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Imperial College Business School Holds Virtual MSc Information Session

imperial college business school virtual msc information session by Shadowssettle via wikimedia commons

It’s a topsy-turvy world we’re living in right now – with business schools across the globe feeling the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The online space has become our new reality for the foreseeable future, and Imperial College Business School is utilizing the virtual world to connect with future students.

In early May, Imperial held a virtual MSc cross-program information session to provide prospective students with an overview of its master’s programs, covering the experience of studying in London and showing students the campus research facilities for Finance, Management and Specialized Master's students.

Imperial staff, students, and alumni all pitched in via Zoom to create an informative session from a distance, to make up for the loss of an in-person get together at its London campuses.

This swift change to online delivery wasn’t just necessary for the information session, but also for all teaching at the school. But how do MSc students feel Imperial handled the transition?

Seyon Indran on the MSc in Economics & Strategy for Business program said: “The big thing was definitely the business school’s response to the coronavirus. I wasn’t too sure how it would impact the course – especially examinations.

“I just finished six exams over the last two weeks, it was pretty intense. I started my lectures yesterday and those are running really smoothly, the exams went well – we had to use online software which was really effective. It’s been really impressive how they’ve responded.”

Anahita De Vito on the MSc in Finance program has also been left pleasantly surprised by the school’s response. She said: “I was really surprised by the efficiency of how everything is handled. Even now with the coronavirus, we are given so many different opportunities with remote events and live events.

“We had the opportunity before to meet so many recruiters and are helped so much by the careers team. I can’t stress it enough how much help I received.”

Joël McConnell, Executive Director of Marketing, Recruitment & Admissions spoke in greater detail about the school’s strategic approach to tackle the necessity to move operations online, not just for the coronavirus – but preparing for all eventualities in the future. 

The focus in the upcoming months will be on evolving their offerings through innovation. Joël said: “We started investing in the EdTech Lab around 10 years ago, and I think we’re relatively well-placed to adapt quickly to the very dynamic situations schools and companies find themselves in.”

Imperial’s short-term approach was ensuring programs could be delivered online and students could take their exams – but mainly, they want the remote format to offer the richest experience possible.

Imperial says it will achieve this through multimodal delivery as the b-school gradually returns back to full-time delivery in the coming months, once it is safe to do so. Students will be offered a mix of live in-class delivery, live streaming for candidates more comfortable staying at home in the short-term, and then online content as well.

Joël said: “So, we are really giving the maximum amount of approaches you can choose to follow your program as part of working back to being on campus full-time.

“This allows students on part-time programs to get involved with full-time program electives and thinking about how to be much more dynamic on campus.”

What the students think

These events allow prospective students to hear from their potential predecessors, about what life is really like on a program.

Hannah Abdel-Hadi on the MSc in Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Management said one of the unique things to stand out to her were the people.

She said: “On my course, people have been specifically picked out for the cohort to work together. From really diverse backgrounds – they’re specifically chosen because everyone is from a different background.

“I don’t think I was expecting it to be so engineered to make sure everyone is extremely diverse. You can see that from when you’re in group work and things like that. When they pick groups, you’re chosen in those groups for specific reasons, and I think that makes your experience even more tailored. You get a more enhanced experience.”

It’s not all about current students - alumni were also on hand to help paint a picture of the reality of business school.

Carlos Demartini, who graduated from the MSC in Finance in 2019, spoke about going to work following his studies. He said: “The reason I chose the finance course at Imperial was that it had applied courses, things I eventually did in my job – modelling, going through financial statements of a lot of companies and having to apply theory to case studies.”

The business school will continue to hold online events until we’re back to business as usual, and there will surely be more innovative events and programs to come.

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Written by Niamh Ollerton
Niamh is Deputy Head of Content at QS (TopMBA.com; topuniversities.com), creating and editing content for an international student audience. Having gained her journalism qualification at the Press Association, London and since written for different international publications, she's now enjoying telling the stories of students, alumni, faculty, entrepreneurs and organizations from across the globe.  

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