Posts Tagged ‘London’

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!

Read the rest of this entry »
avatar

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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!

BIW 3

(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!

 

BIW

(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!

 

 

 

 

 

Read the rest of this entry »

This is my tri monthly blog! It has been a while. I just returned from Prague for a surprise Valentines Day trip for the misses. I had a bag packed and she didn’t know where we were going until we got there (Praha on the terminal might have gave it away).
So here we are. The first term well in the rear view mirror, and now just a long internship application process ahead. Actually, most already have that in the rear view. Not I.

Lets recap the past couple months.

DECEMBER

Finals End – Passed all my EXAMS!!!

Snowboarding in Val Thorens France – crazy time with 180 LBSers in the land of cheese and lait. *tip. if you get in trouble, just tell them you’re from LSE!

Christmas and New Years Back in Miami – ah sunshine and my husky puppy :)

JANUARY

Corporate partners week/eternity – I asked so many memorable questions, and shook so many hands, I’ve mastered the perfect pressure of a hand shake (22psi if you were wondering)

The misses stayed in Florida for this one – let me tell you, she wanted to stay. I had to force her to come back and console me on not getting my first interview.
You thought it was tough getting in to B-School?
Getting in is a bit like a college football player getting drafted. Yea you were faster than most people, good job!
Getting the internship is like making the pro bowl… 4 months after joining the league. We all can’t be Andrew Luck, I guess I’m just Brady Quinn.

Rugby is back! – I watched football and home at thought, “hey, Adrian Peterson would be a pretty good outside center!”

Tricked my girlfriend into coming back to London – :-D

FEBRUARY

I have the best schedule of all time – Even though I am taking 2 electives this term, I still have Thursday and Friday off. That means I get to explore this part of the world. UK is up first… where exactly is Kings Landing? and how do I get north of “The Wall”?

Rugby in Stevensage – They are well fed up there, and well angered.

Rugby in Oxford – To them, we seemed well fed and well angered. Aww to socialize with 19 year olds and their rock music, and their MTV, and this internet place they all hang out at.

Prague – I have no clue what I ate, but it was delicious. Mystery cheeses and random pickled meats. I already eat horse apparently, so what else do I have to lose.

That’s all I have for now. But I will be more frequent with this. And watch this awesome video!

Read the rest of this entry »

Wow, its been a whirlwind of a month here at LBS. Pausing bleary eyed between job applications and CV reviews I’m trying to figure out where all that time went! So, lets look at a typical day for a MiM here at school…

My day starts bright and early with class. Some professors will even take attendance so you have to be sure to be on time and sitting at your allotted seat. Now you a few of you might snigger imagining a class full of grown-ups saying “present, professor”, but please, this is London Business School after all- Being innovative is not just a pre-requisite for students but faculty also. The professor just clicks a picture of the class and has her assistant mark the absentees by comparing the photo to the seat allocation floor plan. Cool, huh? Anyway, we have just 3 courses this term and so have 1 or 2, 2hr 15min lectures in a day. Apart from this we have 1hour long tutorial sessions bringing the total amount of time spent in class to 5hours or less in a day.

Along with classes, the day is spent attending other lectures or career services sessions. All these have to be signed up for and range from informational lectures on consulting/finance/industry to one-on-ones with sector representatives or MBAs (to have your CV/cover letter reviewed or discuss career prospects). Sometimes we even have talks on how to make effective presentations, network better or improve your online presence.

Before you know it, its 6pm and you just have time to grab a bite with friends and maybe catch up on the day before heading to a club kick-off or recruitment event. At any time there are so many things going on that you have to carefully weigh the alternatives to decide where you want to go- Will it be the Marketing club kick-off? The KPMG Case Competition information session? The McKinsey rep’s talk on Energy? Or the Salsa trial class? I think this decision making is a veritable course in itself! These events usually go on for about 1-2hrs after which you have a (free!) drinks and networking session.

Once you’re done with the business part of the day, and if you have the energy, there is always a party to go to. Its so great socializing at the practically in-house pub Windsor or maybe even going to a LBS crowd frequented club. And its all part of the plan, who says you can’t network on the dance floor?

So, at the end, my day is what I make of it. It is busy, yes. But its also incredibly fun! All the events and activities are of my choosing, LBS is just a limitless storehouse of opportunity. Luckily, the school administration realizes our tendency to crowd our days and so has given us Fridays off. We get an extra day to reflect on our week, have some personal time and thus get more out of our experience. Or maybe it could just be to get over the Thursday night Sundowners’ hangover. Of course, that’s a discussion for another day!

Read the rest of this entry »
avatar

Time travels

Posted by: Harpreet

At the end of my first two weeks at LBS, I am confused about the speed of time here. In a sense it has just zoomed across; in one blink the first two weeks are already over. On the other hand, so much has happened over the past few days, it is hard to believe that its only been just a couple of weeks.

I won’t kill any of the surprises that you can cherish once you are here. But I must point out a few things that have fascinated me in this short time frame, about the school and also the city. So the three things that have stood out about the school for me:

  1. The institution’s capability to manage efficiently and effectively: From the power-packed orientation to our classes, from the famous away day to the club kick-offs, from career services events to complex simulations, everything is organized fantastically by the school. The prior arrangements for each thing happening over here seems to happen pretty much magically. As students, we never get to see any hassles, any panic situations. But the fact that each single thing is such super smooth, it is hard to not to appreciate the brilliance of the school staff. These guys definitely know a thing or two about management, and I will be happy to learn from them :)
  2. The thought that goes into designing each single activity: If the school thinks a student must learn a specific management principle, they go to any limits in making sure that the learnings are deep and long lasting. So that has resulted in exciting group simulations, physical team activities, interesting games, range of intelligently selected case studies, provoking class discussions, etc. etc. One can easily see the amount of thought and effort the faculty puts in here to make sure the lessons don’t remain words but become an integral part of our decision making forever.
  3. Diversity: I know you have heard it over and over again. Even at the risk of you stopping to read this post right away, I have to mention this. It does not get any diverse than this, period! There is no dominant nationality. I have friends now from Israel, Mali, Nigeria, Pakistan, South Africa, Venezuela, Portugal, and many many more countries (of course including States and UK :) ). Professions? From serial entrepreneurs to professional sportsmen to armymen to tech geeks to large businessmen to social entrepreneurs to media guys to the regular bankers and consultants, and everything in between. The breadth and depth of class discussions here is enriching and inspiring. If you want to learn to work in a multi-cultural environment, it seriously does not get better than this.

Apart from these serious things, there is ample amount of fun as well (on most times, much more than optimum :P ). In the next post I will try to capture that and also, what all  is making me fall in love with this great city called London.

There is so much to write and so much to share; the only challenge is time. It does travel. At what speed, I am still confused :)

Read the rest of this entry »