Posts Tagged ‘First term’

It was around six years ago that I read “Snapshots from hell” and ever since I wanted to experience the MBA hell for myself. Well, LBS is more of a heaven but yes the MBA can have its hellish moments.

Term one passed by so quickly; yet it has been such an intense experience that I feel like I have been in LBS forever – that this was always my world. Term one began with meeting 400 new faces (and a couple of familiar faces) along with the logistics of starting life in London for the majority of the class, including me. Sorting out bank accounts while pub crawling, checking out apartments and potential flatmates, searching for the best deal from mobile service providers while “speed dating” to find the right clique, trying to get student discounts while deciding which clubs to join at LBS.

The first term is the busiest, most hectic, most action packed and crazy as hell. Especially if you, like me want to make the most of the experience by participating in (and winning) competitions, reading the cases for class, going to stream parties (and crashing other streams’ parties), and so on.

The best part about the MBA experience is that it can be customised completely as per individual requirement. So one can just do the bare minimum – attend classes, take exams and complete the MBA. Or one could be heavily involved in the clubs, attend student treks, spend some sleepless nights, partake in competitions, organize business forums and get to know one’s classmates.

The highlights of first term for me were: Prof Joao Cocco’s classes, winning a case study competition, organizing the first ever China Business Forum at LBS, the Finance Club activities, the Oktoberfest and Ireland treks. I am enjoying the second term which has begun now and will share my experiences shortly.

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In last 15 years, I worked in IT for 13 years(my last company was IBM) and started 3 ventures in totally different industries. At all the 5 places( 2 job and 3 ventures) I got stuck after intial years of huge success. I could not expand my ventures beyond a point and also could not reach to my dream position in IT job.

I am a strong individual with all the right qualities in place, I am very determined, good decision maker( most of my decision were right), a high risk taker, very hardworking, organized, good in planning and all. I could not figure out what I need more to reach to a top most position in IT or start my own dream company and take it to the highest level. There were more questions than answers in my life.

Though I was ready to change myself and acquire new skill, I was clueless what to change and where were I going wrong. MBA was in my list for many years and now as I hit a road blocker, it was time to set aside everything and focus on learning. It was time to figure out how do Leaders are born and what they do differntly. it was time for a transformation. 3 months in LBS and everything started making sense to me. I could figure out all the missing steps in my last 15 years career.

I can see the gaps and I can answer all my questions. Now I know where I took wrong turns in my career and in my ventures. What I needed to do more and what less. I can see myself getting transformed slowly and gradually to the one I always wanted to be. I can see myself getting closer to my dreams and all my dreams are getting bigger and bigger day by day.

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The day finally arrived, long awaited and eagerly anticipated, when I entered the London Business School as one of the 52 Sloan fellows of the 2013 class. Each different, from 22 different countries yet similar in being a well accomplished, experienced professional and a risk taker out to maneuver their careers to new heights and with a burning desire to be more self aware and to learn.

Apart from the incredible mix of very distinguished classmates the other striking thing about the early days at LBS was the precision of planning and coordination by the program office in managing the whole orientation process and thereon in the most smooth and seamless manner, and why not, coming to a world class institute you expect that and they deliver more, giving you the first taste of what it means to be studying at a top of the line institute. This is only the beginning and you experience the quality in every sphere, especially the professors with their very latest insights from the corporate and academic worlds.

To sum it up, the first impression is that you made the right choice and all the hard work put in getting admitted is worth the effort. So now is the time to immerse yourself in this amazing environment for learning, self-awareness and development.

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I have just come back from London where I attended one week long orientation for EMBA and I can’t tell you how happy I am.

I am not only happy with my decision of joining London Business School but also could see the enormous value LBS EMBA is going to add in my life in the next 20 months. I am ready for transformation, I told myself excitedly and I am proud to be part of LBS.

Looking back, few months down the line, it was beginning of September 2012 when I started my research of applying to top B school for EMBA. I started my research by creating a list of what I wanted from a school, apart from world class education and FT ranking of top 10. My list had few very important non negotiable criteria’s and few “good to have” criterias. I was looking for a school that could give me the most diverse classroom and international faculty as in the EMBA you not only learn from faculty but from your classmates too. The other things in my list were: more campus visits, a campus near India and once in a month study block. I also wanted the same MBA education and degree but in EMBA format.

I was also apprehensive about Middle East campuses of LBS and other schools but through my research I figured out that in LBS the faculty and education is the same in London and Dubai campus. By joining Dubai campus, I could do 3 core modules in London and a choice of doing electives (6 to 8) in Dubai, London, Hong Kong University, or Columbia Business School. I chose London Business School because it had everything I was looking for and now after orientation week I can say that by joining EMBA and LBS I have taken the best decision of my life.

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My first impressions

Posted by: Nav

The first day of school is always special and I was really excited on my first day as an Executive MBA (EMBA) student at London Business School. Heavy snow greeted the London and Dubai EMBA class, who had come together for the first day of the orientation week on a cold Sunday in January. The weather could not dampen the enthusiasm of the 130 students who had gathered in the Dining Hall for the welcome address – there was a buzz in the room with handshakes and enthusiastic introductions.

As the week progressed, I realised why London Business School was described as an ‘aah’ school by the Dean in his welcome address (‘aah’ being the standard reaction when you mention LBS as your alma mater!). You look around the class and every student is an Achiever– a mix of entrepreneurs, directors, VPs, project managers and students in various other leadership roles. I absolutely love the class debates where everyone has a different perspective on analysing a case study – viewpoints that are so different to mine that every lecture has been a great learning experience.

Another impression I have carried from the Orientation week is that the quality of teaching is absolutely fantastic – I really enjoyed the Leadership Skills course run by Dr. Margaret Ormiston and the Understanding General Management course run by Dr. Yiorgos Mylonadis. The teaching standards set in the first week are high and if all our professors are this good, then it will be a really enjoyable (and challenging!) 20 months.

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The beginning of my LBS MBA – Semester 1

Posted by: Michael
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Some people ask, is an MBA worth it. Two years away from the workplace and you graduate with a tonne of debt. I wanted to share my recent experiences as a new entrant into the London Business School (LBS) MBA 2014 programme. Whilst only recently completing my first semester, there have still been a large number of experiences and lessons that have begun to influence who I am – for the better. I have always strived to understand further on how to succeed in business and I see an MBA as a fantastic tool to accelerate this process. But in addition to the impact the MBA has in my business education, it goes much beyond this. It is an opportunity to reflect on what makes you tick, take some risks and perhaps learn from failure in a safe environment,

Although the core teaching method in an MBA is through coursework, you aren’t necessarily limited in learning only from the classroom. The below three insights are what I’ve gained the most from my MBA so far.

Emotional Change
Today I feel more confident than I ever have in myself. I am able to better argue my position/agenda, and all-in-all feel I am more focused on what I want to achieve. I have overcome significant challenges to reach this stage in my career and feel that I am at a opportunistic stepping stone. Although I am yet to decide on what exact career path I wish to pursue, I am feeling more confident that I am ironing out the kinks and identifying my passions and goals and how I can incorporate this into a career.

Seeing the Interconnections
Over the last six months I have covered seven subjects on a range of topics. Although I have covered some material in my undergraduate Economics/Marketing degree, this time round I am gaining significant insights into the interconnections between subjects. How does the financial decisions a firm makes impact their risk profile, which can impact the overall decision making process, which impacts what the firm produces and go to market with, which is reflective on the business strategy and ultimately the balance sheet. I’m seriously looking forward to diving into this further in Semester Two.

Quality of Classroom Discussions
The recent Bloomberg BusinessWeek ranking gave London Business School a top A+ grade for its ‘Calibre of Classmates’ category. It’s easy to see why. The best part of being in an MBA for me is to get involved in the classroom discussions and continue debating with my peers and study group (six member team I work with on all group assignments for year one). I’m fortunate to be in a stream of 80+ people that I greatly admire. No amount of online research can compare to some of the debates (and lessons learnt) that I’ve had over the last six months. Here’s to another year and a half!

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Preparing for the start of the term

Posted by: Dominik
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Before the first term started we were already loaded with course information and list of required readings.

It became clear to me that the most important during the EMBA course will be the ability to navigate through this sea of available information and focus on the areas that are most relevant to me and my business.

The process that took place in my head while prioritizing my activities became a key learning experience of the EMBA programme so far – I had to define clear objectives for my professional aspirations in order to be able to successfully manage the priorities.

Of course, as most of the people, I couldn’t define the exact role or even the industry that I wanted to work in the future. It’s normal if you don’t know the answer to this question – during the EMBA programme you will receive sufficient support to help you concretize these goals.

Much more important is to use the preparation time to define your “own vision” for your professional life, the values you want to live your life, your inner “north pole”.

The sooner you have it the easier it will be for you to navigate through the EMBA programme and manage your life.

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Posted by: Karen
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Midterm week, treks, career events, club events, club meetings, networking, career sessions . . . oh and a Strategy Final! Yes, it’s happening and it’s happening fast! It’s exciting, overwhelming, stressful and exhilarating, all in all it feels good to feel so active and busy. We’re three weeks away from term end. Looking back I don’t know where the time has gone, but looking forward I know for sure that this is it, the final stretch, the final sprint to the end of term one!

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Relevance Watch

Posted by: Yang
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Your correspondence deliberately delayed this blog entry until this time, nearing the end of the term. On several occasions during the term, I had the urge to share with the outer world about the experiences on the MiM programme, the nights out, the inspirational talks and interesting insights about the business world. However, for those of you who are reading the blog, most of you are interested in what the programme offers, the skills you will gain that will land you the dream job. I feel that the programme will be helpful only if one can look beyond the surface of everything that is happening here – keeping relevant what you do at LBS in your job hunting journey is vital to career success.

So the three courses in the first term are Leadership in Organisation, Financial Accounting and Management Analysis & Systems. Sufficient to say, having a social sciences background I found the latter two more challenging. However, the material in the Leadership course is still fascinating. I have a slight worry that at this stage of my career, decision making and influencing other people may not be readily practiced in my first job. However, I often find myself applying Leadership material in interview practices and job applications. I know for sure that 5 or 10 years down the line I will be looking at the course and planning my next career.

In contrast to common wisdom, I actually think Financial Accounting is fun! Part of it comes from zero accounting background, but I did feel that figuring out entries on the balance sheet is a bit like solving a jigsaw puzzle. What also works is that the examples are highly relevant, and being assigned to read financial news every week, and look for articles related to the current accounting topic put things into perspective. The message I take from the course is that qualified accountants are not only good at working with figures, but also have business sense and an ability to take an ethical approach in business.

Management Analysis & Systems is about statistics, in business, in a practical sense. We have covered basic statistical theory but the main component of the course is working on an excel model and being able to come up with innovative business ideas from it. Working on MAS assignments have been the most challenging so far, but most of them are done with study group mates. Again, LBS teaches something that is not mentioned on the course syllabus – being able to work efficiently in a team, being able to understand each others’ strengths and weaknesses, and being able to contribute to a team are what is essential in not only business but in life.

So this is a summary of what I perceive of the academic side of LBS so far. For all of you who are thinking of applying, I am sure you are all bright enough to handle the technical side of the course. What will add value to your professional development is really what you learn after the classes and what you can build on from the classes. LBS is the only place where working hard is not sufficient; but working intelligently will reap greater rewards.

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An Amalgamation of Countries, Culture and Community

Posted by: Mihir
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Adam Douglas wasn’t joking when he said the ‘answer to Life, the Universe and Everything’ was 42 because that is exactly the number of nationalities represented in MiM2013 and it has been a blast.

Diversity is an integral part of the school’s values and nothing defines it better than our class of 162 bright minds. For a travel enthusiast such as myself, it has been an exhilarating opportunity to meet and get to know my peers – almost like travelling to 42 nations at once! I have learnt greetings in 10 different languages and you can always find a multi-lingual group of students trying to master each other’s native tongues. But it doesn’t stop there.

The MiM community is truly passionate to share their stories and backgrounds and equally eager to listen to those of others. I am undergoing a synaesthesia of cultural knowledge while having the chance to experience cuisines, music, dance, film and traditions of various countries. In the past ten weeks I celebrated my first Halloween, mastered rudimentary salsa moves, enjoyed an authentic Turkish meal, discovered the significance of Guy Fawkes Day and helped partake in an incredible Thanksgiving dinner; all thanks to my bouillabaisse of global friends. (You know who you are!)

Sharing my own culture has been just as fun when we celebrated Diwali LBS style! As part of the festivities, we performed a choreographed Bollywood dance that was undoubtedly an unforgettable memory for all of us. I was fascinated to see that our team comprised of mostly non-Indians who were exceptionally willing to learn Hindi songs, adorn themselves with traditional Indian clothes and even brave the spicy dishes.

I don’t know what I will discover during the rest of the year, but I have my bucket list of nations I can’t wait to visit… and it’s growing each day!

MiM Diwali Dance Team

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