Meet an alumna: a great career path in finance in London

Written on 10 May 2022.


 

Inès Mao graduated from the EDHEC Business School Finance track in 2020. She is an Equity Capital Market Analyst at Bank of America London. She shares her experience on the finance track and some insights into her role.

 

What was your background before EDHEC business school?

I joined EDHEC after a French preparatory class and a University degree.

 

Why did you choose its Finance program?

I decided to join the Finance track because I was curious to learn subjects totally different and new from what I had learnt in my Pre-Master year in Lille. Finance sounded more tangible to me, and the novelty of the subject sounded intellectually stimulative as well. Eventually, I can now say that I don’t regret my choice.

 

What are the main highlights of the program?

The first thing I can think of is how well you get prepared for interviews and applications in the banking world - alongside a diverse set of classes that provides us with a great technical background, the program also organises career fairs or other networking events, which are very useful to students.

Finally, the location of the Finance program (in Nice, France) is a big added value - Preparing for numerous interviews and exams might have been intense, but having a view of the Mediterranean Sea from a classroom… was quite unique. 

 

What was your favorite class?

My favorite class was actually not a finance one, but a cultural one which I attended as an elective in my first year in Lille. It was on Cultures and Populations, and it taught me some incredibly interesting things about arts, rituals, and religions across populations in Asia or Europe. I believe that hard skills are not always the most important. To me, it is even more important to learn from other communities, and other eras of history, and to be curious and open-minded, which was all this class was about.

 

You chose the MSc in Corporate Finance & Banking for your Master 2.  How did it prepare you for your role at Bank of America as an Equity Capital Market Analyst?

First and foremost, the MSc provided me with a great technical basis, which is especially useful for interview questions about valuations or corporate finance. Most specifically to ECM, I’d say that we also had access to great alumni people from this MSc, and reaching out to them helped me in understanding the division, the role, and the requirements to do it.

 

What can you tell us about your role?   

I am working in equity capital markets, covering the DACH region (Deutschland-Austria-Confederation Helvétique). My role as an analyst is to help in the origination by creating pitches for equity-related products (IPOs, follow on offerings, rights issues…), working with a broad range of teams (from sales, to research, and passing by sector, M&A bankers, or DCM). We also accompany specific clients on deal-related topics, and my role is to help in the execution this time - the ECM team will tailor the timing of the deal, the sizing, reach out to investors to get to a price range, etc… we then work with external counterparties (the company itself, sometimes the seller of this company, the legal counsels, the communication advisors…).

 

How decisive were your internships in choosing your career path?

Each internship was crucial to building my understanding of the finance industry, its different sectors, and whether I felt like it was a fit for me (or not). I did two 6-month internships in finance during my gap year - one in Equity Derivatives, and one in Equity Capital Markets. Both offered great opportunities to network, get to know myself better, and finetune my professional goals.

I also did a spring internship in an investment bank back in my first year of the master's program, which was helpful in guiding me throughout the opportunities in banking, and eventually was an incredibly fast track towards my current job.

 

Your best memory will remain…    

Probably the first weeks of my EDHEC studies on the Lille Campus, where I met the best friends I still have today.

 

A piece of career advice for recent graduates?.

Don’t be foolish about the company name or the so-called status of the sector and job. The range of possibilities is broader than you think, and coming from EDHEC you can almost reach whichever goal you have. Never follow the herd. Be smart, curious, and talk to our alumni!

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