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My name is Stelios Fragos and I’m a 2nd year MBA student at London Business School. I am also part of the blogger team for GBE (MBA life is full of acronyms so bear with me). GBE stands for Global Business Experience, a unique and novel concept course, which was just introduced by LBS as part of its 2nd year curriculum.

LBS has been at the forefront of experiential learning, promoting it over recent years as a key aspect of the MBA experience. One of the key reasons I opted to attend LBS last fall was this revamped curriculum both on core and electives, with an increased focus on learning beyond the classroom through a number of courses and other activities (acronym alert):

Year 1:
-    Leadership Launch
-    GLAM (Global Leadership Assessment for Managers)
-    UGM (Understanding General Management)
-    London Talk series
-    LBE – London Business Experience
Year 2:
-    GBE – Global Business Experience
-    Capstone

All these initiatives focus on a number of different areas from self-development to real-life application of business concepts as well as networking. Capstone brings everything together, capping off an imitable experience.

So what is GBE really? To begin with it is a follow up to the first year LBE. So, back in April and May, the class of 2013, spent a day visiting various London based companies ranging from Chelsea Football Club, Fight for Peace, Saatchi and Saatchi, Bank of England, Citibank and London Metals Exchange. The goal was to learn from key internal stakeholders and work within groups to develop networks and increase our practical business outlook.  Similarly, the GBE is the global version of LBE extending over an entire week.

The GBE in a nutshell is the LBE on steroids. It begins with a trip to any of the five pre-determined destinations. This year the selected locations are Boston/New York, Hong Kong, Johannesburg, Istanbul and New Delhi. A jam-packed week of company visits (arranged both by LBS and by students), guest speakers, panels, workshops and faculty lectures.

The aim is to offer insights from alumni, industry officials and thought-leaders in these specific key regions through company visits, guest speakers, panels, workshops, faculty lectures, dinners and receptions.

So, I am writing this entry on the train heading to Boston, where my GBE starts. Excited? You bet. I get a chance to do in a week what others don’t do in months of networking at other top MBA schools. The focus of the Boston/New York GBE is on asset management. I will have the opportunity to sit down and discuss recent trends and industry developments with business leaders from across the industry, including from such reputable firms as KKR, Baupost Group, Fidelity, Loomis, General Atlantic, Old Mutual and Citigroup just to name a few. While in New York, we shall also make a pit stop at the New York Stock Exchange and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

To top it all off, LBS’ 8th Annual WAC (Worldwide Alumni Celebration) is taking place during my GBE. Over 100 events will take place globally on or around September 27th, where LBS alumni come together to hear faculty and business leaders and share perspectives. So, in a week from now I will get the chance to mingle with Sir Andrew, our New York and Boston Alumni, my fellow GBE-ers (70 in total) and hear Richard Portes, one of LBS’ renowned economists, speaking on the European crisis.

Surely though, critics may argue that there must be something that I do not like about the GBE. In all fairness, I do have a couple deliverables for the GBE, namely a presentation and a paper. But that’s not that bad considering that the professors teaching the course are two of the best at LBS. That’s right, not only do we get Richard Portes but we also get the one and only Anna Pavlova, who has been raking in teaching awards over the years at LBS.

Stay tuned for on the ground coverage of the GBE from Boston and New York.

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