Coming to the end of Year 1, there's a few things that might have been useful to know
1. Nobody knows each others grades and people are not interested
2. Almost everybody lives right next to school
3. You will spend a large percentage of your cash in the Windsor Pub
4. People will not leave NW1 that often
5. The football team is a good way to learn Spanish as it has so many latin americans
6. There are so many clubs to join you can really only have any meaningful impact in a couple
7. You really do have to sit in the same seat ever class
8. They really do give you free beer and wine every Thursday night
9. Some of the speakers on campus are amazing
10. Inter-business school competitions are as brilliant as they are unpublicised, definitely enter them
11. Most faculty and lots of students have studied in the USA so despite being in London, examples in class will all be US cetric and you will start refering to the Easter Holidays as Spring Break
12. Although you won't have that many hours of class, you will always feel pretty busy
13. it's hard, but not impossible to fail classes
14. you should take every waiver available to you
15. It's impossible for there to be a concensus, some people will love a particular class/professor, while others will hate them – Diversity!
16. If applying for an HSBC loan, bring every piece of ID you have ever had with you, in triplicate
One of the great things about LBS is all the top competitions we are invited to enter. The VCIC definitely falls into this category. The competition is all about real entrepreneurs, real ideas and real venture capitalists, more infrmation is on the link below:
In a nutshell it's like Dragons Den. We had to act as venture capitalists and had to meet with and assess four real life entrepreneurial ideas and then negotiate and strike a deal with one of them, all while beig evaluated by real venture capitalists. Fortunately for me, my team won the LBS round and we are now flying to New York for the next round, courtesy of Brown Rudnick, the US law firm who sponsor the competition.
Not only were we provided with a great day of learning and excellent feedback from the VC firms, but copious amounts of champagne and a number of upcoming lunches with the VC firms to help prepare us for the next round. As a team of five we are very much looking forward to the trip and a chance to prove LBS deserves its place as the world's number 1 MBA
To most people, The Egremont is the name of a quiet local pub in a seaside town in West Sussex, an hour south of London. This weekend however, the Egremont was the name chosen by my team, competing in the annual Chicago Booth IPO Challenge.
The competition involves receiving a case full of information at 4pm on Saturday and having 24 hours to put together a pitch book and then hopefully be selected for the final by a panel of judges in Chicago. Our team consisted of four mates from my stream and me and as per the rules, only two could have M&A experience. I can honestly say I have never learnt so much between the hours of 4pm and 2am on a saturday evening, and time has rarely gone so annoyingly quickly.
The competition underscores some real LBS MBA messages, one being that you do as much learning out of the classroom as you do in it….working alongside seasoned professionals who previously worked for top banks and consultancies was one of the best learning experiences I have had. Another is that if you get involved in things, the MBA is even more fun but there would be uproar if the faculty put on a 24h class, we find the 8.15 starts hard enough.
So, whilst the downside was missing X-Factor, the upsides far far far outweighed it…and we're being flown to Chicago for the final!
It's funny, at Admits Weeken in early June when the current students told me they went out more and drank more at LBS that they did during their Undergrad degrees, I smiled politely but inwardly worried about how much fun they had at their other Universities. I have to say one month in and I stand corrected. One of the best things about School so far is everyone's willingness to get together, to get to know each other and to make everyone feel welcome. Yes we are a diverse group, yes we are from different industries, countries and are of all ages but the one thing we have in common is the desire to meet new people.
Last night on my way to the gym I bumped into a Canadian engineer who suggested we pop to the Windsor for a quick pint….we were joined by a Thai diplomat and a French industrialist and we spent the next six hours drinking beers from Ireland, Germany and Italy….I didn't make it to the gym.
That aside we have done so many things from public speaking classes to CV workshops to networking drinks at the offices of one of the world's top tier banks that it's easy to forget about classes….but every time my alarm goes off at 6am I remember very quickly…