Weicong Su, support engineer at fintech firm R3, was keen to launch himself into a new career when he decided to enrol in ESSEC’s Master in Finance (MIF) program.
He already had a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Economics, and had been working as a software engineer for two years, when he set his sights on a job in the finance industry.
In order to make his dream a reality, he began looking into the various Master in Finance programs available in Singapore. ESSEC stood out from the competition.
Su explains: “The school is very highly ranked with a good reputation, and it has a strong relationship with many asset managers and global banks, which creates great opportunities for students.”
In fact, ESSEC is rated as number one in Asia and number five in the world in the Financial Times 2018 Master in Finance ranking.
After graduation, Su secured a job working in distributed ledger technology (DLT) at R3, a move that he says would not have been possible without his MIF degree.
“I don’t think I would have gotten my job without the MIF degree. I would not have had the necessary knowledge or been able to understand the technical jargon and inner workings,” he says.
When Su was studying for his MIF, he had the choice of specializing in either capital markets or corporate finance.
Since he has graduated, ESSEC has introduced a third track for students to specialize in fintech and analytics.
The move reflects the growing demand for talents in Singapore’s rapidly expanding fintech sector.
Singapore is already one of the most vibrant fintech hubs in Asia, with the industry projected to create 1,000 new jobs every year.
Su says: “I can see there is a huge demand in this area because fintech is growing very quickly.”
Despite not having the option of doing the fintech track, Su was still able to complete several modules in this area, including one in financial programing, which he says was one of the most useful courses he had studied.
“When I started searching for jobs and undergoing interviews, I was told it was very hard for companies to find people with both financial and programing skills. ESSEC’s MIF definitely helped me land a job in the fintech sector. I think ESSEC was very forward-looking to have introduced fintech modules into the program.”
He also credits other modules for giving him a thorough understanding of how the financial services sector operates.
“When you work in the fintech sector, you need to understand the traditional way of doing business. Only then can you change it. The program really helped me in this respect.”
Su adds that regardless of which track students decide to focus on, they are still able to join classes for the other tracks if they want to extend their knowledge in these areas.
Alongside classroom learning, the program also offers students the opportunity to make a study trip to London, New York or Hong Kong, as well as the option to complete an internship.
Su chose Hong Kong and was impressed by the number of top financial institutions the students were able to visit, including JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs.
He also benefited from ESSEC’s strong network with finance companies when its career services team helped him secure an internship at BNP Paribas in Hong Kong, where he worked as a business management trainee in the group’s investment banking arm. “It was extremely helpful,” he says.
Another thing that stood out for Su from his time at ESSEC was the caliber of the faculty and their willingness to take the time to speak to students.
“The professors have many years of experience in the industry, and they are very knowledgeable. They shared a lot about their work, which was very helpful to us when we were just students and did not have much experience,” he says.
He also thinks he benefited from the program’s international student base.
“Although there were only 30 people in my class, they included people from France, China, Vietnam, Croatia and Singapore. I really appreciated this because having such different viewpoints enabled us all to learn a lot from each other.”
Su has no hesitation in recommending ESSEC’s MIF to potential students who are interested in getting into the fintech sector.
“The combination of ESSEC’s reputation, its strong network and program focus are key strengths for students who want to join this industry,” he says.