Posts Tagged ‘Clubs / Events’

At the end of each term I look at the data we collect through student activities.

Below, I’ve put together five quick summaries of some different ways of looking at club activities in the Autumn term.

Which clubs do you think are the best?

 

Top five clubs, by number of registrations to events:

Club RSVPs
Private Equity & Venture Capital 2001
Finance 1459
Industry 1270
Investment Management 1265
Consulting 1085

 

Top five clubs, with the highest % of alumni and executive students:

Club % of ‘exec’ RSVPs
Volleyball 44%
Sailing 40%
Poker 33%
Entrepreneurship 31%
Real Estate 31%

One of the advantages of LBS is the diversity of programmes. This table shows the % of registrations from alumni and our senior career students that are also often studying part-time: Sloan, EMBAs, MiF PT and Executive Education programmes.

Simply put, if you’re an MBA and want to connect with the members of our community who are most likely to be able to help find you a job, it may be time to start learning volleyball…

 

Top five clubs, with the highest ratings for networking:

Clubs Networking rating
Military in Business 4.8
Women in Business 4.5
Energy 4.4
Healthcare 4.4
Finance 4.3

We asked students to rate whether the Professional Interest Clubs had helped them ‘connect with people and businesses relevant to their future career’.

5 = Strongly agree; 3 = neither agree/disagree; 1 = Strongly disagree

 

Top five clubs, with the highest ratings for learning:

Clubs Rating for learning
Military in Business 4.4
Finance 4.4
Energy 4.3
Industry 4.3
Net Impact 4.3

We asked students to rate whether the Professional Interest Clubs had helped them ‘gain knowledge and/or skills relevant to their future career’.

5 = Strongly agree; 3 = neither agree/disagree; 1 = Strongly disagree

 

Top five clubs, which send emails their members actually read:

Clubs % emails opened
Women’s Touch Rugby 71
Nordic 70
Women’s Football 67
Military in Business 66
Snow 59

 

A big thank you to all our club leaders and officers who make LBS such a vibrant community! If you want to find out more about any of the clubs, have a look at: clubs.london.edu/groups

 

Jon Conradi
Senior Student Activities Manager
Degree Programmes Office

 

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Today I submitted my last take home exam and officially reached the end of my first term at LBS. Thought it might be a good time as any to look back on all that has happened since first I set foot on campus in August.

In the first month, there was a flurry of activities hosted by the school’s Career Services team, which very much took me by surprise, since according to my logic, the job is rather supposed to follow the education and not the other way round. Anyhow, it was a pleasant surprise, because the Career Services team are full of wonderful people and all of us MiFs love them very much. Thanks to their effort, by the 3rd week of September, I was the owner of:

  • A flawlessly written, challenge-action-result structured, beautiful, one-page CV
  • The ability to produce a perfect cover letter for any company, any job, within the hour
  • A range of impressive skills to deal with the most challenging of interviews
  • A new and much improved LinkedIn profile (yes friends, at LBS, you do get help with LinkedIn)
  • Solid networking techniques which transformed me from a socially awkward penguin into an acceptably effective networker (if this result seems somewhat lackluster compared to the rest, it was by no means Career Services’ fault, as I said, I was a penguin)
  • The beginning, and the knowledge to duly figure out the rest, of an answer to the question “is it for me?” with regards to a wide selection of industries
  • An ambitious yet plausible career plan, with a plan A and a plan B and room in the back for plan C

The 3rd week of September also marked the beginning of a series of on campus recruitment (OCR) events, where representatives from a long list of prestigious firms showed up to convince us students they would be the perfect employer, and in turns, we got the chance to exercise our newly developed networking techniques in an attempt to impress them as potential employees. It was an exciting period, and in case you are a sponsored student who does not need to look for a job after graduation (lucky you!), you can still enjoy yourself by sitting back and admiring the air of utmost professionalism and urgency as your classmates dashed from lecture theaters to company presentations to drink receptions, all in their best suits.

Around the time the OCRs were going on, the many student clubs at LBS also started kicking off their agenda for the new school year. The first order of business is usually a session to introduce the club to the new students, which doubles up as a call for applications to the executive committee. The Student Association Autumn Elections and the search for Student Ambassadors are both on the way during late September too, so if you are an aspiring student leader, this is your turn on stage. I myself managed to get away quite well with this period, securing a post in the executive committee of the LBS Industry Club. For your information, the Industry Club is one of the biggest clubs on campus. Our mission is to help people figure out whether a corporate career is ideal for them and if it is, how to land yourself the job. During Autumn term, our agenda centered on the highly popular “What is…?” series, weekly events where we brought in industry experts to satisfy any questions you might have about a plethora of industries and corporate functions. (Sorry for the PR, just thought I should do my duty as VP Marketing of the Club.)

Before you become overly concerned, allow me to confirm that yes, we did our fair share of study this first term too. The term began with 2 preparatory courses in accounting and data analytics (you can get exempted from any or both if you have a professional accounting certification or/and demonstrable knowledge of statistics). Then there were the 4 core courses: Personal Assessment and Development, Investments, Financial Accounting and Analysis, and Corporate Finance and Valuation. With the exception of Investments, which leaned a bit more to the technical side, all the courses were mostly case study-based, the result being that lectures more often than not resembled open floor discussions. The MiF’s diversity assured that no matter the case, there were always at least 3 experts on the subjects to keep the debate heated. Another exceptionally fine feature of the MiF that I have come to appreciate was the fact that whenever a professor asked “Is there anyone here from xxx country?”, almost 100% of the time the answer would be yes. Cheers for the amazing 42 countries represented in our class this year!

Group assignment was an important component in any courses, so we spent a lot of time with our study group (which we were randomly assigned to, and remained the same for all core courses). My study group is one Australian/New Zealander short of representing all the world’s populated continents (Antarctica does not count), and no one used to work in the same industry as any other, so you can imagine the “fun” we had trying to resolve all the (friendly) arguments. That said, we somehow grew so close as a group that when we submitted our last assignment, everyone got so emotional I swear I was able to detect some teary eyes here or there.

In the first weeks of December, up to our choice of electives, we can take 1 or 2 block-week courses to wrap up Autumn term. These block weeks were quite intensive since the format means that we complete an elective during a single week. I chose to take Strategy for MiFs during the first block week (and skipped the second week in favor of a trip to Edinburgh, but pray do not let my laziness get to you). Strategy turned out to be my favorite course of the whole term. My classmates were of the opinion that I liked Strategy so much simply because all the case studies happened to be about my favorite things: coffee, luxury watches, books and fashion, not to mention the simulation game at the end of the week, which involved us acting as managers for football teams. However, I would maintain that the numerous theories of strategy we were taught were equally enjoyable.

I think it would be apt to end this post by showing you the bottle of champagne our group won for arriving at first place in the mentioned strategy simulation game. Our lecturer professor Ioannou specially warned me not to show the world how at LBS we talked about sports and brought alcohol to lecture theaters, so naturally I feel obliged to do exactly that.

Champagne

Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday to everyone. Do feel free to drop me a line if you have any questions about life at LBS.

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Many university club events are just about having fun. Deciding whether to take part is pretty simple.

Business school clubs provide a breadth and depth of professional activities such as speaker events, competitions, career treks, conferences and leadership positions. This can make it more difficult to decide what to get involved in.

How do I make the most out of these opportunities? What will I learn? What are the networking opportunities? How do I avoid missing out whilst not spreading myself too thin? What should I put on my CV?

 

My advice – as the Senior Student Activities Manager at LBS - would be to treat them as part of your professional development and take a structured approach:

 

Step 1 – Frame

Think about your long-term career aims, what gaps are there between where you are now and where you want to be? How could extra-curricular activity help?

Link this to the advice from Career Services and Organisational Behaviour Courses.

As an example, these slides are from a presentation by Professor Margaret Ormiston on how to use club leadership as a personal development opportunity:

(link: http://www.slideshare.net/londonbusinessschool/incoming-leaders)

 

Step 2 – Explore and develop

There are a huge amount of club events – you will regularly have to choose between different activities.  Actively assess their relevance to you and what you’re trying to achieve, don’t just follow the crowd.

Ask yourself – How will the activity help me develop relevant skills, expertise, networks? How do they help me find out more about areas that interest me?

Establish one or two tangible outcomes that you would aim to get out of each event e.g. a new contact or an alumni’s perspective on a business you’re considering joining.

Student leadership roles can also provide a relatively safe environment to practise particular skills or try out new ways of leading.

 

Step 3 – Demonstrate

Club activity isn’t going to help your CV!

Once you’re in business school, your club involvement is unlikely to make much difference to your CV.

To illustrate this, a few years ago we analysed CV submissions to consultancy firms to see if different content changed the likelihood of being invited to interviews. We found there was no statistically significant benefit to putting student leadership roles on CVs.

Instead, think about how you could talk about your different activities in interviews.

Think about what your club involvement says about your willingness to contribute to the community you’re in, how it shows passion for your area of business, how you have been able to use contacts that will be valuable in your future role.

Specific experiences may also help complement your business experience. For example, club leaders often have plenty of examples of how they’ve been able to motivate others or resolve conflicts. They can also provide ‘safe’ examples of failure and learning.

 

Step 4 – Reflect

Periodically, take time to reflect: What have you learnt? Do you need to reassess your involvement? Are you now able to focus on a narrower range of businesses or opportunities?

Talk to your peers and compare what you’re getting from these activities. Peer-to-peer coaching can also be a valuable tool – now is a great time to practise: https://hbr.org/2010/02/cultivate-your-coaching-networ-2/

Take time every few weeks to reflect on what you’re learning through student activities and go through these steps again.

 

 

To give some examples here are a selection of some of the great learning opportunities through student-led activities at London Business School:

 

-          Practise stock picking (and presenting your picks)

-          Student leadership as a way to practise ‘delivering through others’

-          Get involved in the TELL Series to hear entrepreneurial success stories first-hand and help find and select inspiring founders

-          Take part in the Global Social Venture Competition to test your business idea:

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Our student-led conferences are back!

This year’s events begin with the China Business Forum on 18 October, so I thought this would be a good opportunity to talk about the award for best student-led event.

I am Jon, the Senior Student Activities Manager at the School, and my team helps support the multitude of professional student-led clubs and events that are such a prominent part of student life here at London Business School. Last year was the second year that I ran club awards for the autumn and spring terms. At the end of each academic year I also look back at the best student-led event of the year.

While there are always incredible cultural trips and a constant stream of high quality career treks, I tend to be most interested in our student-led conferences. These present some of the best student-led activities in terms of enhancing students’ professional development and raising the profile of our brand. They are also a great way for the conference team to practise leadership skills and learn more about their sector.

Last year we had our first ‘perfect’ conference according to feedback from attendees*; we also saw our first examples of our conferences making it into international press (e.g. the Asset Management Conference ). Several other conferences also raised their profile and it was great to see an improvement overall (on an already high standard). The best events tended to be those that concentrated on what an attendee gains from the event rather than making the event ‘bigger’:

Conferences 2013-14 2012-13
Number of conferences surveying their attendees 17 13
Average score 4.4 / 5 4.2 / 5
% positively recommending 93% 86%
 Approximate number of attendees  2000  1800

More details on the conference surveys below*

 

My shortlist of the best conferences of 2013-14

This is from a combination of survey results, feedback from attendees and colleagues and from working with the teams:

 

Africa Business Summit (Summer 2014)
Beyond the hype: The not-for-tourists guide to investing in Africa

This was arguably our most professional event and was on an impressive scale: 45 speakers, sold out with 350 attendees (the majority external guests), over 20 sponsors and partners, moderated by a CNN business correspondent (Zain Asher), the most social media engagement of any of our events and they also launched an entrepreneurship competition.

This conference, more than any other I’ve seen, highlighted the hard-work, determination and ability of its organisers and the club’s presidents – it was a year in the planning and excelled across all areas.

If you aren’t currently thinking about doing business in Africa this conference (and the club itself) will change your mind.

 

eurOUT (Autumn 2013)
the premier conference for LGBT MBA students and alumni from European schools

The team had an incredible focus on their attendees and built a programme with a carefully judged mix of talks, panels, networking and social events to ensure attendees gained maximum value from the event.

They secured sponsorship and speakers from some of the companies that our students most want to hear from and work for (e.g. McKinsey & Co, BCG, IBM, Microsoft, Google, Accenture, Unilever, American Express, Barclays, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, General Mills). They also successfully involved faculty to share our thought leadership and alumni to keep our whole community engaged.

I thought their overall survey score of 100% recommendations and 4.9/5 would be the highest any conference would ever achieve…

 

Family Business Summit (Summer 2014)
Conversations on Family Business

Our first ‘perfect’ conference according to feedback from attendees: All survey respondents ‘strongly agreed’ that they would recommend this event to current/future colleagues.

I also shortlisted this event last year for the same reasons – they keep it small, maximise interactions between guests and speakers and run workshops to go into depth and ensure attendees get the most out of the event.

 

The Women in Business Summit (Spring 2014)
Sprints & Marathons: The Sustainable Career

A super slick and inspirational event which wowed attendees and those involved in helping support the event – I still am receiving positive feedback from colleagues who attended and worked with the conference team.

The club and School launched a survey at the event that was picked up across press and media

Engaging speakers, packed venue and an enthusiastic audience – watch highlights here

 

 

 

The winner…

A tough choice but I decided to give the award to the eurOUT conference.

All of the shortlisted events (and many of the others not shortlisted) were exceptional. In my opinion the eurOUT conference edged ahead of the others by striving and succeeding in making a meaningful impact on their attendees’ professional development. Congratulations to the club and to the organisers. And good luck for this year’s event!

 

 

—-

*The conference survey-

The main question I ask is whether the attendee would ‘recommend the event to current/future colleagues’: 1=Strongly disagree; 5=Strongly agree.

I ask all conferences to gain responses from at least 10% of their attendees to be included. Note that we don’t include TEDxLondonBusinessSchool in this as they run an independent survey through TEDx – although arguably they are one of our most successful conferences. I will feature them separately later this year.

The full breakdown of scores:

Name Survey score
% recommending
Africa Business Summit 4.5 89
Art Investment 3.7 84
Asia Business Forum 4.3 94
Asset Management 4.3 92
Corporate Sustainability 4.4 89
eCommerce 4.4 93
Energy 4.2 81
Family Business 5 100
Healthcare 4.1 82
India Business Forum 4.5 93
Latam 4.6 100
Middle East 4.5 94
Out in Business 4.9 100
Private Equity 4.2 84
Real Estate 4.4 95
Tech Media 4.4 88
Women in Business 4.6 93

 

Thank you for reading!

Jon Conradi
Senior Student Activities Manager
Degree Programmes Office

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Global_sports_symposium_LogoThis summer a new conference will be gracing our diaries, The Global Sports Symposium. The Global Sports Symposium, which is being presented by the same team behind the US-based Ivy Sports Symposium (Sports Symposium, Inc.), this student-run event, will bring together the leading decision-makers of the industry for a day of networking, discourse and learning.  The organization is excited to be expanding internationally by hosting the first GSS in partnership with Arsenal FC and Emirates Stadium.

This year not only is it the first event outside the US, but there is a dedicated Career Workshop, We have partnered with GlobalSportsJobs on the Careers Workshop, “Supercharge Your Career in Sports – Powered by GlobalSportsJobs”. Where you can learn from those who have made it in the industry.

 

There are over 30 speakers, 6 panels and 2 workshops. To name just a few of the confirmed speakers we have:

  • Mark Lamping (Jacksonville Jaguars, President)
  • Michael Cunnah (iSportConnect, Executive)
  • Tom Fox               (Arsenal FC, Chief Commercial Officer)
  • Charles Baker    (DLA Piper, Partner)
  • Abeed Janmohamed      (RadiumOne, Commercial Director Europe)
  • Jim O’Toole        (London Irish Rugby Club, Commercial Director)
  • Paul Bell              (Leeds United, Commercial Director)
  • Jeff Bennet        (Raptor Sports Properties, LLC, Chief Executive Officer)
  • Lucien Boyer      (Havas SE, President and Global CEO)
  • Matt Rogan        (Two Circles, Managing Director)
  • Russell Stopford (Perform, Director of Product Development)
  • Adam Paker       (Commonwealth Games England (CGE), Chief Executive)
  • Ameesh Manek                (England Basketball, Director)
  • Glenn Lovett     (Repucom, Senior Management)
  • Phil Carling         (Octagon (UK), Head of Football)
  • Bob Reeves        (Rugby Football Union, President)

 

The Sports Symposium has traditionally welcomed student attendees from over 60 colleges and universities and professional delegates from a wide range of companies.  Its intimate setting combined with engaging content and dynamic speakers have made it a “must attend” event every year; we are certain that the same successes will be met during our first global conference.

How will you benefit from attending whilst studying?

  • There is a very generous student discount!
  • You will gain a unrivalled knowledge of the sports business industry
  • Network opportunities! Meet your idols in the sports business industry
  • A Career workshop “Supercharge Your Career in Sports – Powered by GlobalSportsJobs” – A chance to talk directly with and have your questions answered by young professionals across a breadth of industries within sport.
  • Free goodies- Including breakfast and lunch!

 

The Sports Symposium is dedicated to helping students and those new to the sports business industry, by providing opportunities to network with top level executives, creating career workshops and offer industry insights.The symposium promises to bring a 360 degree view of the Sports Business world, with talks and panels representing all aspects of the business. However, it comes with a nice twist as it’s aimed at both seasoned professionals and those who want to enter the business.

“Throughout the planning process the student-run team has received positive feedback from the industry leaders it has reached out to.  We believe this is a testament to the US-based Ivy Sports Symposium that has attracted top industry names over the course of its eight-year history. We are expecting similar successes for this first event in the UK and continue to get excited as we move forward with our planning.”

Harriet Thayer, 2014 Global Sports Symposium Co-Chair

The 1st annual Global Sports Symposium (“GSS”) takes place on Thursday, May 15, 2014 at Emirates Stadium in London. The registration page can be accessed from our site: http://www.sportssymposium.org or here.

We hope that you share our enthusiasm for the 2014 Global Sports Symposium and that you will be able to join us and help spread the word.  If you need an extra push to take the leap and attend these events read: 10 Reasons Why Uni Students Should Attend Conferences.

Follow us on Twitter @SportsSymposium and our dedicated hash tag #GSS2014, to keep up to date with The Global Sports Symposium.

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The final term of our degree at London Business School is already here! The MIM’s are back on the London Business School campus for the last time, with new study groups and some spectacular weather. It was really nice to see our classmates again and learn about where they had travelled to during the break.

We have just finished our first week of classes, owing to a Bank Holiday weekend for Easter. Our classes for this term include Strategic Analysis taught by Chris Coleridge, Entrepreneurial Management taught by Ben Hallen, Applied Microeconomics and Management Accounting. In particular, the Discovery Project assignment in our Entrepreneurial Management class is going to be one of the highlights of our term, as we will work in our study groups to present a 3-D physical prototype of our solutions to customer problems in a trade show. Various members of the schools network will attend this show to share their opinions about our solutions.

We also have several events and guest speaker series taking place this term. The Family Business Club has Alex Sharpe and Peter Leach speaking about the challenges and opportunities of working in a family business, whilst the Industry and Marketing Clubs have invited Laurent Philippe from Proctor and Gamble to give us insights about P&G’s strategy to build winning brand equities.

Finally, the MIM’s are also looking forward to the GIFTS Trips for the term, to Stockholm, Madrid and Paris. I’m really looking forward to going to Paris, as the focus on the trip is “customer experience” and we will be visiting the offices of Disneyland and Hermes. Overall, I have had an amazing experience and I couldn’t have asked for a better way to finish my final term at London Business School!

 

 

 

 

 

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Almost two years ago I started my MBA. The application process for it started a year or so before that. I remember being bewildered by the number of business schools to choose from and that, aside from location and their ranking, they all seemed pretty much the same. Students and alumni at every school claimed they were amongst the best for reputation, for recruiting, and for academics. And to an extent these claims were all true.

But that didn’t help me narrow down my application list. Instead, my application short list was based largely on the impression made by the wholly unrepresentative sample of students and alumni that I met from each of these schools. It seemed like the best method at the time.

With hindsight, now I can confirm that, yes, the top schools are all very similar on the surface. But with a little digging it’s possible to find a large number of differences between business schools. Those differences may be small things like whether a school hosts free drinks each week or how you select your electives. As you add up all these differences though and then compare schools, you’ll definitely see distinct pictures of the schools emerge.

Why should you care? The first reason is that you’ll likely be studying there for two years. That’s a decent chunk of time so it’s in your interest to find the place best suited for you. That can be hard; you may not know what is ‘best’ for you now. Also, chances are that if you enjoy business school at one place, you would probably fit in and be happy at another school too. But still, the little things can make the difference between a good time and a great time.

The second reason, and arguably more important (or at least more Machiavellian), is that it will help with your application to that school. If you have a good knowledge of what really sets that business school apart, that will impress in your essays and application.

So what actually are the differences between the top business schools? You could ask questions like ‘What’s the best thing about this school?’ or ‘What’s the worst thing?’ Boring! I often asked these types of questions and I would get similar responses at whatever school I visited. But I want to make life easier for you. Here’s where I’ve observed some big differences between top business schools. It would be in your interest to think about and learn the answers to these questions before applying to your chosen business schools.

Academics

Is the school better at any particular subject area?
Every business school offers courses across every subject area. But some schools excel at certain areas. Kellogg is known for marketing, LBS is known for finance. In these departments at these schools, you’ll likely benefit from better professors; more elective options; and access to influential outside speakers. You may not necessarily improve your employment prospects in these fields (nor harm them in others), but it could mean you get a far better education in these subject areas. The subsequent benefit being that you become more knowledgeable and better connected than your peers at other business schools in that subject area.

How rigorous are the classes and how many hours outside of class are required?
Some schools have a higher workload than others. This can also vary within subject areas at a school, for example, finance courses may require more outside work than marketing courses. Academic rigour is good, but if you’re constantly hitting the books in the library, when do you get to take part in clubs, socialise with classmates, and search for the post-MBA job? There is more to the MBA than just the academics.

A word of caution: it’s a universal truth that the workload of MBA students initially is high, so making a comparison against the first semester won’t be useful. Instead, ask about the workload after the first semester or after the first year.

How many core classes are required?
Some schools require you to take a prescribed list of classes in your first year, with little exception. Others provide you with more flexibility. If you’re looking for a well-rounded learning experience, the former is good. But if you want to become an operations management guru, you may want the latter so that you can skip straight to the electives that matter.

Are their streams/sections/cohorts? How are they chosen? How do people interact and socialise within the sections and between sections?
Most business schools have some concept of a section: a group of 60-90 students you do the majority of your classes with. Usually schools try and create a mini version of the United Nations by amassing a variety of nationalities and professions. The personalities of sections even with a school can vary significantly, so what you hear from current students may not be reflective of your own experience. But nevertheless, find out whether people enjoyed it.

Are there study groups? Do they matter?
Some schools place you into a study group that you keep for your entire first year. These are an even smaller cross-section of your stream. Other schools change study groups every semester or even in every course. There are tradeoffs between the two approaches: the same study group for the entire year can lead to great friendships, it’s also easier to share the workload around. On the otherhand, you miss out on working with a greater variety of personality types and may miss out on friendships being formed.

Some schools have courses where a large percentage of your grade is based on work you do as a study group. At other schools it’s just an informal group for discussing the classwork. Think about which you prefer and find out which approach your business school takes.

Are there any unique requirements?
LBS and INSEAD both require you to learn a second or third language. Some schools have components that require you to study overseas for a week as an international business experience. Is this something you want? Or is it an unnecessary burden for you?

What are the campus facilities like?
Places like Columbia, NYU and LBS are in the heart of major cities. It’s a great experience being in New York and London, but it comes with the concession of being constrained by space. Some schools also share their facilities with undergrad students. Does that then mean it becomes a challenge to find a desk or study room in the library? Or perhaps the bench press in the gym is always in use.

How are electives allocated?
Some business schools have a bidding system, at others you must rank your preferred courses, others still probably leave it to some mystic incantations to determine which courses you’re allocated. It’s important to know how courses are allocated to better understand whether you’ll be able to get on the courses you want.

Who are the good professors and will I be able to study with them?
Every business school has its rockstar professors who feature on various top lists. Chances are you want to take a course offered by one of these professors. But will you be able to? Some of these professors only teach to the Executive MBAs, or teach at a satellite campus on the other side of the globe, or they only teach once a year (which may then clash with your overseas exchange/extended internship/beach holiday). Even if you overcome those hurdles, can you then get on the course (see previous question)? In short, if there is a particular professor you want to study under, find out how easy it is to take their courses.

Clubs

What clubs are on campus?
Clubs are a great way to learn and extend your ability in both professional and social pursuits. If you’re founding a startup, get involved with the tech and entrepreneur clubs, or if you want to become a consultant, join the consulting club. They’ll help you immensely move ahead in your chosen industry. They’re also a fantastic way to meet people and have fun. I immensely enjoyed my two years as part of the rugby club.

Of course, if a club isn’t on campus, you could always start one and you’ll certainly gain some great skills in doing so, but those skills may be more in organisation and admin than in the actual industry, sport or hobby.

Which ones are active? In what way are they active?
Even if a club exists on campus, how active is it? If they’re only organising activities or meeting once a semester, it’s not going to be a great place to meet people and develop new skills or have fun. On the otherhand, an active club is a fantastic way to meet new classmates, network with alumni and learn about an industry or have fun taking part in a sport or hobby. Also find out what the club does, for example, if it’s the media club, do they just organise a yearly conference and a trek somewhere, or do they also organise more regular events.

Are there fees for joining or attending events?
Some clubs charge membership fees for covering their costs. These can sometimes be in excess of $200 per club, especially for sports clubs. Sometimes clubs may charge to attend visiting speakers on campus. I would say that almost always it’s worth whatever the club is asking. But perhaps those fees are the difference between exploring an area you’re vaguely interested in, and not.

Extracurricular

Can I go on exchange or study overseas?
There are many benefits to studying in another location and many schools provide that opportunity. Some schools offer exchanges to other business schools around the world: LBS students can go on exchange to over 30 partner schools. Other schools offer the opportunity to study at satellite campuses around the world: INSEAD students often split their time between France and Singapore campuses.

Where can I go? How likely is it that I will get to go to my desired place?
If it’s an important factor being able to study away from the main business school campus, you want to find out how easy it is to take advantage of that opportunity. Exchange schools may only have one or two places available to students from your business school and these may been hotly sought after by your fellow classmates. Is the decision based on grades, essays, interviews, or something else? Imagine the disappointment if you select a business school for its exchange programme, only to then discover that you can’t go to your desired place.

Are there weekly drinks?
I think weekly drinks are universally offered at business schools around the world. They’re a great focal point for your class to come together and catch up with people you haven’t seen during the last week (or longer). Often students from different programmes attend, often faculty attend as well, so it can be a great place to meet new and interesting people. But not all drinks sessions are created equal. Ask if many people attend these. And ask if they cost to attend (some charge a fee per semester or year).

What treks are typically offered? Will they break the bank?
MBA students love treks. What is a trek? It’s a fancy word for a trip and they broadly fall into two categories: business treks and social treks. Business treks usually focus on visiting companies in certain industries, for example to New York for finance, Silicon Valley for technology, or Paris for luxury goods. Whereas social treks are about experiencing a new place and socialising with your classmates. Often classmates from the country you’re visiting organise the social treks; it’s a special experience travelling with friends who know all the hot spots to visit!

Treks are a great eye-opening experience and were one of my favourite things at business school. Some treks are generally offered every year, but some only take place when someone can be organised enough. Ask where the most popular treks go (perhaps start planning your holidays now?). Ask how tough it is to get a place on them (there is sometimes a cap, especially on business treks). And ask how much more they’re going to send you into debt. On second thought, you may not want to know.

Jobs

Do the employers I want to hire me recruit from this school?
Don’t take it for granted. I heard of one top consulting company not recruiting from a top US school for a number of years after a certain incident. Also, some locations are better at recruiting for certain industries, for example, the percentage of graduates going into the tech sector from Stanford and Berkeley is much higher than most other MBA schools.

How many people have those employers historically taken? How does that compare with other schools?
One school may have 10 graduates hired each year from a certain company. If this is the company you want to work for, then this may sound great. But ask at another school and you may find 20 were hired from there. Potentially this means that the company has a preference for hiring from the second school and you may be better off there. But you need to look beyond just the base numbers. Take into consideration the class sise. Also, how many of those 20 hires are returning employees? If most of them are returning, maybe the better school for you is the one that only had 10 graduates hired. But take all of this with a grain of salt, as company preferences and hiring tendencies can change from year to year.

How good is the Career Services department at finding potential jobs for you?
There’s many ways to find a job, but one of the fastest and easiest is when your Career Services department is able to get companies recruiting at school and advertising directly on your school website. If the Career Services department is good at this, it may indicate those companies have a preference for hiring candidates from your school.

How good is the Career Services department at preparing you for interviews and jobs?
Good Career Services departments will also run a range of other activities and workshops to help prepare you for your interviews and jobs. These could be: networking and information sessions with companies; help with preparing your resume; practice interviews; practice case studies; practical skills for when you start your internship. Make sure to ask about what the Career Services department does to help students and also ask whether students got any benefit from it.

Other

Do you want to live in that city?
For me, this is one of the most important factors in choosing a school. Perhaps the most important. Your school’s city or town is where you’re going to live for the next two years. Perhaps you want the restaurants, nightclubs, and everything else that the big cities offer. Or maybe you’re happy living amongst the trees in New England.

The location of your school will also likely determine where your post-MBA job is: a West Coast school will get you a West Coast job; an East Coast school gets you an East Coast job; and a European school most likely gets you a European job. This is because it’s much easier networking and interviewing with employers when you’re in the same location. This is obvious if you’re in different countries. But you could be surprised by the difference even between New York and Philadelphia if you’re looking to find a job in New York. It’s much easier and cheaper catching the subway than catching a train from Philadelphia for a coffee chat in Manhattan.

Does the school provide much financial help?
An MBA is a big financial investment and often you’re going to need financial help to pay for it. To what extent does your school help you? It may be that they have a large endowment and most students are provided some sort of scholarship. Or maybe the school has partnerships with banks or other institutions to offer you loans. Not all schools are able to offer this financial support, so if it’s important to you, make sure to ask.

Conclusion

There are no doubt many more questions you could ask to learn more about the differences between business schools. In fact, comment below on what other differences you’ve discovered.

Now that you have a better understanding of where the differences, my final advice is to dig deeper and find what makes your potential business schools different from each other. It’ll stand you in good stead for your application and to have a great time doing your MBA.

Follow me on Twitter at @jrjclark

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The LBS India Social Trek 2013

Posted by: Sarfraz
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I had written this blog at an altitude of 40,000 feet as I flew back to London after covering more than 4000 kms across 6 cities on completing the great LBS India Social trek 2013. Treks are an amazing opportunity at LBS to explore new places, cultures, make new friends and last but not the least to broaden your horizons. The leisure ones meant for pure touristy purposes are usually organized by the respective country’s student clubs, like for example the India club organized the LBS India Social trek.

35 India enthusiasts signed up for the trek including LBS students across programs and some partners, for most of us it was going to be the first time in India and the excitement and expectations were obvious. Some of us knew each other from before but with others being an LBS student was the only common link. The 13 days changed that of course, almost …

It was an amazing mix of camaraderie, fun and scoring many firsts… some played Holi, the Indian festival of colors for the first time, some took a bath from a bucket for the first time, some enjoyed (almost) the hospitality of Indian railways for the first time and for me I zip lined for the first time.  In short we had an amazing set of experiences, some good others not so good yet if I may generalize on behalf of everyone, a very fulfilling and enriching experience.

We zipped through the Indian diversity travelling across eclecticism of Delhi to history of Agra, to grandeur and sands of Jodhpur, the happening nightlife of Mumbai, to serenity of Kerala backwaters and finally topping it up with sun soaking beaches of Goa. Navigating our way through using all modes of transport including planes, buses, trains, tuk tuks, taxis and yes, even a Mumbai local.

Net result – Am amazing experience, long lasting memories and 40 new friends on facebook (including the amazing trip organizers, a crazy bunch of travel enthusiasts, aptly calling themselves white collar hippies).

As we relax after the travel, some fellow travellers have set their eyes on the next destination, even while some have already left for newer destinations – kudos to them !!

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MBA Sailing

Posted by: Inna Leontenkova

Prologue (skip unless you and I are acquainted):
The time since I last posted something was somewhat elongated – but not because of me moving country, changing jobs, pouring drinks at the Sundowners. I just could not determine how to better address a subject quite imperative to me – sailing – a very atypical setting for my decisive self. Apologies. The pressure was high as I hoped to paint the world of sailing through the lens I saw it and emphasize how much LBS has refined it (aka “sailing is awesome” and “LBS rocks”). Below is the best I could conjure up – hope my crew will share this view and that it’s not too “heavy” for a bubbly business school blog.

Mark Twain had said something most of us heard and what had been supposedly considered the “stay hungry, stay foolish” of the past: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.” A funny thing is that not many realise that this is not where this motivating passage ends. Apparently Mr. Twain went on with “So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Drea­m. Discover.” One of the biggest creative titans used sailing as a metaphor to inspire your behind out of the comfort zone, to create, risk, soak in what life has to offer!!! There must be a good reason to it.

This is all very nice – says my loyal reader – but what does it all have to do with a Business School? I tell you: a business can be compared to a ship (I am all about metaphors today). CEO is the captain who usually goes down with it in case of hitting an “iceberg”. Senior management and yacht racing crews share many job descriptions (strategist, tactician, navigator), for many of which you need specific qualifications from Royal Yachting Association and the like (think CFA, ACCA, MBA). Each specific type of a ship is different (here come the industry specifics); and sailing in different waters around the globe might affect your strategic set up e.g. due to tides (similar to cultural differences in markets); the list can go on. What I am trying to imply here is that a good sailor would make a good entrepreneur and vice versa. There are obviously exceptions to every rule, but when my billion-dollar idea comes to me – the first person I call will be someone from the sailing club.

And finally, sailing is one of the most social sports where your inter-personal skills are being truly challenged as you work-eat-sleep in a closed up space with the same bunch of a crew for days or even weeks in a row. For me that resulted in angelic temper (OK I am exaggerating a teeny-tiny bit), meeting amazing people and making true friends I can trust and have crazy fun with.

SO, if you are considering a business school education – maybe you could also try yourself in sailing? I have good news for you – LBS ranks number 1 for two consecutive years in the international MBA racing league! We go places – Caribbean, Mediterranean, Solent, Canaries, San Francisco, chilly Irish sea and luxurious Portofino Harbour – our sailors have done it everywhere.

BUT if you are considering becoming a sailor – maybe you should go to a business school as well? LBS Sailing club & Alumni (featuring Olympic rising stars, African charity entrepreneurs, Abercrombie & Fitch models, Everest climbers to name just a few) are there to give a helping hand and teach you all about what sailing has to offer – freedom, power, teamwork, competition, endurance… and dirty jokes.

Questions?

 

While reflecting on the content of this blog post I was inspired by the below quotes you might also like – all about sailing obviously:
– “If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favourable” by Lucius Annaeus Seneca
– “A ship in port is safe, but that is not what ships are built for” by Grace Murray Hopper
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“You cannot control the wind but you can adjust the sail” a Yiddish Proverb
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If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea” abridged from Antoine De Saint-Exupery’s

Créer le navire,
ce n’est point tisser les toiles,
forger les clous,
lire les astres,
mais bien donner le goût de la mer


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The LBS Treasure Hunt

Posted by: Karen
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So this is us, all dressed up (well most of us) and ready to head out on our Treasure Hunt around the city. I wont give away too many details about the Treasure Hunt, all I will say is that is was fantastic! A great opportunity to experience the beautiful city (especially since we were fortunate enough to have good weather). It’s also a great opportunity to step back from studying and just have some silly fun. There is so much to do at LBS you sometimes don’t know where to start, it’s simple, start with this!

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