You are here:

Gaining a global edge at LSE Summer School

As a prelude to studying for his master's at LSE, Ishaan Ghai declares himself happy and grateful after attending the Summer School.

Written by Peter Quinn |

Ishaan Ghai pictured on the left with LSE academic Dr Georgy Chabakauri
Ishaan Ghai pictured on the left with LSE academic Dr Georgy Chabakauri.

I truly had a wonderful summer abroad. I gained the desired global experience and learnt a subject which I would be happy to pursue my career in

With the objective of pursuing a career in the field of financial analysis and planning, a global experience is a must. To give my personality a multidimensional global edge, I am on my way to achieve this through my high school and internships from India, undergraduate studies from Singapore, Summer School and master’s from the United Kingdom.

Why pursue the LSE Summer School?
My dream to pursue my master’s at the prestigious London School of Economics and Political Science has now come true. I have been offered a place starting September 2016. As a prerequisite for the MSc Accounting and Finance program, LSE required me to complete the Finance (FM250) Summer School course or complete an online option. I have no regrets choosing the former for better learning, exposure and understanding of the College and the city, and as a prelude to my master’s.

I was extremely excited yet nervous, as I was all set to enter a new city which offered a lot to explore and learn from.

A summer school scholarship – what a bonus!
I was fortunate to be chosen by the Global Learning Society at SIM as one of three students to be awarded a scholarship to attend the Summer School program at LSE. I took this financial support as a proud privilege, with utmost humility and respect. I commenced the 21-day Summer School at LSE with the objective of gaining as much global experience and learning as possible from my fellow peers, professors and other Londoners. I also wanted to put my best efforts to secure the highest grade possible, i.e., A+. I was extremely excited yet nervous, as I was all set to enter a new city which offered a lot to explore and learn from.

Living in London
I was fortunate to be accepted to stay at High Holborn Residence, one of many LSE halls of residence situated in the heart of the city, just a 10-minute walk from the campus. I was walking distance from major tourist attractions such as Covent Garden, Leicester Square, Trafalgar Square, British Museum and many other popular spots. This gave me the opportunity to visit many places in my free time, whenever I wanted to take a break from studying.

Staying in the college accommodation, I had an opportunity to meet and interact with students who came from different countries like the USA, Portugal, Spain, Turkey and Italy. Every morning, I looked forward to the breakfast buffet in my hostel where I enjoyed a cup of tea with a croissant and some cereal. It was where I would meet new people every day and have conversations about our different cultures, political issues, and get to know each other better. A major topic of discussion was Brexit. I understood different people's views on the subject and was able to see the emotions of the fellow Londoners. I was right there to follow the pound’s depreciation, the political implications and the impact on the economy.

I truly enjoyed travelling across London on the tube and buses. I took the train to travel to the countryside: Slough and Loughton, which had a very different charm as compared to that of central London.

While in London for the LSE Summer School, I explored and gained information about all on-campus, part-time opportunities available to international students, so that when I return for my master’s program in September, I would have something in place to learn and earn, which would help me finance my education.

I genuinely fell in love with the LSE Campus in central London and would travel from one building to another as my lectures and tutorial sessions were in different buildings. There are many restaurants, eating joints and bars, both on and around campus.

By attending the freshman night party organised by the LSE student’s union, I met new people and people I had either known or met in the past during my undergraduate degree in Singapore or back in India. These were the people who would become my good friends, and contribute towards my global learning experience.

My routine for three weeks
I used to eat breakfast in the hostel before class and, after attending my lecture from 10am to 1pm, I would quickly get a sandwich or salad for lunch before my tutorial session which started at 2pm. After my tutorial session, I would meet my friends and then study at the LSE Library with them for three to four hours daily, before going back to the hostel to sleep. This was my routine from Monday to Friday. On Saturdays and Sundays, I would spend the first half of the day studying in the library and would then explore London by visiting the major tourist attractions like Big Ben, the London Eye, the River Thames, Parliament Square, Oxford Street, and Buckingham Palace. I witnessed London's night culture at Piccadilly Circus where all of the popular restaurants and bars are situated. I witnessed the old world charm which is still present in London, by looking at the ancient buildings, telephone booths, street performers, and so on.

I found the Finance course extremely interesting yet challenging.

The course
I found the Finance course extremely interesting yet challenging. It consisted of two parts: Asset Markets and Corporate Finance. In Asset Markets, I learnt about fixed income securities, stocks and derivatives, understanding portfolio theory, risk diversification and the Capital Asset Pricing Model in detail. In the second part of the course, I learnt about the important topics in Corporate Finance such as capital budgeting techniques, futures and forwards contracts, option pricing, firm’s capital structure (debt and equity) and dividend policy and capital restructuring (Initial Public Offerings).

The course was taught in the form of three-hour lectures in the mornings in a class of 250 students, and 90-minute tutorial sessions in the afternoon in groups of 15 students. There were two examinations, the mid-term and the final exam. The programme was extremely intensive and required much effort both inside and outside the classroom. I fervently attended all lectures and tutorials. I would try to get my doubts solved during the lectures and the tutorial session itself by seeking help from my lecturer and tutor. I spent a lot of time at the LSE Library, which comprised of six floors and a lot of support material, revising and preparing for my exams. I had to watch tutorial videos online and seek help from my fellow classmates to solve my doubts. I was even part of a study group of five: two Indians, a Portuguese and an Austrian.

I truly had a wonderful summer abroad. I gained the desired global experience and learnt a subject which I would be happy to pursue my career in. I worked hard and secured an A+ grade in the Finance module to make myself and SIM proud, and to secure admission into the master’s program at LSE. To top it off, my final year examination results, which were released after the LSE Summer School, saw me graduate with First Class Honours AND receive a University of London award for academic achievement. I am a happy and grateful man.

  • Ishaan studied for his University of London degree at SIM, an Affiliate Centre for the University of London.