Posts Tagged ‘Career’
First I will introduce myself as this is my first post here: my name is Bruna, I am Brazilian and guess what… I was assigned to Stream B at LBS! I got a triple B here but still don’t know if the Program Office did it on purpose.
Before starting the MBA, especially after looking at the Programme Content, I had some expectations about how my student life would be. Some were totally mistaken and I’ll tell you all about this now.
1.Workload and Homework
Expectation: I knew the MBA was going to be busy with many different activities, but somehow we can’t really believe when others advise us… You look at the school website, the core courses and the program structure and it all seems totally manageable, totally fine! After all, we all had to work more than 10 hours a day, weekends and holidays occasionally. Of course, it takes some time to adapt to a new routine, but once it is established, I was sure it was going to be smooth.
Reality: Actually, there is no such thing as routine here! When you think you understood your weekly schedule, they just change everything on the next week. Thought I would never have classes at 8:15 in the morning, now I am having it for the next… well, have to check my schedule again. By the way, during the MBA you are going to say and hear this a lot! You are going to learn all about scheduling apps and methods to set up meetings. Get ready and find some space to install many apps in your mobile!
2. Corporate Finance classes
Expectation: I do not have a Finance background and I knew a lot of my classmates would be aiming to intern in Finance positions. This meant high-level Finance courses since the beginning, no surprise! I thought it would be very, very, very hard to follow the classes.
Reality: I just loved the Corporate Finance classes! And I also think my whole class fell in love with our teacher Anna Pavlova, who read a Finance poem in our first class and proved we can have some fun in class (not as much as in a beach drinking piña coladas, but still…). Not that the content is easy, but it is taught in a way that everybody learns it smoothly.
3. Non-traditional post-MBA career opportunities
Expectation: My initial post-MBA goal is to continue working in Tech and Telecom and I thought it would be very hard to find opportunities for MBAs outside of the traditional Finance and Consulting industries.
Reality: Turns out that not only Finance and Consulting companies are talking about technology, but also the Tech & Media Club is one of the most active professional clubs at LBS. We seriously believe David Morris does not sleep! We get at least 2-3 career opportunities a week from him. And there are also jobs and networking opportunities coming from so many other Clubs: Industry, Net Impact, Energy, Infrastructure & Construction, Sports Business, and many regional Clubs.
So, after all my research (I did a lot, believe me! Or look at GMAT Club and you’ll see it) before the MBA, I still had some wrong expectations. But it turns out to be really amazing and much better than I imagined! I am sure I did the right choice when I decided for LBS. I recommend you do a profound research and analyse how prepared you are before you start this journey. Then, just open your mind and dive into a new adventure.
Please leave any questions or comments bellow. I’ll be very happy to read and reply!
The last couple of weeks have been a bit more packed than usual for me. Lots of readings and assignments – as we approach the end of the second term for the September EMBAs – and a particularly demanding time for the team I work for as we are mid-way through a bid for the Scottish rail network. Some interesting things came to mind during this busy period.
First, I stumbled upon the blog of a full-time MBA student from Peru who wrote a short piece as a tribute to her grandfather – a giant of business in Peru – who had recently passed away. For those of you who speak Spanish find the link attached here. I was touched by what she wrote for a variety of reasons, one being that I am very close with my grandfather (who I send postcards every two months or so). I wanted to highlight two ideas from Lucia’s blog:
• She characterises her grandfather as a “Monday Person” – those who start every week with massive enthusiasm about their work and projects
• She emphasizes her grandfather’s love of his family and country.
When I think of my earlier post about a career worth having I see that I didn’t factor this into my decision making formulation. I thought briefly about this – while on the train to Glasgow – and I came up with some interesting ideas:
• To the extent that there are parts of my current job that I really like, I definitely couldn’t be described as someone with contagious enthusiasm for what I do. It’s scary to consider that the times when I’m more in flow happen when I am pivot tabling our performance data sets for analysis purposes!
• It’s clear that a commitment to something greater than oneself taps into a source of energy that I haven’t exploited yet.
I definitely need to do more detective work on my future career. Need to find this kind of passion. I’m really looking forward to the Entrepreneurship courses in the summer term as I have some business ideas – that I’ll share in due course – which I believe can take me in the right direction in years to come. Exciting times!
Second, at the start of the EMBA I decided to create some time to engage in volunteering activities. It’s unbelievable that it took me so long to get it done but yesterday I did! I went to a Fitzrovia Youth Action event organised by the LBS Volunteers Club. I was supposed to tutor a “class” of A-level business students and I was quite nervous about it. After being briefly trained by the FYA lady I stepped into an empty classroom and waited for the kids to come. We didn’t consider half-term though and the attendance rate is not exactly LBS-like, engagement is a big issue for this school. In the end I spent my time with the one kid that showed up. While solving a bakery P/L case study he shared some facts about his life. I couldn’t help think about the quote I dissected in my last post: “Fortune favours the bold”.
I will make this event a twice-a-month must for myself and would encourage other students to join. Maybe together we can change some initial conditions and shape some fortunes.
Ten students from across London Business School’s degree programmes were selected to attend the student-led trek, with a view to helping them understand the sector better, build connections in the Indian Private Equity (PE) space and explore future career opportunities. The trek was conceptualized and led by Manita Shinh, MBA2013, and was sponsored by the Private Equity and Venture Capital Club, the India Business Forum and Career Services. I was one of the trek members, and thought I’d quickly give you a download of what it was like to be a part of professional treks such as this.
The participants met with country managing partners and other senior professionals at KKR, Blackstone, Apax, Carlyle, Bain Capital, TPG, TA Associates, General Atlantic, Actis, 3i, Advent International, Warburg Pincus, Fidelity Growth Partners and Abraaj. Apart from the global majors, the participants also met with India focused funds such as Tano Capital, ICICI Ventures, Multiples and Faering Capital.
The trek was an opportunity to learn about the distinct investing styles of each of these funds both globally and in India. Practitioners shared their views of the macroeconomic environment, implications of the recently announced budget on the PE sector, their past and current focus investment areas, current trends and unique challenges and opportunities they were seeing in the space.
India is a growth equity market characterized by minority stakes, and it was interesting to hear from big buyout funds on their India strategy, as well as from those that had managed to close control based transactions in the market. Each fund took the time to explain their method of selecting investments and adding value, and many shared details of past investments to illustrate the same.
The Mumbai LBS Alumni Club scheduled Sundowners to coincide with the trek, and Thursday evening saw students mingle with alumni at Wink at the Taj. The event was made even more enjoyable with an exclusive wine-tasting conducted by the founder of Sula Vineyards. Apart from meeting alumni, the students also got the chance to interact with senior professionals from funds such as Tata Capital, Matrix Partners, Mumbai Angels and Kea Capital, who also attended the Sundowners.
Despite the hectic schedule that spanned meetings with 19 funds in five days, the participants had the chance to catch their breath, and a few drinks, at the famous Air bar at the Four Seasons, and enjoy some of the local cuisine between meetings.
Times are still tough for Financial Services. People on my course nervously check their blackberries, wondering if their roles are at risk. My own employer slashed 950 jobs in a country with population of 4mln last week, with my own role relocating back to London (FYI I moved out of London due to visa problems in January this year). I am happy of course – it will be the grand finale of my commuting, but for some this can be nerve-crashing and depressing. Many however admit, that being at the LBS and having access to its career services helps the medicine go down.
LBS career services transform even a small fish into an interview shark every big name recruiter would kill for, no matter if you are interested or not. The team has done it so many times that it’s obvious that they got their recipe right. So what’s on offer for the MiFs?
- Peer Leadership Programme aka PLP, runs all year round. Here second year MBAs from our dream jobs (which can be nothing else but PE/IB/AM or for the outside of the box dudes – consulting), informally look at your CV (“did your granny write this?”), CL (“do you really think being interested in soap operas gives you an edge?”) and advise on your seduction approach (“fuchsia is indeed a nice colour, but not for your three piece suit”). What I found most useful was the insight on the corporate culture of your dream employer, knowledge of which makes your application shine.
- Networking workshop – 3.5 hours of intensive training focused on increasing the likelihood of you being remembered and liked (added on LinkedIn), arousing genuine interest of people around you and key (LBS exclusive and very secret) skills on how to stand out or the crowd, including exercising with weights to make your smile last longer, practicing handshake specific for your career choice, effective elevator speech in parallel with 3 other people and, of cause, memory training oriented on memorizing 50+ phone numbers from the first attempt. (just joking, haven’t been to the session yet – its on Nov 5th)
- Guidance on how to write a CV, a CL, define your unique selling proposition and survive assessment centers. These are so thorough, that you will have to dedicate a full working week (think IB working hours) to ensure all the little (but very important) component are included. This is quite a dangerous exercise as it makes you fall in love with your CV so much, that you start quoting it to your friends and end up sending a copy to the Man Booker Prize competition.
- Finance one-to-one with Roger H. 30 minutes of coaching from a crème de la crème of the industry. Could be done over the phone. Having mine on the 10th, aaaaah…
- And finally there is Career Portal, where you can see job adds from all over the world (!!!). Tastes do differ but the portal caters for all shapes and sizes, with many positions looking specifically for LBS folk, without postings outside of the Portal. It also stores all the previous presentations made in the school, provides advice on visas (who needs those?) and supports you in negotiating your offer.
MiM2012 orientation was packed with useful career development programs, personal development programs, keynote speakers and of course, evenings at the Windsor. As I look back on orientation week, one message seems to really resonate….Network. Network. Network. And did I mention Network?!
During the first month at LBS I had the fortunate opportunity to hear successful networking stories that showcased the value of building long lasting professional connections. Whether you use networking as a form of job-hunting, a learning opportunity or making new friends, networking never fails to reap professional benefits. In the beginning I was hesitant to walk into a room of strangers in business suits and really put myself out there. However, as one of the keynote speakers so aptly put it, “just be yourself, but with skill”. Already, LBS has helped in harnessing my skills and clarifying the process of networking. I mean, that’s one of the great things about studying at LBS, there are infinite opportunities to make new connections, to hear about others’ experiences and to make valuable lifelong relationships that render beyond Nash lounge and Taunton library. I had the fortunate opportunity to speak with senior executives, managers, and recruiters across all industries including Johnson & Johnson, Accenture and Deloitte. And to think, the program has just begun!
I look forward to continuing to develop my networking skills, whether I’m at the Windsor this evening or the FINCO event later this week.