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An evening with UK Ambassador at Embassy of the United Kingdom, Buenos Aires

An evening with UK Ambassador at Embassy of the United Kingdom, Buenos Aires

Whether you are in Thomas Friedman’s corner walking on a pretty flat earth, or jumping obstacles with Pankaj Ghemawat on a bumpy and curvy one, there is one thing that that is certain; globalization is here and understanding it is more important than ever!

One of the most appealing aspects of London Business School and The Executive MBA is the focus they have on teaching and experiencing international business.  Having returned from my third (and hopefully not final) international assignment it’s a great time to share a bit about what has been experienced.

At the end of year one, students are required to select an international elective from a portfolio of options; for many people this marks the end of the year one core learning.  I selected to go to Argentina and also had the opportunity to sign up for an optional additional destination for which I selected Moscow.  These trips have a specific purpose – to develop an understanding of the regional economy and get to grips with what challenges business faces in the specific region.

After landing in a chilly Moscow during early April I teamed up with students from our Dubai stream to work on a Big Data project for MTS, the biggest mobile operator in Russia.  Unfortunately at the time, the decline in oil prices had already started to impact the ruble but rather than being in crisis mode it seemed people were ready to navigate the new realities being presented with a sense of perseverance.  After all it was in 1998 that Russia went through a major financial crisis after defaulting on its domestic debt and so economic challenges were nothing new here.

A single week working in Moscow is short; especially when you are trying to get an understanding of a country that spans nine time zones.  However it is just long enough to start understanding the business culture and the unique regional challenges.  Furthermore, it was super interesting to explore the possibilities of Big Data for telecom operators and an honor to be able to present our strategic recommendations back to the company.

Coincidentally the Argentina assignment was the week following Moscow and so after a quick pit stop at Heathrow to pick up some more London classmates it was off to Buenos Aires.  The scope of this assignment was very different; rather than working on a project for a specific company, we spent time visiting a local business school and a number of companies to get an insight into what drives the economic environment.

Argentina has a very colorful economic history and it’s definitely worth going to learn first hand.  It was amazing to see how the history of Peron and the economic rollercoaster was deeply the engrained in peoples thoughts and how creative businesses had become to tackle todays deeply volatile economic environment.  Kudos to LBS for providing the introductions to a number of great companies such as Globant, Clarin, YPF and many others.  When reflecting on Argentina, it would also be wrong not to mention how AMAZING the steak is out there – its worth a trip back just for this!

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The latest trip to Dubai was for an elective on “Thinking Strategically”.  The course is also offered in London but if you can afford the time I thought why not make the most of escaping the UK winter and experience the Dubai campus and culture.  Because the class was mostly made up from my Middle East colleagues, you naturally get an insight into the business environment and culture.

Throughout all the trips there is really a great opportunity to expand your learning and get an experience that you simply can’t get by staying in the classroom….. now I’m just looking forward to the next one….

 

Instagram: @OmaratLBS

Twitter:  @OmaratLBS

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Kicking back after a long day at work, I found myself reflecting on how fast time has flown and how my experience at LBS this year compares to that of last year. We have just crossed over the halfway point of year 2, semester 1. Still only a few weeks in, I found myself waking up on Saturday mornings feeling a little disorientated, not having the need to dash off to the LT-10 lecture theatre for the usual 8:15 am tea and catch-up with classmates ahead our second consecutive full day of lectures.

Year 1 had a pre-defined core timetable, which followed regular blocks on alternate weekends. We spent the three semesters working through compulsory core modules that provide a wide range of subject matter. Each study weekend is spent together with your EMBA class. Looking back, its easy to understand why everyone in the class had such a close connection and acted more like a family than simply colleagues as we spent so much time together

Year 2 is totally different. In fact, compared to your fellow EMBA classmates, the 2nd year will likely be a totally different experience for each and everyone. That is because year 2 is all about electives, so you get to focus on the subjects that you are really passionate about. With so many permutations and combinations, no one student will have the same timetable – selecting your timetable is a challenge in itself since it is difficult to narrow down subject selection with so much great content on offer.

Electives also offer a practical upside since students can select the format of electives to fit within their needs, for example weekend classes versus block week electives. Furthermore, electives are all cross stream so you will be mixed with students from MBA, Sloan and MiF programmes which opens doors to more valuable connections.

Year 2 is still pretty fresh but so far it has continued to be a great experience. I have thus far completed Financial Statement Analysis and am half way through World Economy: Problems and Prospects. The content for both has been extremely relevant with practical applications to real life current business affairs. It is only a few more weeks before I take off to Dubai for a block week elective on “Strategic Thinking”.

As with the start of every new term, there is a fresh set of openings to join clubs and opportunities to apply for positions on various executive committees. I have been lucky enough to secure a position on the executive committee of the Investment Management Club, which is one of the largest and most active clubs at LBS. There will be much more to share on this, but in the meantime be sure to join the club as there are lots in the pipeline for the year ahead…

https://clubs.london.edu/imc/about/

Instagram: @OmaratLBS

Twitter:  @OmaratLBS

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After a six-week summer break that just about allowed for everyone to catch up on the normality of life, it is the night before my first lectures of my second and final year of the EMBA experience.  Elective year!  Having had a year of preparing for multiple classes at a time, I would have thought I would have completed all of the pre-reading by now….nevertheless there is still time to wrap that up before bed!

Year One really was an incredible adventure that started with a class of 76 strangers and ended with one big happy family of friends from every walk of life imaginable.  It was also a tough academic triathlon:

  • Term 1: buzz and excitement in a theatre of unbelievable classroom discussions
  • Term 2: carried through with the adrenaline built up
  • Term 3: fatigue starts to kick in and you just want to be over with the exams, but you still love it!

 

Last week, a bunch of us went to the welcoming boat party to meet and greet the new class – it was at that moment you realize how fast time flies.  Looking back, it is quite amazing to have packed so much in – considering that through all of this, everyone was still holding a demanding full-time job!

While I am blogging for LBS, I will also be using it as an excuse to self-medicate on social networking since it is an area I am clueless about. Therefore, feel free to follow the second year experience on Instagram or Twitter.  For now I need to get back to ensuring I do not break the class cardinal rule: ALWAYS READ THE CASE and come ready for the class discussion!

Instagram: @OmaratLBS

Twitter:  @OmaratLBS

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