This year, members of the IE Finance Club attended the LSE Alternative Investments Conference in London. They were specially selected by Dartmouth Partners, a leading financial recruitment firm to attend the event along with 320 student delegates from across the world.

At IE Finance Club, we are dedicated to providing sound financial education to the IE University student body and part of our mission includes attending events where we gain unique insights into the industry. “From the Talent & Careers department at IE University we encourage all students interested in Finance to join the club to develop their potential and be aware of all the opportunities offered each year” says Carlos Diez, director of IE University Talent & Careers.

One of these recent opportunities included the LSE Alternative Investments Conference in London which included a series of keynotes, panels, workshops and a recruitment fair. 

At the conference, IE University was the second-most represented university, after LSE itself. We caught up with a few of our members who attended to find out about their experience. 

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and why you decided to join the IE Finance Club? 

Raquel Franco: I’m from Brazil and I am a second-year student of the Bachelor in Economics. I applied to become an officer of the finance club after attending an event about women in finance and career prospects in the field. I am currently a communications officer at IE Finance Club

Guillermo Noriega: I’m a final-year student of the Dual Degree in Business Administration and International Relations and I come from a little city near Valencia called Castellon de la Plana. I discovered my passion for finance in my third year at IE University. This was my main motivation to join IE Finance Club along with the encouragement of one of my close friends. 

Santiago Alfeiran: I’m from A Coruña, Spain and I study the Dual Degree in Business Administration and Laws. I joined the club as an officer in 2020 to level up my resume and get involved outside of the classroom. I believe that now, by being an officer, I am able to take full advantage of IE University resources and develop my potential both professionally and personally. 

How was your experience at the 2023 LSE AIC? 

Raquel Franco: Overall, my experience was very positive. I got to meet like-minded and ambitious people from universities from all over the world. I learned about careers in alternative investments and about industries I had never heard of before, like private equity for companies on the brink of bankruptcy. I also learned a lot about different perspectives on the future economic scenario and the impacts of current decisions such as the rise in interest rates can have on the finance industry. The biggest challenge was to balance different opinions and backgrounds when having discussions with other students. But I enjoyed this challenge because I got to learn so much about different topics and perspectives.

Guillermo Noriega: LSE AIC 2023 was a very insightful experience where I expanded my knowledge in investment banking and private equity industries. We also attended speeches from top-notch professionals of the most recognized companies in the world including Goldman Sachs, Permira and Blackstone

Santiago Alfeiran: LSE AIC is the pinnacle of finance conferences for students in Europe. I had inspiring conversations and learned by hearing other students’ stories. For me, the most exciting part was meeting the heads of important private equity firms in Europe. They shared their views on the market and gave us insightful tips on how to address the industry as a junior. 

How does IE Finance Club help you in terms of your future?

Raquel Franco: I would say that IE Finance Club opened doors for me. For example, my colleagues at IE Finance Club helped me apply for spring weeks, and I ended up getting a placement at Goldman Sachs. IE Finance Club has shaped my career aspirations and given me multiple opportunities to build and deepen my knowledge in finance. 

Guillermo Noriega: Thanks to IE Finance Club, I can expand my knowledge in finance. Each week I take the time to attend all the workshops, speeches and meetings, and I was fortunate to be one of the 300 selected students from 3000 applications to attend the LSE Alternative Investment Conference 2023.

Santiago Alfeiran: The world of finance seems quite scary but as many industry professionals like to say: even though finance seems complicated, at the end of the day it is not rocket science. This is exactly how IE Finance Club helps you; through events, networking sessions and resources, so you realize this is just a people business, and really, the only thing you need is an eagerness to learn. IE Finance Club mainly helps you navigate the industry, so that when you need to decide on what area to focus on, you can do so based on experience.  

What are your main takeaways from the 2023 Alternative Investments Conference?

Raquel Franco: Firstly, networking is incredibly powerful. Asking questions and showing genuine interest in other people can go a long way in landing you a job and building your career. Secondly, meeting people with similar ambitions creates a community of support that can help you learn and grow. Also, follow your curiosity, it can take you to amazing places! During the conference, my curiosity allowed me to learn more about industries I didn’t know before and connect with people. Finally, trust yourself and your ability. I didn’t think I would be selected among over 4,000 applicants to attend this conference, yet I was. 

Guillermo Noriega: My first takeaway from the event would be to get to know the opinion of the experts in the field of the future trends of the market and industry. Secondly, I would say I expanded my network by meeting international students from all over the world. Overall it was a wonderful experience that helped to improve professionally and personally.

Santiago Alfeiran: My key takeaway from the event was to network not only with professionals but also with like-minded students because you never know where connections will take you. Also, I learned how to approach the alternative investment industry as a junior and witnessed how finance can be used to transform regions for the better. 

Do you have any advice for students at IE University?

Raquel Franco: I would absolutely recommend the LSE Alternative Investment Conference to anyone who is interested in finance and wants to know more about the field. Everything that sparks your curiosity is worth pursuing, and it can take you to unexpected places. 

Santiago Alfeiran: I would recommend students to explore and discover as much as possible. This is an industry that might seem like something you wouldn’t be interested in, but it can quickly become your passion.