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This was it…

Posted by: Peter

This week I saw 140 people who all had the same mixed feelings as I had. On one hand, everyone was excited and happy because our last exam week was over and we completed the MiM programme. On the other hand, this also means that many of us will start moving out of London soon. MiMs will start spreading and relocate to exotic places on this earth. We all became very good friends over the year and now we know we will not see many of us very often anymore.

So, what do you do when you spend your last weeks with each other and don’t have any exams, deadlines, projects or group assignments anymore? The answer is obvious: Party! Wednesday, after everyone handed in their last exam, we gathered at Laing house (our place at the LBS campus) and had a few wonderful drinks. Yesterday a group of us went to Ibiza to have a final blast together and when they are back in London Disorientation will start. Disorientation is a week of fun before the Congregation where we will be together for the last time.

Our year at London Business School went by very fast and almost finished. The experience was fantastic and unforgettable. Besides I learned a lot, I will take many many many valuable memories from London. I met so many amazing people both from my programme and the other programmes, I got the chance to participate in fantastic projects and many students say this was definitely the best year of their lives so far. Also I know that wherever I will go around the world, there probably will be friends from my MiM class or other members of the LBS alumni community. It truly is an amazing feeling that wherever I go there will be people who have something in common with me and who are most likely will be very warm and helpful.

Many of us already secured amazing jobs to start their even more amazing careers. Also in our next jobs we are a very diverse group. From jobs at banks in Hong Kong to consulting firms in London to own start-ups in New York or even the army in Denmark, we got jobs there. We have still two weeks to go before congregation which will be our big goodbye ceremony from London Business School. But one thing I know for sure: we all made big friends for the rest of our lives.

Yesterday I saw 140 people who all had the same mixed feelings as I had. On one hand, everyone was excited and happy because our last exam week was over and we completed the MiM programme. On the other hand, this also means that many of us will start moving out of London soon. MiMs will start spreading and relocate to all kinds of exotic places on this earth. We all became very good friends over the year and now we know we will not see many of us very often anymore.

So, what do you do when you spend your last weeks with each other and don’t have any exams, deadlines, projects or group assignments anymore? The answer is obvious: Party! Yesterday after everyone handed in their last exam, we gathered at Laing house (our place at the LBS campus) and had a few wonderful drinks. Today a group of us is going to Ibiza to have a final blast together and when they are back in London Disorientation will start. Disorientation is a week of fun before the Congregation where we will be together for the last time.

Our year at London Business School went by very fast and almost finished. The experience was fantastic and unforgettable. Besides I learned a lot, I will take many many many valuable memories from London. I met so many amazing people both from my programme and the other programmes, I got the chance to participate in fantastic projects and many students say this was definitely the best year of their lives so far. Also I know that wherever I will go around the world, there probably will be friends from my MiM class or other members of the LBS alumni community. It truly is an amazing feeling that wherever I go there will be people who have something in common with me and who are most likely will be very warm and helpful.

Many of us already secured amazing jobs to start their even more amazing careers. Also in our next jobs we are a very diverse group. From jobs at banks in Hong Kong to consulting firms in London to own start-ups in New York or even the army in Denmark, we get jobs there.

It is still two weeks before congregation which will be our big goodbye ceremony from London Business School. But one thing I know for sure: we all made big friends for the rest of our lives.

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MiMs on exchange!

Posted by: Peter
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Just about a week ago, we MiMs had guests on campus. Students from Instituto de Empresa Business School in Madrid came to London. IE Business School is another top institute in Europe with a special focus on entrepreneurship. So, we got a chance to meet some fabulous fellow students and have a fantastic time with them in London. The week before, twenty MiMs had been visiting Madrid for the MiM International Field Trip. Unfortunately I couldn’t be in Madrid myself, but I’ve heard amazing stories of inspiring company visits, incredible late night parties in Spain’s capital, and MiMs lying on the pitch of Estadio Santiago Bernabéu. Let’s hear some more about this from Mahesh. We know Mahesh especially from the wonderful pictures he makes and his great work for the Business Connections Committee. Mahesh is one of the MiMs who took part in the International Field Trip, both in Madrid and London.

Mahesh, could you maybe start telling what the purpose was of the visit to Madrid?

There were two parts to the exchange. The theme of the IE trip was ‘Entrepreneurship’ and the one that our school hosted was on ‘Capital Markets’. Both the trips were extremely successful, and provided students with a platform to interact with students from another business school and learn from their experiences. Also, the exchange included company visits and lectures, focused on the theme, which really helped improve the knowledge base of the participants.

And can you tell us some more about the experience?

Apart from the formal interaction, the discussions with students and IE professors at informal events were extremely enjoyable. We had the opportunity of visiting the Santiago Bernabéu, the official stadium of Real Madrid. And, not just visit, but in fact dine at the café.

Finally, could you give some examples of amazing events in the exchange?

The first event of the exchange was a daylong workshop on entrepreneurship with a renowned professor at IE. The workshop helped us get a better perspective on opening our minds to new ideas, and to look at something as basic as a plastic from a more creative perspective. This workshop was (personally) the highlight of the exchange. Apart from this, the other events included talks by three entrepreneurs on building an organization from scratch. The talks were useful form the context of understanding growth of a start-up.

Thanks a lot for your insights in the MiM International Field Trip, Mahesh! Sounds like MiMs had a lot of fun and a wonderful experience. This definitely is an awesome example of the international character of London Business School and how the programme widens our perspectives!

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During our spring break, I was home again for two weeks. Nothing is better to see your family again, hang around with friends, eat mommy cooked food and enjoy life. Many MiMs made amazing journeys around Europe while I had interesting experiences when meeting all kinds of new people. And at all places where I met them, I was reminded to something remarkable: The brand name of London Business School.

At the LBS campus, everyone is just a LBS student. However, when you leave London, people do notice you and you stand out the crowd. Dutch universities are regarded as very good ones, but when I am home in Amsterdam, the name of LBS does make a difference. I’ll give you a few examples from my last break.

Wherever I introduce myself to people, I notice the WOW reaction when I mention that I live in London. Living in London is great. The second WOW comes when I say I study at London Business School. They do appreciate this and they are impressed just by the name of my university.

Of course positive reactions of people are nice. But, it becomes really exciting when it comes to talking with recruiters. I visited a career fair during spring break and there I noticed it again. The best example is a great conversation I had with two recruiters of a highly selective firm. We had a very nice and lively conversation, so I asked them about the application procedure for students who do not live in the Netherlands because I study at London Business School. I never got a WOW like that from two people at the same time! They were interested instantly, and that while they had been talking with many other students for the whole day already!

A last example was when I returned to London again. I was standing in the line for the passport control at the airport when a man tapped me on my shoulder. He pointed to the LBS logo on my backpack and asked if I really studied at London Business School. I said yes and directly he started to compliment me for studying there and to praise the quality of the school. He didn’t literally use the WOW word, but he was very excited anyway. Unfortunately he was just a tourist and not the recruitment manager of a top tier firm. But, as you could have read in an earlier post of my classmate Mikhail, someone almost got a job offer when he was wearing his LBS hoody at the tube and bumped into a manager of a Taiwanese multinational.

At the moment I just have one term left to enjoy this LBS student feeling. I think it will be summer before I realize and my adventures here will already be over. But, I am sure I will have the benefit of this WOW factor for the rest of my career!

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Halfway down the road!

Posted by: Peter

Our second term has already started a few weeks ago. Sorry, what did I say? Time goes so fast that we are already halfway our second term and thus exactly halfway our MiM experience! Very often when you reached the halfway milestone, the second half is gone before you realize. Think of eating a pizza, doing a project or packing out a present. Second halves seem to go faster. This gives me a big problem: there is still too much to do here!

In earlier blogs, we wrote about the endless opportunities, things to do and activities at London Business School. Of course we did learn to become more selective, you can’t do everything at the same time. But are we already used to everything here? And have we seen everything what is to do here? Is London Business School life already becoming a routine day-to-day activity? Definitely no! Still there are endless exiting new things to try out. Myself started to do martial arts (me and martial arts, try not to laugh please, the purpose is to make people afraid), I did a pro-bono consulting project (of course with amazing people, a former project manager of Accenture, someone from McKinsey and a executive MBA with many years of experience at Nokia, where else do you as a student get the chance to work with these people?) and I participated in a venture capital competition (ok, I admit we didn’t get through to the real competition, but still it was a learningful experience). Classmates of me are also doing exiting stuff, examples: starting social ventures, learning Chinese Mandarin, and training to run a marathon for charity. So life here still isn’t getting boring, I keep being surprised by everything and everyone.

Next week another exiting event: Business Immersion Week. A week full of company visits and presentations to find out how the business world works and what keeps businesses ‘tick’. This was the absolute highlight of the year according to last years students, so it promises to be an amazing week. With 22 presentations and company visits from some exiting organizations like the London Stock Exchange, Blackrock, BBC, McKinsey, BCG, KPMG, Johnson&Johnson and AB InBev. More about Business Immersion Week in my next blog. So keep following us!

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Yes! After our first term of hard work and busy life, we finally have our well deserved winter break. After our last exam, there was party all over the place. Now it is time to relax, celebrate Christmas, and do everything what does not cause stress. For us, life is like heaven right now.

Although, it should be like that. Most of MiMs planned to go back home for winter break. However, due to the snow, many students are stuck on Heathrow airport. So, in the first days of our wonderful Christmas break we spend our time on many hours of queuing, trying to get flight information and being desperate to rebook our flights. My facebook is overloaded by status updates of MiMs who are having trouble. Personally, I was lucky that I could get a 17.5 hours alternative bus trip to my home.

But what do you do when it is impossible to leave this city? Hanging out with friends! MiMs gather everywhere. We meet at Heathrow to share frustrations and getting flights or we just hang out in London. We go out for dinner together, make winter wonderland unsafe, go ice skating, and celebrate a classmates birthday. I even heard there was a `flight cancellation party´ organized by MiMs!

So, we make the best out of our extra time in London. But I hope all my classmates reach home on time. Being at home with Christmas, suddenly became a wonderful Christmas gift. Hope everyone enjoys their winter break and I am looking forward to two other great terms in the new year!

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The end of our first term at London Business School is moving extremely fast towards us. What are the MiMs doing right now? What makes them all so busy? The answer is… Deadlines!

The time that many students were stressing out for application deadlines is over now. They are patiently waiting for the replies of the companies and many of them are having interviews. Sounds like it’s all peace and quiet now and the calm life has taken over the MiMs again. Unfortunately, the end of the term means we have new deadlines. Where we used to have a study group assignment every one or two weeks, now all courses have several deadlines in the last few weeks. In the mean time, we should start thinking about our upcoming exams and of course don´t forget about our social activities.

So what are all students doing right now? Well, I think you can guess the answer… downstairs in the library you can see the study groups working on Financial Accounting, upstairs I am writing this blog post and everyone around me is writing their reports for Leadership in Organisations, and in the computer lab groups of MiMs are working on Management Analysis and Systems. Everywhere I am, I see MiMs working. Are they stressing? Not really actually. Can they still smile? Yes they can! Are they still friendly? Yes, friendly as always. They seem to be quite relaxed under the stress of all these deadlines. Ok, they have a serious look in their eyes, are more focussed and the deadlines require some more planning and organizational skills (especially in the study groups), but most of them are confident they will do the job.

And of course the question if the deadlines cause problems in learning for the exams. No they don’t! Although, I think they don’t. The assignments cover all topics we discussed in the lectures and therefore help in the preparation of the exams. We have to read a lot of the theory now and this saves work when learning the exams.

So, three weeks left before Christmas break. My schedule for these weeks: first week deadlines, second week free to prepare exams, third week making the exams. And then I’m going home to enjoy the break and I think I’m going to miss my fellow classmates…

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Running for careers

Posted by: Peter
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Last week you could see them running around in London… MiMs… Jobhunting MiMs. Dressed to impress and armed with their business cards they rushed from presentation to presentation and from company office to company office. Last week was Career Week. The opportunity for MiM students to meet companies, network with their representatives and see if you would like to work there.

If you think this was finally a peaceful week after the kick start of the programme, you’re wrong. Stress, hurry, networking and fun are the best way to describe this week. Personally, I went to many presentations to broaden my view of the job market. Don’t underestimate the planning skills this requires. I remember myself running out of the office of a large management consulting firm on friday morning to hurry into a black cab, pushing the cab driver to speed a bit more and arriving just in time for the next presentation at the office of a large investment bank where you really do not want to be late.

But the reward for all stressing was great. Some companies gave a top performance during their presentations and brought many of their people to meet and greet us. For us a very valuable opportunity to attack all representatives with all our questions about the company and their work and of course an ultimate chance to get an impression of the people working at the firms.

Now Career Week has ended we can continue our daily activities again. And of course stressing for the next step… application processes.

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Before I arrived at London Business School, I had one big question. What is that diversity they are mentioning so much on their website? What do they mean with it? What does it mean for me? How will this affect my study and study group? Well, now after a great Orientation Week and a few weeks of courses, I know the answer. Diversity is FANTASTIC!

The Oxford Dictionary describes diversity as “showing a great deal of variety”, I would say it is one of the greatest aspect of the Masters in Management programme. Of course the stats are great, a class of 142 with 39 nationalities and 89% of the students come from outside the UK, but being part of this group is even greater. For example, in my study group we are with six people from six different countries, together we speak eight languages (and one guy speaks five of them, respect for that!), we have lived in eight countries at four continents, and we all have different backgrounds regarding our undergrads and other experiences.

The great thing about this diversity is not only to hear fantastic stories of places where other people lived and to build a fantastic international network. We all have different background and different ways of thinking and understanding. This makes that we can really learn a lot of each other. In my study group, some assignments are terrible complicated for me, while others come up with the solution immediately. However, at other assignments I might have more knowledge so I can help them out of the trouble. Also we have different ways of working and solving problems which gives great discussions which improve the quality of our work. And of course, working with such different people is great for your team working skills.

So the diversity really adds something extra to the experience at London Business School. It enables us to learn a lot more from each other, build a broad network and improve interpersonal skills. So I look forward to working a lot with my fellow students in the rest of this year!

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