Posts Tagged ‘London life’

Kicking back after a long day at work, I found myself reflecting on how fast time has flown and how my experience at LBS this year compares to that of last year. We have just crossed over the halfway point of year 2, semester 1. Still only a few weeks in, I found myself waking up on Saturday mornings feeling a little disorientated, not having the need to dash off to the LT-10 lecture theatre for the usual 8:15 am tea and catch-up with classmates ahead our second consecutive full day of lectures.

Year 1 had a pre-defined core timetable, which followed regular blocks on alternate weekends. We spent the three semesters working through compulsory core modules that provide a wide range of subject matter. Each study weekend is spent together with your EMBA class. Looking back, its easy to understand why everyone in the class had such a close connection and acted more like a family than simply colleagues as we spent so much time together

Year 2 is totally different. In fact, compared to your fellow EMBA classmates, the 2nd year will likely be a totally different experience for each and everyone. That is because year 2 is all about electives, so you get to focus on the subjects that you are really passionate about. With so many permutations and combinations, no one student will have the same timetable – selecting your timetable is a challenge in itself since it is difficult to narrow down subject selection with so much great content on offer.

Electives also offer a practical upside since students can select the format of electives to fit within their needs, for example weekend classes versus block week electives. Furthermore, electives are all cross stream so you will be mixed with students from MBA, Sloan and MiF programmes which opens doors to more valuable connections.

Year 2 is still pretty fresh but so far it has continued to be a great experience. I have thus far completed Financial Statement Analysis and am half way through World Economy: Problems and Prospects. The content for both has been extremely relevant with practical applications to real life current business affairs. It is only a few more weeks before I take off to Dubai for a block week elective on “Strategic Thinking”.

As with the start of every new term, there is a fresh set of openings to join clubs and opportunities to apply for positions on various executive committees. I have been lucky enough to secure a position on the executive committee of the Investment Management Club, which is one of the largest and most active clubs at LBS. There will be much more to share on this, but in the meantime be sure to join the club as there are lots in the pipeline for the year ahead…

https://clubs.london.edu/imc/about/

Instagram: @OmaratLBS

Twitter:  @OmaratLBS

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Today I finally understood what it meant by the journey is the destination. I have always contemplated the thought and rationally agreed with it but my actions were not always reflective of this notion.

Life somehow always seemed to be too busy. First it was about studying for the final years of high school to attain a good score for university. Then it was about doing well while doing masses of extracurricular while in university so I could go on to law school after (Something that I had thought I wanted at the time). Fast forward a few years, it became about applying for Masters programme. Last term it was about networking, job hunting, keeping afloat of my masters, playing touch rugby for the school, doing things for Impact Consulting board, pouring drinks as a sundowner crew member and the list goes on (these are some awesome things you can get involved with here at London Business School- I will be blogging about my experiences with them).

There never seemed to be a break.

And the truth is, for an ambitious person, there will never be a break. Once a target is reached, we just set a higher one for ourselves. The cycle persists.

For 2015, I decided that it was time I realised I needed to also ENJOY the journey. The journey was going to continue regardless of how I travelled and this applies to all of us. I didn’t need to travel first class but I just wanted to have a damn good time while travelling. I wanted to look back and not wish I hadn’t worried so much as I have retrospectively viewed parts of my youth. I wanted to look back and say I tried those things that interested me.

I wanted to look back and confidently think that I had given the journey my all.

That I wouldn’t change a thing and, heck, it was an AWESOME journey.

Yesterday I was reading an article about parkour and being the adventurous person that I am, I have ALWAYS wanted to try parkour every since I knew it existed as a form of sport. I never actually went and did it because I was always too caught up with the destination.

Today I changed that and I went to a parkour session. It was two hours of intense fun. With a looming marketing exam, the commute to and fro plus time there was a big ‘sacrifice’ but I am so glad I took that leap (pun intended). It was today that it hit me. The journey IS the destination. Or at least a very big and important part of it. What you do everyday for a perceived end goal (e.g. for many of us here and future students it would be getting our ‘dream’ job) has to be balanced with things you enjoy in life. Otherwise what is the point? If you live in blind pursuance of this goal, neglecting everything and everyone else that is important to you then you may reach that goal –great but you will look back and wish you had let yourself enjoy along the way. It might mean a bit less time spent on the goal but you had fun, you made meaning and you experienced life along the way.

I write this here because business school is an all-consuming activity. It is so easy to come to the London Business School and get sucked into the busyness of life here without allowing yourself some time to do what you enjoy, to make the journey here awesome. Absolutely me-guilty as charged last semester. This is especially the case for the MiF and MiM students who are only on campus for one year. It is definitely a tough juggling act to do all London Business School things plus make room for your own interests.

As someone who is now halfway through my Masters here, I hope you as readers, whatever programme you are thinking of applying for or will be entering, heed this advice. Remember to set time aside to enjoy. Enjoyment may come in different forms for you than your friends at school but be bold. Go spend time doing those things you are interested in or love. Of course, I am not saying drop the thought of business school and your career plans. All I am advocating for is that you make some time each week to do something you like.

Today I went parkour alone and left knowing a bunch of new friends with a determined goal of going back next week. I had so much fun doing something that interested me and has given me energy and motivation even for other aspects of life.

Be honest with yourself.

What do you enjoy? Will you allow yourself to invest time in it?’

 

Ps. if you do not know what parkour is, this video will give you a better understanding.

What I did was no where near as advanced, it mainly involved gymnastic benches, metal structures and lots of foam mats!

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Location Matters

Posted by: Ly Le

If you have come across any of LBS’ myriad of web banners, sponsored links, magazine ads (and I am sure you have, what else could have led you to this post?), you must have realized that we are pretty proud of our prime location in London, and we make rather intensive use of it in our marketing. In fact, the title of this blog post is more or less taken straight from a slide in the presentation deck we used in information sessions for prospective students. Does that make this entire post of mine entirely repetitive, therefore a waste of time? I hope not, because when our Admissions Team mention London, they usually make it synonymous with “job opportunities“, “leading financial institutions“, “world’s biggest companies“, and of course, they are absolutely right, but personally when I think London, I tend to think more of “an awesome place to live“. So, as an amateur photographer who is attracted to all things pretty, and an aspiring living contradiction to the general perception that the LBS Masters in Finance is all about numbers and figures, I’d like to present to you 10 photos from my London collection, in the hope to convince you that it’s worthy to come to LBS, not just for working the job, but also for living the life.

First, as a matter of fact, there is the school itself, which is quite breathtakingly beautiful:

LBS

Here’s my view whilst studying in the Nash garden:

Nash Garden

Then there are the classics, Eye, Bridge, Tower:

London Eye

Tower Bridge

Tower of London

That picture of the Tower of London was color edited,  obviously, but the sweeping mass of poppies are 100% real. Those poppies belong to an ongoing display at the Tower to commemorate the outbreak of the First World War. In London, there are plenty of chances for that, you know, to be impressed and to take a picture and edit it to impress your friends at home. Or you can also easily ask someone to take a picture of you and tweak it a bit to make it look like you are in the middle of a classic movie, because London is just convenient like that. This is me at Piccadilly Circus, for example:

Piccadilly Circus

There are also nice, little known things that just happened to catch your eyes, like this wall of wine-red vines that I came across on my way to Greenwich Park:

Red vines

Talk about Greenwich, if you’re in the area, definitely do NOT miss out on visiting the Old Royal Naval College. I was there last month and was treated to a very interesting (and totally free) performance featuring the renowned diarist Samuel Pepys.

ORNC

Now that we mention diaries and such, you guys should be aware that London is a heaven for book lovers. Fact: Waterstone’s Piccadilly is Europe’s largest bookshop.

Waterstone's 1

I went there last weekend, spent 3 hours and a considerable amount of pound sterling, and I fully plan to go back next week, because, well:

Waterstone's 2

The very same could be said for London, you will never reach the end of this city, so let’s get to exploring as soon and as much as possible, shall we?

I will see you at our starting point, the LBS campus, Regent’s Park, London NW1 4SA.

 

 

P.S. Do contact me at any time if you have burning questions regarding the where to go and what to see around London.

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November Rain

Posted by: Christina
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I’ve been warned that November is one of the rainiest months of the year. The days are getting shorter and the periods of sunlight are few and far between. On top of everything, we have finals in slightly over 2 weeks along with multiple group projects due. Surrounded by stress and dreary weather, it is easy to get lost and lose track of why we are here. Luckily, there are always rays of sunshine that sneak through.
This weekend I had a friend visit from out of town and finally got to be a ‘tourist’ in my new home city. Seeing London through a visitor’s eyes snapped me out of my November fog and reminded me of what a great city this is. The history, culture, and beauty of the city are like no other. It’s important that we remember to leave the LBS bubble here on Baker Street and go out exploring once in a while.
Unfortunately, my friend had to leave and it’s time to hit the books once again. Finals are right around the corner and I have many long nights of studying ahead of me!

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A plethora of reasons start bouncing when I think about the rationale to apply to London Business School (LBS).

First and foremost, it’s the people at LBS which make it special. Down to earth, smart, willing to engage, outgoing, etc are some of the many characteristics of LBS students. I saw glimpses of this in the alums I met and current students I knew from my personal network. Secondly it is the city of London and the diversity of the school which attracted me. London is quite a place and I need not say more. It is this character of London that you see at campus too specially looking at the diversity of students around you. Multiple programs, nationalities, work experiences are a common sight. Lastly it is the brand and reputation of the school which won me over. The school has been consistently ranked among the top 3 business schools globally. Additionally over the last few years massive investment has been going in to upgrade infrastructure, course curriculum etc. In all with each passing year, it only gets better.

To conclude, as I keep telling everyone, business school is a serious time and money commitment and you want to hence go to a place which you can relate to and thrive. LBS is that place for me

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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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My first impressions of LBS….

Posted by: Maggie
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Choosing London Business School is a very easy decision for me to make. I knew I wanted to come to London, and I knew I wanted to go to the best business school, so that’s only down to London Business School. The rest is for me to figure out how this will work out in reality. I mean, is London Business School really that good as the FT ranking says? Is it really suitable for me?

I visited LBS in July for the first time when I was doing a business trip in London. That was already four months after I received its admission offer. (Yes, I was kind of bold in choosing LBS without visiting it first. But then I am always a determined person.) I recalled that it was an early morning, peaceful and beautiful as my mood was. I remembered vividly that, the nearer I got to LBS, the more surprised I was, in a good way! Because the environment just got quieter and quieter. As a regular business visitor to London, I knew how busy and noisy London could be. But the place where LBS locates is totally to the contrary! It is so beautiful that I fell in love with it immediately.

I reached Regent’s Park first, as I knew LBS is just next to it. The gorgeous lake took my breadth away without a minute. I was amazed by what I saw. Swans, ducks, and geese were swimming in the lake, pigeons and many other kinds of beautiful birds which I couldn’t name were “walking” along the lake, and people were just sitting on the bench relaxing or chatting with their friends. For a person from China, that feels like a paradise to me, even though it maybe so common here.

And then I walked to LBS, my real destination that morning. The only feeling that I had was relaxed and cozy, which I did not expect from a business school. Because I thought it would just be bustle and hassle, as “business” would usually be. It is to the contrary again. Of course, it is beautiful. Every place is so delicately designed, the lawn, the greens, flowers, and everything comes together so nicely. The wood benches scattered in the quad and around the lawn makes me just want to study here immediately. And at that moment, I knew that LBS is my dream school.

I have now studied in LBS for a month. The stunning first impression on LBS has accompanied me all along the way. And LBS has never failed to impress me for a single moment!

Please watch out my next blog of my real life in LBS!

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Budgeting in London

Posted by: AK

I am almost certain that the ‘budgeting’ topic crosses everyone’s minds – ‘what is the estimated budget’ before joining the school, and ‘how to stay within the budget’ after joining the school. I get a ton of emails on budgeting (for the MBA course at LBS), and therefore decided to publish a blog post on this, so next time around I can be efficient and refer people to this blog.

To start with, you should look here:

http://www.london.edu/programmes/mba/feesandfinancing.html

http://www.london.edu/programmes/budgetinglivingexpenses.html

More detailed experience is this:
Tuition fee: £54-57K in total (based on recent years)
Accommodation: £750-1100 per month (in 750, you’d get a small room near the school — in most cases, without access to a living room; in 1100, you’d get a large large room near the school — in most cases, with access to a living room)
Food, Drinks: £400-600 per month (depends on how much you drink outside)
Utilities, Phone: £100-200 per month (depends on how many people you share with, what phone plan you sign-up for etc.)
Local travel: £50-200 per month (in 50 if you stay close to school and mostly use transport on the weekend; in 200 if you stay far)
Variable: Keep another 10% variable factor – for random expenses, such as black cabs, eat-outs etc.

Ofcourse, this is based on what I’ve seen for myself and for the friends I hang out with. Given the diversity of the class, the experience definitely varies from individual to individual.

 

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Recently, an MBA2014 student asked me for tips on packing for London. And I ended up compiling a quick list. Thought this may be useful to publish here (although, hopefully not too late for the new batch of students).

1. Although the only letter that the immigration guys (mostly) check is the LBS offer letter / CAS statement, it is always advisable to carry all of the following: offer letter and CAS; funding proof; transcripts and degree certificates

2. You’ll need light jackets for Aug-Oct, and heavier jackets OR pullovers+jackets for Nov and Dec. You will also need an overcoat starting late November but you can buy a cheap overcoat in London – so don’t worry about carrying the load

3. Not too many formals required in the early months (i.e. until December end) – there will be some events, but career services work won’t start until Jan and so you won’t need too many jackets and suits immediately

4. Bring an umbrella – it keeps raining all the time and a good umbrella is a great asset to have

5. Bring a windcheater – given it keeps drizzling, this is one thing you’ll always need (no one wears raincoats btw, just in case you thought)

6. Some people might recommend that you bring boots for the rain / snow days – but in my experience, very few people here wear boots. Sports shoes / sneakers are more than enough

7. Bring some notebooks, pens, pencils et al – they’ll be useful for notes et al in the lectures. Also bring a good scientific calculator

8. My suggestion is to not buy any books – I did buy few books here, but honestly, never studied them. College gives you a ton of reading material in binders – and that’s more than enough to prepare for exams and learn the course

9. Consider carrying a handset (unless you are planning to buy a new phone). You can just buy a sim-only plan here and use your old phone

10. Carry some medicines along – it’ll take time to get the NHS registration, so in the mean time, having medicines will help. What you should do is — get a prescription from any doctor for the most common medicines and then carry those medicines. You may be required to show the prescription for any medicines you carry

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Many people would not be surprised to hear that studying in a business school helped me get a new job. But I never expected that it would be co-chairing the school’s black-tie Summer Ball committee, very much unpaid. I was flattered and gracefully accepted (fine I was over the moon, but us “chairs” are not to be seen over-excited about anything). The news came on the 14th of February, when I was working round-the-clock in our French offices, quietly mourning St. Valentine’s celebrations – and alas – there was finally some justice in the world. However for my co-chair this must have been an even more special piece of news, as the event itself fell precisely on his birthday, just another 5 months later.

 

For those whose paths never crossed a single doorstep of a­­ school black-tie Ball – think about graduation after a looooong, hard, demanding but fun year at school, think tuxedos and gowns, adopt the nostalgic “we might never see each-other ever again” feeling. And now turn all this into expectations for your last party at the school. And see it from the organisers’ eyes. Scary?

Enormously, if you have even a tiny hint of responsibility, empathy and consciousness in your nature. Not for our fearless (or foolish) group of 6. We saw the ball as a defining event not only for LBS, but for London’s summer social scene, and committed to not go for second best in anything in our attempt to make this day unforgettable for our classmates. We set out to challenge the famous Oxbridge May balls and themed ours “Great Expectations”. This turned out into a fantastic and challenging experience, which without doubt tested our management, leadership, problem solving, negotiating and number crunching skills better than any exam as well as probed our stamina, creativity, and diplomacy.

 

So what did the LBS Summer Ball committee members spend their free time doing?
- Visiting potential venues all around London (including National History Museum, One Mayfair, Greenwich, Guildhall, British Museum – we even considered a tree house) – check
Doing 3 food tastings a day, some excellent, and some not that much – check
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Manual control of the 1000 purchased tickets – check
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Writing copy for imaginary event hosts to post on their Facebook page – check 
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Meeting up on Sunday early a.m. to decide on a ticket-selling strategy – check
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Reaching out to 100+ small and big companies to get sponsorship – check
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Designing logos, wristbands, tickets and building a website from scratch – check
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Going clubbing to find the best DJ for the event – check
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Stepping outside comfort zone, staying up notoriously late, sometimes disagreeing and still having lots of fun – check

 

11 day countdown is on and I cannot wait, but am already full of bitter sweet memories. Because there is hardly a possibility that I will be involved in organizing next year’s ball. Its also quite probable that I will never get to throw another party of this size and blitz. And there is absolutely no room for doubt that I will ever forget this odyssey to put the LBS SB’12 together.

…and yes, as of 3rd July 2012, we still do have some tickets available…

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