Posts Tagged ‘first year’
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!
How can I start a company that is going to be the next Google? Is it even possible for a normal person like me to do such a thing?
For me personally, no. Well now it might be, but if I asked myself these questions 3 months ago I would have said definitely not. I mean, I wouldn’t even know where to start, where to get the money from or who I should work with. In fact, I just had a bunch of good business ideas and thought “I’m going to start a business” without having a clue what my strategy was, who my customers were or even how I planned on making money.
So what has changed in these last 3 months? The answer is Business School. Three months ago I accepted my offer to start my Masters at London Business School and it really has changed the way I think. I mean, I didn’t even know what the Time Value of Money was. I literally thought if I sold my car and put the £5000 in a bank without touching it, that £5000 is still going to be £5000 in two years’ time when I buy new one. This isn’t actually true. In fact, when I got home after learning this I was like:
For quite a while.
So I guess the question now is, should you go out and spend £28,000 per year (Masters) on business school fees to learn these important concepts? Well yes and no. If you can afford it, yes, I would highly recommend it – London Business School has been one of the best experiences of my life to date. If you can’t don’t worry. Over the next 6 months, I will be posting about every important concept I learn that I believe is essential in recognising how to become as successful as a Fortune 500 Business Leader. As long as you read all my blog posts, you will pretty much be learning everything I am, but saving yourself £28,000 per year . Stay tuned, follow me on social media and keep up to date with my blog.
Youtube: Coming Soon
Despite being miles away from campus, I can sense all the excitement as the new class began its first year. Ambitions, aspirations, interests, enthusiasm, excitement – the start of the MBA journey is accompanied by a crazy adrenaline rush!
Looking back, these were my key first year takeaways:
1. Plan – “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there”. Everyone has a reason for pursuing the MBA. Be sure to not just know but write down your purpose. Have a plan for what you want to achieve. With the ocean of choices and wide variety of leadership roles and other opportunities, it is easy to get lost without a concrete plan.
2. Focus – Once you have your plan and know what you are after, it’s easy to focus on what it is that you want. Sometimes, despite the focus and the hard work, things don’t go as planned. This is when planning becomes even more important. Because when you plan, you also plan for contingencies. If the MBA has ingrained something even more deeply in my thought process, it is decision trees. I always think of situations and know the possibilities and can be prepared.
3. Don’t overcommit – Don’t fall prey to the FOMO (fear of missing out) game. It is humanly impossible to be part of every single activity on campus. Prioritise what you want. In my case, travel and some fun club activities took the backseat for career related stuff in the first term.
4. Balance – Balance is better than just being academic/ career focused or just partying. The important thing is that this balance is different for different people depending on their plans and reasons for the MBA. A career changer may have a different sense of balance than what a sponsored candidate would have. Knowing the right sense of balance for oneself is important.
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.
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.
Preparing for the start of term
Every student I spoke to during my numerous visits to London Business School had the same piece of advice for me – to savour my last few days of good lengthy sleep. A quant by profession, I thought to myself that I was by now used to long hours of work and that thirty winks would do just fine as forty . I could not have been more wrong! With everything from Sundowners, competitions, club roles, parties and of course classes to cram into 24 hours, I have never worked and played this hard in my life.
Owing to a confluence of circumstances and choice, I had to work full time for my erstwhile employer until the Friday before orientation week. On the upside, being a Londoner, there was not much pre-term preparation (at-least on the personal front). My suggestion to those of you planning to do an MBA at London Business School – do yourself a favour: savour every moment of your pre MBA downtime and recharge your batteries! Because once you get here, I promise, you will give the Energizer bunny a run for its money.
Why I chose London Business School
As a Londoner, London Business School was unsurprisingly my top choice. A few American schools served as backup / safe choices. I must hasten to add though that whilst location was important, it was by no means the only consideration! London business is a great school in an amazing city. What makes it great it not merely geography or history or buildings. Above everything else, it is the sheer diversity and breadth of its community – both students and staff.
On joining the school, I experienced for myself the fact that diversity is not simply a catchy buzz word. It has real, tangible value. For instance, I learnt all about setting up and running solar power plants in Africa from a French energy expert and current MBA classmate during a tube ride. This, I believe is the true essence of the learning opportunities made possible by diversity.
My First Impressions:
My LBS year began not in London, but sitting at home when I received my first weekly bulletin outlining the pre-program preparation required before the start of term. Since then, LBS has constantly delivered nothing less than excellence, via guidance in a structured format to ease us into the Masters in Management. A constant wave of information is always heading towards you in the form of emails, events, lectures, seminars, news or just taking in the new environment.
LBS has certainly proved in a short span of time that it sets itself apart from other Masters programs by giving us not only academic education, but also preparing us for what lies beyond graduation. The Career Services must be given credit for transforming me on paper from just another ordinary graduate to one who is equipped with the skills and experience to undertake a job at the top companies in any sector.
‘Networking’ is a term most vigorously endorsed by the university and the school makes sure that we have access to create these valuable networks. So far I have had the chance to meet with top managers at global consulting firms, ask questions to experienced MBAs and be amazed at the global diversity among my peers.
The year ahead definitely looks promising with a gamut of experiences and opportunities and I am here to capture all of them.
Preparing for the Start of Term:
I started preparing for term way before the first MiM bulletin arrived. Ever since the acceptances started rolling in, the facebook group has been ever expanding with the new admits already “networking” amongst themselves. Preparation took form of keeping abreast of global news and market data, seeking housing and flatmates for the coming year and staying informed through the discussion boards and countless emails.
It’s been a great LBS experience so far even without actually having stepped onto its grand Regent’s Park campus. My MiM2012 buddy had given me great tips to make the most of LBS by joining its diverse clubs and attending the most educational treks taking place all over the world. The university made sure that all admits knew what to expect at LBS and start gearing up to take on the intellectual challenges the course has to offer as well as face the tough job market as we all prepare to land our dream jobs.
It’s going to be a year to study hard, forge lifelong bonds and empower ourselves with invaluable skills and knowledge that will see us through for the rest of our promising future careers.
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!