Discover the experience of our Finance students who had the chance to visit ING Investment Bank, S&P Global, Bloomberg, two fintechs and a hedge fund in London.
Within the framework of our Advanced Masters, a student trip is organised every year. During this trip, participants have the opportunity to visit different institutions and companies and meet with top of the line professionals. In this light, from April 3rd to April 5th, our Financial Markets and Quantitative Finance students visited various institutions in London.
Here is the testimonial of Michiel Laleman, student in the Advanced Master in Quantitative Finance, on how he lived this experience :
Despite Brexit, the call of London for the financially inclined remains strong. It is the world’s most powerful financial center and the arena where all players in finance, big and small, meet. To get a taste of this atmosphere, we took a three-day field trip there, and experienced how our classroom knowledge is applied in a real-world setting.
Read on for a day-by-day report of the trip:
🔴 The first day started out a bit peculiar for me. Since I knew we were going to visit London, I arranged an interview that morning – two birds, one stone. While I was trying to answer questions on probability and math during the interview, the others visited ING. They enjoyed presentations on Financial Markets activities and visited the trading floor. I joined them around noon, just in time for an exquisite lunch, with ample time to talk to the people working there.
In the early afternoon, we were expected at RiverRock. This is a smaller firm that provides a wide range of financial services to both individuals and institutions. The CEO walked us in more detail through their activities, and shared his vision for the future of the company. This all was concluded by a Q&A session.
One tube ride (and refreshing beer) later, we arrived at Lendable, our third and last destination for day one. Lendable is a FinTech that provides peer-to-peer lending via an online platform. They still breath the typical start-up vibe, which was reflected by the vibrant loft in which we were welcomed. Through a short presentation, we were familiarized with their core business, and after that we could fire all our burning questions.
To conclude the first day, we had dinner at Kintan, a Japanese barbecue restaurant, where we were joined by several Solvay alumni which are working in London now. Good food, good company, what better way to end the day?
🔴 Day two started with a trip to Canary Wharf, which harbors many financial firms. Our target that morning was S&P, one of the three big rating agencies. We were guided through the meaning and interpretation of ratings and how these are produced. Furthermore we went over some opportunities for young graduates. To end this really interesting session, there was a networking opportunity with the speakers over tea, coffee, and biscuits.
In the afternoon, we returned to The City. Next stop: the European headquarters of Bloomberg, producer and distributor of financial data, analysis, news, … We enjoyed a tour through their impressive new building and were given a glimpse of what it means to be working at Bloomberg, followed by a primer on how to use their famous software. Truly impressive.
After this second visit, we had a couple of free hours before we reconvened for dinner – ideal to explore some of London’s famous sights. Dinner that night was served at Lurra, another excellent restaurant. We were joined by some of the top people of the hedge fund Acheron Capital, so we could chat over dinner about work and life in the financial sector. Delicious, and interesting.
🔴 The third and last day featured only one visit, namely to AkinovA Ltd, a fintech that shares offices with the Acheron Capital hedge fund. After the informal chats we had over dinner the night before, we were more formally introduced by the CEO of AkinovA to its electronic trading platform for the insurance industry that is in the making.
A Q&A session concluded this visit, and hence also the official part of our trip. Some people stayed the afternoon in London, other people a bit longer – because London does not only cater to financial firms, there are also a few more touristic things to experience…
➨ In conclusion, this was a unique chance for us, students, to gain some insight in what working in a financial firm entails. The visits were interesting, interactive, and covered many different aspects of working in finance.
A nice complement to our courses, thus, I would definitely recommend joining if given the opportunity!
Solvay Brussels School’s Advanced Masters have been developed to create a breed of ‘out-thinkers’ ready to tackle the continual changes of the business world. These postgraduate programmes confer Advanced Master degrees in focused areas for Master students with no or limited professional experience (normally maximum 3 years). They are designed as full-time programmes for one academic year, and represent 60 ECTS each.
With a placement rate 3 months after graduation of nearly 90% for our graduates in finance, discover how our Advanced Masters can help you launch your career !
☞ More information on the Advanced Master in Financial Markets: am.solvay.edu/financial-markets
This program has been designed to give its participants the tools they need to understand how the financial markets work in practice, with courses given by an unparalleled cast of senior practitioners and highly respected academics. Evening and Saturday classes. Includes a 3 months internship.
☞ More information on the Advanced Master in Quantitative Finance: am.solvay.edu/quantitative-finance
The main objective of this program is to train a new generation of financial professionals. The program guarantees a full coverage of financial disciplines, such as asset and derivative pricing, numerical methods and programming skills. Afternoon and Evening classes. Includes a 3 months internship.