

Hazal and coursemates at Cass

Two weeks after my internship finished, the introduction week at Cass started and from the first day I felt lucky to be a part of an established university with so much talent. We are currently on our second term and it’s fair to say I am enjoying every day at my master’s. As expected, my favourite module has become Brand Management and also Consumer Behaviours. The ability to work with real companies on real problems using the theories we learn from our lecturers are definitely preparing us to be the leaders in Marketing in the near future.

My advice for prospective students: Don’t be afraid to take on challenges and never settle before you reach your dreams!

Hazal Sarikaya, MSc Marketing Strategy and Innovation (2019)

Older posts Newer posts

© 2020 Cass MSc Blog

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑

Skip to toolbar