6 January 2014

Bachelor in Finance & Economics (Bocconi University) and Master in Finance (University of Warwick)

Do you want to know who wrote this article?

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Finally, after a while, I carved out some time to jot down few thoughts and opinions regarding my personal academic experience.

My name is Matteo Drago, I was born in Bergamo almost 23 years ago. Before joining Università Bocconi in September 2010, I attended scientific high-school L.Mascheroni, a five-year educational “path” that provided me with a strong quantitative and analytical background.

My academic experience in a nutshell

As I previously stated, in the early autumn of 2010 I started my Bachelor at Bocconi University. Initially I chose a course known as “CLEAM”, whose correspondent in anglo saxon terms would be “Economics and Business administration”. This course is considered the one with the most “general” approach, perfect for a person like me who, at that time, was not that sure about what the business-related world was going to offer. Nevertheless, after a while, I realized that my initial choice was not what I was looking for. Bocconi gives students the possibility to switch course after one year and a half and without thinking twice I decided to undertake “CLEF”, i.e. “Finance and Economics”. This course offered me the opportunity to deepen my understanding of financial markets and crunch quite a huge amount of numbers. Definitely what I was looking for!Moreover, during the last year of my bachelor degree, I decided to exploit the great international Bocconi network, ending up spending a semester (Jul-Dec 2012) at the University of Sydney. Once back, in February 2013 I decided to fly to London for a three-month internship in a private investment management firm. I knew that an international and a professional experience were things that would have let me combine personal and professional growth and make my CV stand out!

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Leaving Bocconi…

After graduating cum laude from Bocconi University, I decided to undertake an MSc Finance course at Warwick Business School. Several reasons have driven my decision. What Bocconi was offering me at time of graduation was a two-year course, the possibility of an internship and an exchange experience. Even though Bocconi brand stands out, a two-year course in a “non-international” context was not what I considered important for my personal growth. Having already Bocconi brand on my resume, the choice of leaving the top Italian business school was not that painful.

… towards WBS

Here I am! I am glad to be enrolled as an MSc Finance student at Warwick Business School. Three things drove my choice: a very quantitative finance course, an international and exciting context and a campus with several sport facilities. Indeed the Financial Times ranks this course as the UK’s top pure finance course. Also, the Telegraph reported that Warwick was the university targeted by the most top employers in 2012-2013.

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Personally…what could WBS and Bocconi do to improve their “offerings”…

This question is not easy to answer… but let’s be a little bit critical.

Bocconi: This University is not enough international. So far, it completely lacks of a proper campus and related student societies which strongly contribute to the student personal growth. Bocconi knows that and it is wisely investing in this direction. Having the chance to discuss and grow with students coming from almost every country of the world: this is what makes a University competitive… at least from my point of view!

WBS: A very big chunk of my professor has a PhD in mathematics. This feature makes the courses strongly quantitative. Often, I perceive some professors kind of underestimate the value added by a solid theoretical background when explaining finance concepts. Surely students have to be independent and should go into the theory on their own but I I feel like Bocconi better gives students the theoretical foundation of concepts and finance-related methods necessary to really understand what we are dealing with.

MSc Finance application process

So far, WBS does not require a GMAT, even though it is strongly recommended. What I perceive as key-factors to succeed in the selection process and to perform well at WBS are: international “exposure” gained through an exchange experience and/or an internship, almost top grades from an economics related Bachelor and a good understanding of the English language. In addition to this, I strongly recommend this course for all the students with a strong quantitative and analytical background.

Program structure

The program consists of eight courses and a final dissertation that counts 30% of the overall final result. The first 4 modules are: Foundations of Corporate Finance, Asset Pricing, Economics of Financial Markets and Quantitative Methods for Finance. In the second term the only compulsory module is Empirical Finance while the other three are electives. Personally, I chose to undertake Advanced Corporate Finance (i.e. M&A), Fixed Income and Credit Risk and an accounting related course named Financial Reporting and Financial Statement Analysis.

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WBS Professional network

Last but not least, WBS has a powerful “Career staff” which helps students with mock interviews and resume workshop. Moreover, students have the opportunity to participate to networking events with some of the top world employers. Sincerely, I perceive the ability to network with potential employers to be a key factor in finding a job and WBS offers the possibility to do so.

Life at Warwick

Campus life is something simply amazing. Almost 23,000 students share your feelings and experiences. Sport facilities and different societies are there just to be exploited. I personally play in two football teams and work as a volunteer Italian “teacher” managing a class of 10-15 international students who want to learn more about our unique Country. Study hours are long, thus if you want to join society and play sport you have to be able to manage your time very carefully.

Good luck with you applications!!!

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