Posts Tagged ‘LBS’

It is day 4 since I came back from Mumbai Global Business Experience(GBE).

I am still sinking in how much I’ve learned in a week. There were many moments when I thought that GBE was the highlight of my 2-year MBA. I got to know so many classmates in such a short time and their amazing stories. I got to work with them and to learn from them, be it observing how they handled pressure, how they convinced the team to accept new ideas, or how they approached projects. I realized what a smart yet empathic group of people they are and how lucky I am to work with them.

I also got to know an India so different from what I learned before. I thought India would be very much like China, for both being the two most populous countries in the world, and both having fast economic growth as emerging economies. Therefore I was expecting to see a Shanghai in Mumbai.

But soon I realized that was not true.

On my way from the airport to the hotel, I saw so many temples on the street. I later learned that 90% of Indians are religious. I know this number of people in China may be atheism. I also saw most of Indians on street were wearing Sari proudly. Now when you are in China, unless it is a holiday or a big occasion, it will be weird to wear Tang Clothes, which is equivalent to Sari.

The biggest difference comes from the poverty level in both countries. I don’t know if it is because I was not exposed to similar situation in China before or because India indeed has deeper poverty level. I was surprised to learn people still having to live in darkness at night due to lack of electricity and I was shocked to see a whole family had to squeeze in a tiny and dirty place in the slum.

But I was not overtaken by these. On the contrary, I was struck by Indians’ resilience and optimism, when I learned that villagers are becoming entrepreneurs to sell solar light lamp to their community, when I saw that top talents gave up their high-paid jobs in London and returned to the country to help those people, and when I learned that people living in the slum work very hard hoping that one day they or their children will leave slum and move to the tall building next to it.

At the end of my visit, I realize what Mumbai presented to me may not be the metropolitan city as I imagined; but it gave me something much more memorable, be it the joy of working with my classmates, the hospitality from every Indian we met and the smiles on their face regardless of where they live, and the enthusiasm of social entrepreneurs who believe that they can make a difference in their country.

I believe that this experience will live with me for a very long time. So while I am still recovering from it physically, imagining getting up at 3am to catch a flight to visit the village and preparing presentation until mid-night for most of the week, emotionally and intellectually I have gained so much and it makes all the hard work worthwhile.

Mumbai GBE is just a miniature of my whole MBA life/work. The past two-year has been a growing and stretching experience for me. I’ve constantly challenged myself to come out of my comfort zone, be it learning/enjoying a technically challenging course, working hard to balance between academic and work, or staying open-minded and inquisitive to the world. While sometimes I felt that the challenge was beyond what I could take, but as a proverb says “life will never will give you more than you can take”, in the end I always conquered the challenges and I did it with pride. So if this is not enough from my MBA experience, what else could I ask for?

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This past week, all of us here on the Masters in Management class had the chance to participate in Business Immersion Week. Some of the companies that we got to visit included Universal Music Group, Mastercard, Unilever, Deloitte, Net-a-Porter, Rackspace, The Pentland Group, Yahoo!, Bow & Arrow Consulting, and many others! The goal of the week was to give us insight into industries and companies that we might not have thought about or looked at before and I personally learned quite a lot.

 

During our visit to Universal Music Group, for example, we started off the day with an amazing breakfast and even some free CD’s by some of the labels stars!

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(My desperately needed coffee and a CD to go along with it!)

 

Afterwards, we got to hear from Global Head of New Business, Olivier Robert-Murphy. Murphy gave us an amazing presentation on how Universal Music has continued to stay at the head of the industry despite all the challenges they’ve faced from the era of digitalization. He also gave some amazing examples of some brand partnership cases his team had worked on!

 

Another company I got to visit was Internet giant Yahoo! In a presentation by members of their corporate and business development team, my fellow classmates and I got to hear about all the new initiatives and developments Yahoo had been working on in the past year to help keep it among top companies at the forefront of internet search and content sources today.

 

Finally, on Friday, another group of Masters in Management students and myself got to visit the headquarters of RackSpace cloud and hosting providers nearby London. We heard from another LBS alumnus about the cloud and hosting industries and how Rackspace had managed to position itself to become such a top contender in the past 15 years. We also got to have a tour around their amazing headquarter buildings! Some of the amenities “Rackers” (as they call them) are offered include an amazing cafeteria and games room, a private employee kitchen, company-wide foam gunfights, and even a Mini Cooper near the first floor lounge!

 

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(MiM’s hanging out in Rackspace HQ)

 

So, all in all, I had a wonderful time on all of my company visits and really got a great overview into some business industries I hadn’t truly considered before! Hopefully next year’s MiM recruits can help plan another amazing Business Immersion Week for our following class!

 

 

 

 

 

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Mother’s Little Helper

Posted by: Will

As soon as you get comfortable meeting everyone at school and getting into the swing of things, the heavy workload slaps you in the face a little bit. It reminded me that this is work, a lot of work, and most of it is pretty difficult too. This of course arrives at the twilight of our honeymoon.

The honeymoon of business school is loaded with drinks, new faces, optimism, and a willingness to do everything, because you pretty much can do everything. This, I believe, is the root of the much talked about “fear of missing out.” I promise, you will miss out. Money runs out, time runs out, motivation runs out, and you might even run out too when the cases begin to pile up.

An MBA at LBS isn’t just about learning strategy, finance, marketing and operations. It’s about learning how to say “no” and feeling completely comfortable with it. A prerequisite for the course, in my opinion, is to understand yourself and what you enjoy. It’s incredibly important to get your fill, regardless of what it is, and make sure it’s outside of campus. For me, it’s skateboarding and basketball. They keep me sane as long as I don’t break my ankles trying to do so.

Personal development is inevitable going through the LBS course. It’s important to remember during the stress that it is all part of the bigger education, whether you’re graded or not.

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First Term: Recap

Posted by: Ugo

MBA Term 1 is done! Yes! <insert victory fist pump here>.  I should say “Mission Accomplished!”, but then I remember this

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Thoughts on Term 1

  • It was tough, tougher than I expected. I had the sense that I was always running: from lectures to study group meetings to tutorials to career services events to one or two social events. It seemed like there was no time to come up for air. The one time that hit really hard was taking 4 mid-term exams over a weekend (Saturday and Sunday!), and then having to show up for lectures the following Monday! At 8.15am!

 

  • After my final Term 1 paper on December 15, it felt like a huge weight had been taken off. But then I had gotten so used to running that I felt lost when I realised there was no next event to run to!

 

  • In Econ, we learnt about consumers’ Willingness to Pay (WTP) as a consideration in pricing. I’m coining my acronym for what I think is one of the best things about LBS: WTH (that’s Willingness to Help). Super thankful for the great group of very helpful people in this community – the students (study groups, tutors, etc), faculty, Programme Office, Career Services etc who’ve been great at explaining stuff and answering questions. You literally cannot walk the MBA path on your own.

 

  • Another excellent thing about LBS – the diversity of the LBS MBA class. It’s amazing and makes for… a richer experience! Using my study group of 7 as an example of this diversity: we have 2 people from Europe (Spain Catalonia & Netherlands), one from Latin America (Brazil), one from Asia (Malaysia), one from Australia, one from North America (USA) and myself from Africa (Nigeria). If that isn’t diversity, I don’t know what it is…

 

  • In all, Term 1 was like a pilot – I learned a lot about myself and the programme. Looking forward to engaging Term 2 equipped with better understanding.

 

  • In conclusion, happy holidays, everyone! And to those at Val Thorens, bon faire du ski!

 

 On a lighter note… things we heard in class…

  • “An unlucky camel is one that gets eaten by a polar bear in the desert.”
  • (Pointing to a picture of Real Madrid star, Cristiano Ronaldo)… “Now, Ronaldo is listed on Real Madrid’s books as an intangible asset, but as we all can see, he is very tangible…”
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One year reflection

Posted by: Maggie

Times flies! It’s been over a year since I started my MBA last August. Everytime when I look back, I can’t help thinking what an intensive yet rewarding year that I’ve had.

If you ask me a year ago why I came to LBS? I would say it is because I want to progress my career, I want to get to know great people, and I want to indulge myself in learning. It may be too early to tick all the boxes now. But one thing that I am more than ever clear is that the true value of a MBA is to use this experience to get to know yourself, to know who you are, who you were, and who you want to be.

At the start of my MBA, I attended a career coach session hosted by a former senior exective in P&G, Mohan Mohan. I have forgotten all the career advice that he gave. But one thing that I remember cristal clear until today surprisingly is something irrelanvet to career but related to our marriage! He said lots of us didn’t get married because we haven’t found the right one. He yelled that it was the wrong strategy. He went on saying that the right strategy should be that we become the right person and we will be found! At the time, I felt it was very refreshing yet inprising to hear that.

Today I still think so.

What Mohan said is not just true about our marriage, but also about our career and our life. The person who we choose to be determins what kind of career will follow us and what kind of life we will have.

During the past year, there were moments when I felt so challenging to cope that I would ask myself why I signed up for this experience in the first place? Be it sleeping just for under 6 hours to juggle among different academic assignments, be it trying exhausting ways to come up impressive cover letters for our internship recruitment, be it working extremely hard to prove ourselves at internship, and be it sorting out bizzare things about living abroad. They all seemed painful to go through at the time.

But now when I am looking back,they were the most cherished memories that I am valuing. It is from those experience that I am becoming stronger yet more empathetic, if I can also say wiser!

This is what MBA brings to me. This is why I am here. This is worth of it.

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As the current class of MiMs throw up their hats to celebrate graduation and pack their bags to move on to bigger and better futures in their chosen careers, its inevitable to look back and think about what we wish we might have known before we began this exhilarating experience.

So I bring to you a few things that the current class said when asked about the best advice they received when applying to business school and the advice they would pass on to future MiMs.

“Think about what value addition Business School is bringing to your education” “Go to the school with the best name for your CV” were some responses. I would agree and add that this is especially key for those who are still deciding what they should be doing for the next year of their life. LBS added a lot to my CV due to the clubs and activities I was able to be a part of and it helped give me a balanced education with my engineering background. How would it help you?

“Manage your time well and try meeting one new person everyday” while ambitious, is great advice because of the tremendous benefits a good network can lead to. “Enjoy your last year of university” - no doubt advice that has been born from the nostalgia of leaving, all MiMs would agree that in addition to studying and securing a job, the importance of making the journey a memorable one cannot be overstated.

As far as particularly applying to LBS, “Prepare your application and interview thoroughly and get advice from someone who has been accepted into a top school” “Be prepared, you will be surprised how many candidates enter the interview without doing their research”. I put these first since I have also had a fair share of experience with candidates who go through the admissions process only to be surprised mid way through the process when interview questions leave them unprepared. The first stage of essays is also very crucial “Take it serious and let your friends and family proofread your essay’s. If they recognize your personality in your writing, you’re on the right track.” “Make sure to tell your story through your essays”.

Once accepted, this year can be overwhelming with opportunities. “Be mature, know your objectives. Be sure you are clear about them, and MiM will help to achieve them.” “Enjoy every event and meet as many people as you can because thats where you will learn the most from” “If you have a business background, the MiM at LBS will be more beneficial if you are looking for a programme that gives you a network and personal development training”

Others say “Be certain about atleast three career choices and know that you have researched them well. It might sound clichéd, but “be yourself” is sound advice – be the best version of yourself.” “Don’t underestimate Marketing!” and “Make sure you don’t forget to have fun!”

More questions regarding the course can be directed to MiM student ambassadors or leave a comment below

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Honesty Develops Trust

Posted by: James
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I’m reflecting back on the Global Leadership Summit and one lesson I take from it that I didn’t expect to learn is that honesty develops trust. We heard from many speakers throughout the day all with varying opinions. What I found interesting is that it felt that some speakers appeared quite guarded in the opinions they expressed. That’s understandable; many of them have companies to run and speaking their true opinions on various matters may impact their companies or themselves negatively. Sometimes you need to stick to the company line.

Then there were the individuals who appeared to have broken free of these shackles or just didn’t care about the consequences. It felt like they were speaking from the heart: they showed passion about the issues discussed – not just repetition of a company line – and as a result, not only were they engaging, but I trusted them. I wanted them as my advisors, my friends, my confidantes.

The final speaker of the day, Olafur Grimsson, President of Iceland, epitomised this more than anyone throughout the day. His statements, such as “Why are banks considered holy entities?” and “I don’t accept the notion that banks should not be allowed to fail” were spoken with conviction. Perhaps its because he had experienced those tough times in Iceland and seen the impact that enabled him to speak with passion. But haven’t many leaders also been faced with tough choices? Why can’t they speak with that same belief? He ended with the advice to “trust and respect the advice of ordinary people.” Perhaps it’s easy to be refreshing when you’re a contrarian. But in a room full of people with MBA’s and financial backgrounds whom I would expect to be very pro-banking, he clearly struck a cord. For this honesty, he received multiple rounds of applause and a standing ovation from the crowd.

This year’s London Business School Global Leadership Summit will be remembered by many people for many different things. For me personally, I will remember it as a lesson that honesty, especially coupled with passion, enables you to build trust. I hope I can embody that in all aspects of my life as I move forward from studying my MBA.

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It is half way of my third term, and half way of my whole MBA journey……

So what have I learned over the past year? Is it the courses that taught me how to evaluate returns on various financial investment? Is it the experience of getting to know my classmates and LBS alumni? Or is it the experience of living abroad?

When I first started my MBA last August, I was overwhelmed with those lengthy and deep HBS cases and tight-deadline study assignments. On top of that, I had to learn to adjust myself into a new living environment. It was very tough, but looking back, I realized that I went through it just fine.

The second term began with intensive recruitment. The stress of finding an internship was unprecedented for most of us. But that was not all of it. There were still courses to study……As challenging as it could get, I went through it in a complete piece.

While I thought the third term would be much lighter, as most of us expected; it turned out to be otherwise. There are many papers to be done and lots of finance cases to be cracked……

With all of those challenges that I coped, I am not surprised to see that I am more at ease now. I am more at ease when seeing a challenge coming up. I am more at ease when handling the challenge.

So what I have learned?

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…… quoted from Steve Job’s speech.

I could not be more appreciative of this insight than this moment when I got my dream internship offers. All this time, the frustration and disappointment I experienced during my spring recruitment made me doubt, doubting my previous career choice and my choice for life.

But now looking backwards, the journey of connecting the dots is so clear.

Steve Jobs said that he dropped out of college, because he didn’t see the value of it. On the contrary to him, I am lucky, because I am seeing the value of my MBA in LBS everyday.

If not coming to LBS, I would not have discovered finance/investment is such a fascinating topic; I would not have had the excitement of being able to identify a business problem and to address it; I would not get to know so many amazing classmates and alumni who selflessly guided me through whenever I reach out for advice or guidance.

Steve Jobs also said that believing the dots will connect will give you the confidence to follow your heart. Eight months ago, when I came to LBS; I didn’t know exactly where my true career passion is. But now, I think I found it; as I know that’s where my heart is.

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Happy new year

Posted by: Maggie
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…… to my friends in China, in LBS, and wherever you are. Wish you good health and all the best in year of snake!

This is the first year that I am celebrating Chinese lunar new year in London, with my LBS classmates. Some of us gathered together last night – New Year eve, to watch our traditional CCTV Spring Festival Gala and eat hot pot. We had a great time, even though 14 of us surrounded in front of a 13 inch laptop screen and watched the blurred Gala performance due to unstable internet signal; even though some of us had to stand while eating the hotpot due to limited space; even though one of the pots was not functioning well and a few us had to literally cook the ingredients in the kitchen first and then put them into the hotpot….

We had a great time; because we enjoyed mouth-watering Chinese food, enjoyed strong alcoholics for some of us, enjoyed a good laugh, and most of all enjoyed our friendship. No matter what setbacks we may have experienced in the past year, we put all of them behind, and just enjoy this moment, enjoy this moment of having each other to cherish as friends and as classmates.

So, again, happy new year, my dear friends, wish you all a very good and prosperous new year!

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