Guido Albertelli - BSc (Hons) Economics and Finance student
Getting the most out of the SEF experience
What do you enjoy most about your course at Queen Mary?
I fell in love with Economics during high school, as I realized how central it is to people’s lives, from individuals’ decision-making to public authorities’ policymaking. Queen Mary’s Economics and Finance degree allowed me to explore the subject at 360 degrees, from the more theoretical microeconomic analysis of rational individuals’ behaviour, to the practical technicalities and models that form the basis of econometrics.
However, what I enjoyed the most about the degree, is the focus on proactive learning. A relatively low amount of time spent in class, paired with continuous availability and support from lecturers, provides students with a chance of directing their independent research towards their favourite field of studying. Students get the tools needed to deepen their knowledge on the subject and is up to them how to use them.
What is your favourite module at the course so far? Which topic discussed during class sparked the most interest and why?
The module I enjoyed the most so far would be Capital Markets. This second-year, second-semester course builds on the foundations of financial instruments learnt through previous modules to provide an in-depth overview of different models of security pricing. What sparked my interest the most is the narrative approach conducted by the lecturer, who walked us through the most significant models and studies in chronological order, focusing on similarities and innovations, while making justice to the fathers of these.
I found particularly intriguing the analysis of a hypothetical debate between traditional and behavioural economics, on whether unconventional factors should be considered in models that try to estimate the fair price of securities.
What has been the highlight of your experience at Queen Mary so far?
The highlight of my experience must would surely be having secured a part-time job at a multinational Private Equity fund manager, Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA). During my second year of University, I worked two full days a week at Macquarie’s London office, while attending Queen Mary’s lecturers for the rest of the week, and I look forward to doing more of the same next year too.
Getting real first hand experience and working alongside professionals of the financial industry, I was able to contextualise and put at use what I was learning throughout my degree. For example, the knowledge of discounted cashflows pricing models and the experience in working with Microsoft Excel that I developed during my first two years at Queen Mary, have been crucial when I had to promptly adapt to the pace of such professional working environments.
Ultimately, I believe that thanks to this working/studying alternation, I’ve been able to deeply understand the concepts covered at University and really get the most out of the SEF experience.
What support do the School and University offer to students?
Speaking of my own experience, I’ve been focused on what the University provides in terms of future working opportunities. When starting first year, I’ve been amazed by the number of career related events taking place on a weekly basis, with countless experienced professionals coming on-site to advise students on the paths available out there. SEF is a prime example of this, as I’ve been able to meet professionals from various sectors of the financial industry and performing a variety of roles.
Further, opportunities really knock at your door here at Queen Mary, as numerous companies arrive to the campus, either individually or during career fairs, to directly recruit students and offering readily available opportunities. I have to thank the University, as this is also how I discovered the programme where I’m currently participating. Lastly, I enjoyed the support of the dedicated career team who’s been promptly available throughout the application process and frequently organises events to familiarise students with such processes, such as mock interviews and assessment centres.