Name : Concha Zimmer
Current job title : Analyst at Goldman Sachs (March 2018)
Year of graduation : 2017
Nationality : German
Why did you choose this MSc?
“The FI-A distinguishes itself because of its small class, individual career coaching, and company cases in which theory could be translated into solutions for real-life problems. This combination of theory and practice is in my opinion a substantial added value. I compared the courses of the FI-A master with other master programmes in Europe, and was positively surprised about the combination of standard financial topics such as valuation, investments and corporate finance with courses such as risk management, entrepreneurial finance, and commercial and investment banking. I liked the idea of small classes with involved professors that knew my name and taught us the most interesting topics of the financial world. It was an easy decision to do this master and it had a huge influence on where I am now – with an employment contract of my internship company, looking forward to my financial career.”
How would you describe the programme and RSM?
“The MSc Finance & Investments Advanced is an elite finance programme with first-class professors from European universities as well as practitioners with anecdotes for every topic of the class. Students can work on real-life challenges. For example, we worked with Rabobank on the challenge to invest €100,000 into the cold chain in African countries; we valued oil and steel companies based on financial as well as sustainability metrics; we thought about post-merger integration issues with Deloitte; and many more smaller and bigger cases in which our ideas were potentially executed by the companies. The whole programme is full of opportunities that you should take advantage of, for example organising the study trip, research assistant opportunities, joining the RSM team in the CFA Research Challenge, a mentoring programme and so on. What you get out of the FI-A master depends on the motivation and initiative of every student. It’s a challenging journey with motivated fellow students that need a lot of commitment and self-responsibility but can lead to great job opportunities and careers in the finance market.”
What was the biggest challenge in this master?
“The biggest challenge was the timing and workload. The courses and demanding professors made it difficult at times to be able to meet the quality standards my fellow students and I were used to in the time we had available. We had to divide our time into four financial courses with teamwork in each of them. To be able to meet up became difficult sometimes. Meeting deadlines and delivering high-quality work was a challenge that needed planning and communication.”
What made the greatest impression?
“Of course this was the study trip. This is one of the many things that sets apart the advanced master; developing the group feeling for the only 38 people in the programme in my year. I was part of the team to organise our trip to Frankfurt, Germany. I was extremely excited and nervous. From Monday to Friday we had a busy schedule of company visits, presentations, and cases. We also had time to get to know each other, socialise, enjoy the city and go clubbing. The whole week went without problems, with every student involved and was a lot of fun. It was definitely a week to remember!”
How did your studies at RSM shape your career?
“Without RSM I would have never applied to Goldman Sachs, as I would have not have had the courage to do so. But due to the obligatory internship and the motivation of my fellow students, I ended up sending my application to the top-tier banks with hopes of positive feedback. And as it all worked out, I feel stupid that I nearly didn’t apply because of lack of confidence. The master at RSM was a good choice to figure out what I want, and to be able to ask for it.”
What are your future plans?
“I want to continue working in jobs I love with people I like to work with. I have no clear plans for where I want to end up, but I’m happy to work for Goldman Sachs at the moment. I think I will continue working in finance. There are a lot of opportunities such as working in a corporation or in private equity that I might find interesting in in the future. But right now, I’m very happy to be working at the company that was my first choice of employer.”