By way of introduction my name is Augusto Ramos and I’m currently studying the Masters in Finance at London Business School (LBS). Having completed the first term of the MiF I would like to share my experiences. I’m a 25 year old Brazilian with over 4 years of professional experience in corporate finance and asset management. I worked for two years at SC Johnson in the finance department, working with budget planning and analyzing the financials of new product launches for the Home Cleaning segment. I then decided to leave SC Johnson after two years to join a Brazilian start-up asset management firm, working as an equity analyst analyzing consumer staples companies. Prior to joining LBS I took a four month internship at Dynamo Capital LLP, an asset management Firm in London, analyzing European public companies. My main motivation to study at LBS was to leverage my financial knowledge in a global environment.
Early last year there was an event called “Working in the consumer goods industry” where different LBS alumni working for different companies came to speak. One of the guys that came to campus works for AB InBev (the world’s largest beer company). Getting to hear about his experience there and the work environment made me 100% sure that I wanted to work for a company controlled by the 3G group. LBS offers you opportunities to meet these people and attend numerous events where you can network and meet professionals from any company or industry you are interested in.
The Study Group
One of the best things at LBS is being divided into study groups for the Core Courses. The groups are split to reflect culture and sector diversity. In my case, I ended up working with classmates from Portugal, India, Malaysia and Mongolia. This is an amazing experience as you get to practice how to deal with cultural differences (and there are plenty!) and differences in group opinions! These are things you will most definitely encounter in your professional life and having an opportunity to deal with this is very fulfilling if you want to work in a global environment.
The Classroom Experience
I have been really impressed with the teaching at LBS. My favorite class so far has been Advanced Corporate Finance. This covers not only different methods for valuing companies and projects, such was DCF, multiples, real options and so on, but also how companies deal with capital structure decisions, deciding whether to go forward with project finance or corporate finance, ways of financing investment decisions and what differences need to be accounted for when performing cross border valuations. This area of corporate/project finance is a big interest of mine. Each different aspect mentioned above was backed up with real life case studies, looking at what different companies considered before making investment decisions. Analyzing what went right and what could’ve been done better has given me a great deal of knowledge.
Besides the weather, literally everything about London has been excellent – going out to pubs with my friends after class, (yes it is possible) and during weekends, running in the park and playing football and of course enjoying watching Premier League matches! I come from a country where due to security and infrastructure issues, I am not very used to having the freedom of moving from one place to another at any time I want and for cheap prices, so being able to get the tube late at night to go to someplace 1 hour away from my place has been unique as well. Life in London is great, and if you get used to the weather, the pros are miles better than the cons!