Deyan Mihov, 24, is about to start the third term of a one-year MSc in investment management at Cass Business School, part of City University in London. Before starting at Cass, and after finishing school in Bulgaria, he did a Bachelors degree, in business administration, at The Hague University in the Netherlands, which included a semester at the California Institute of Finance.
Why did you want to do a Masters?
After I finished my Bachelors degree, I worked for a year in The Hague, in a financial services role, working in the technology, media and telecommunications sector, and doing some private equity and venture capital work. But I decided I needed a bit more in-depth knowledge, particularly about financial investment roles. I chose this particular course because it gives you a good overview of finance in general, but with a focus on investment, and it also gives you a lot of choice of electives.
What's the course content?
In the first two terms, we have lectures four days a week, for three to six hours, covering topics including equity analysis, portfolio theory and portfolio management, private equity and hedge funds and derivatives. On the fifth day every week, we work on projects and do group work. For example I've been in a team of four working on the financial analysis of a company, and we had to give recommendations on what to do with their stock: buy, sell or hold. In the third term, we have a choice between doing a dissertation plus one elective course, or doing five elective courses. I'm doing five electives.
What have you done alongside your studies?
I set up a society at Cass for investment management and private equity, largely so I could organise events and invite City professionals to come and talk to us about the latest trends. It has been really successful. It started in October, and now I have 350 members, and 10 fellow students helping me to organise things. I also organised an investment management conference at Cass where 10 companies sent representatives, at vice-president and director level. It took quite a lot of attention to detail to organise.
Who else is on the course?
There are about 120 different nationalities on my course. You almost never see more than two people from the same country, which gives you a lot of understanding of other cultures. I was used to that, having done my first degree in two countries, but it was quite a new experience for some other students. There isn't really much time for a social life, but I have done a few things with other students: we had a Russian night once when we all went out to a Russian restaurant.
Are you enjoying it?
It's exceeded my expectations. Some of the professors have been really good, and they have brought along great speakers, particularly in the private equity field.
How are you funding it?
The fees are about £20,000, which I paid before I started, from money that I had earned in the year after I finished my Bachelors degree and also from what I earned working part-time during my first degree. I had worked for a total of three years before I started my Masters.
I have already had a few offers from within the financial services industry, which I will consider in the next few months. But I'd rather not say their names at the moment!