Posts Tagged ‘MiF’

I decided to write this post to reflect on the tremendous amount of opportunities I have been a part of since I started the MiF program 9 months ago. More specifically, I’d like to share with you my experience at LBS this past week alone.

Granted, the quality of the MiF program is top-notch (as ranked #1 by the Financial Times for a consecutive of years). What truly amazes me is the diversity and inclusion at LBS – the people, the cultures, and the opportunities.

Practitioner Courses (Monday & Wednesday)

In addition to the core courses and the elective courses, LBS students have the options to take practitioner courses, which are courses run by experienced industry practitioners. Starting this week, I have two weekly practitioner courses in my calendar: Advanced Financial Modeling and Social Entrepreneurship.

The Advanced Financial Modeling course teaches the mechanics of financial modeling and equips students with the tools to perform various and practical financial structuring and modeling tasks as done in most investment banks.

The Social Entrepreneurship course aims to provide students a comprehensive introduction to the field of social entrepreneurship, and to identify the opportunities and challenges of a career in social entrepreneurship.

These are two very distinctive courses; one is more technical and the other is more entrepreneurial. As I am currently working on two part-time projects, one for a financial advisory firm and the other for a not-for-profit organization, I find these practitioner courses especially valuable.

Sundowners (Thursday)

The LBS Sundowners happen every Thursday evening, from 6:45pm to 8:30pm. Faculty, students and alumni gather at The Nash lounge for free beer and wine. Since one of the 8 rules set by the Sundownders Crew is “What happens in the Nash stays in the Nash”, I won’t go into further details. Just know that Sundowners is probably one of the most beloved things for the LBS community.

TEDxLondon Business School (Thursday & Friday)

IMG_3176

Something I genuinely enjoy doing is volunteering. Despite my schedules during Term 1 and 2 were mostly packed with classes and recruitment, I always try to find the time and opportunities to volunteer – such as teaching primary and secondary students business skills, fundraising for Toy Drive and conducting mock interviews for high school students.

This Thursday and Friday, I had the pleasure to volunteer for the annual TEDxLBS conference. On Thursday, the volunteers gathered at Royal Geographical Society to set up the venue, sort the 500 goodie bags and badges, and ensure everything is ready for the next day. Within five hours, we allocated over five thousands of goodies into five hundred bags for the attendees. Supply chain, time management, and manpower – all the hard work goes into the gift bags for tomorrow.
TEDxLBS

TEDxLBS is a whole-day event from 9:30 to 19:00, with 15 talks on a wide range of topics (finance, science, technology, art, music, Africa, and leadership). The theme of TEDxLBS 2015 is KALEIDOSCOPE: Kalos, Eidos, Skopeo (Beauty, Shape, Examine) – the observation of beautiful forms.

The volunteer team arrived at Royal Geographical Society by 7:15am on Friday. I was responsible for registration, sponsor booth and ushering. Although I missed half of the talks, I was very happy to see the audiences being inspired by the speakers. Through TEDxLBS, we gain the kaleidoscope to explore and reflect new colors and perspectives. 

If you missed the conference, don’t worry. The TEDxLBS videos will be available online in a couple of weeks!

LBS Hackathon Bootcamp (Saturday)

Hackathon

Having spent six years of my life living in Silicon Valley, I’ve always been interested in technology and innovation. The LBS Hackathon is a weekend long event where people passionate about entrepreneurship come together to create products from ideas. The actual LBS Hackathon is going to be held next weekend, but the Hackathon team is very thoughtful to organize a Bootcamp to get everyone prepared, technically and mentally.

During the one-day Bootcamp, participants from LBS and outside of LBS gathered to learn the multiple aspects of creating a startup. We had speakers and attendees who are entrepreneurs, scientists, lawyers, doctors and “business people”. From coding 101 to fundraising and legal, business model canvas to product design & MVP creation. The speakers particularly emphasize the importance and value of people. “Most of the startups fail not because of the product, but because of the people.”

I am impressed by how much I’ve learned within only one day. I can’t wait for the LBS Hackthon next weekend!

MBAT Volleyball Practice (Sunday)

IMG_3262

One month after I joined LBS in August 2014, I met a few MBA2015 students who went to the MBAT in 2014. They all agreed that it was one of their best experiences at LBS. I therefore made sure that I don’t miss out on this special opportunity (the tickets were sold within seconds)!

“The MBA Tournament (MBAT) is the biggest and best inter-school sporting event of the modern ages.” It’s the annual sport tournaments where all the top business schools compete with each other on a physical level. “The illustrious House LBS has historically dominated this tournie of business school champions and we intend to continue to #OwnTheThrone!”​

As MBAT is approaching in two weeks, the LBS teams are practicing frequently and hard. On Sunday afternoon, after I visited Hampstead Village with my PEVC study group, I joined the Volleyball team at Regents Park for a practice session. We are incredibly excited to #OwnTheThrone for LBS at HEC Paris!


Here it is. A glimpse into a week of my life at LBS. I hope this article has provided you some new perspectives about the endless possibilities at London Business School.

Masters in Finance is more than finance.

Read the rest of this entry »
avatar

Electives, electives

Posted by: Ly Le

This week the last add/drop round for electives is over, so for any MiFs who, like me, are not taking the fourth term, that means we have had our final say in the subjects which will appear in our transcript. Now what is left to work on is the grades which accompany them only. Should be a piece of cake! (That was a joke, and before you ask, yes, us MiFs can and do crack jokes as well as anyone)

Anyhow, I thought this a good time to talk a bit about how I got around picking my electives, since it seems to also be a topic of much concern among candidates I have talked with so far. The good news is, the elective portfolio for MiFs currently consists of an amazing 32 courses, out of which we can choose 7 to 10 to add to our program. The bad news is, the elective portfolio for MiFs currently consists of an STAGGERING  32 courses, out of which we HAVE TO choose 7 to 10 to add to our program. You might not think 7 to 10 is that many, but I assure you, when you get down to it, it is actually a lot to choose, also it means that you get to decide entirely for yourself what you are going to do at LBS from the second term onward. To offer you aid in this time of need, LBS has a nice online bidding system, which all of us, despite initial skepticism, have found very user-friendly and tremendously helpful. You will be introduced to the system in due course in your year at LBS, so i will not talk more about it. What I want to do with this post is giving you a few pointers about how to actually pick the electives to bid for, using the aforementioned awesome system. You can trust me, I think, because learning from past mistakes is always one of the best ways to learn, and, as you will see soon enough, I have messed up rather spectacularly with my Spring term choices.

Pointer #1: Balance your schedule. For your reference, the prevailing practice appears to be 4 to 5 electives per term, but that is the nature of such practice, for reference only, because you should not let peer pressure talks you into doing all 4 courses when you are already spreading yourself too thin with job hunt and internships and what-not. If, in Spring term, you have managed to secure an ideal internship, or you want to finish you CFA (or ACCA, as I ought to have done, but was too lazy to), or it just happens to be the recruitment season in your favorite industry, if any of that happens, then it is perfectly okay to limit yourself to 2 electives or even the minimum of 1. Last term there was this week in which I was juggling 4 group assignments just when things were starting to get crazy at my internship (I interned at a designer boutique and it was London Fashion Week, yes, it was as horrific as it sounds). It was an amazingly exciting, highly fulfilling week, but one which I would rather not repeat, seeing how I was mostly dead on my feet for the fortnight following.

Pointer #2: Balance your courses. Among the available electives, there are some we unofficially refer to as “light courses”, owing to the fact that they do not require much of heavy book-lifting and/or intensive case studies. On the other end of the spectrum, there are monstrous courses which require you to, every week, prepare a 30-page case, read 5 research papers and 50 pages of textbooks, swim the length of the Amazon and climb to the top of the Everest. Okay, that was probably exaggerating it a tiny bit, but you get my point, no? Basically, you would not want to study more than 2 of those Herculean electives together in one term. In Spring I innocently, happily, opted to do 3 of them at the same time. People have been telling me I was courting death, and you know what, I wholeheartedly agree.

Pointer #3: Balance your purpose. I am sure, having gone through all the stress of the application process to finally get an offer from LBS, you would want your academic year in London to add as much value as possible to your future career, so, at the risk of being the ultimate kill-joy, I do think you need to choose electives based on their degree of possible usefulness for the job you want to do after graduation. Thanks to our ever thoughtful program office, this pointer is not as hard to execute as it sounds. As you may well know already, there are 3 possible concentrations you can go for within the MiF: investment management & analysis, corporate finance, and risk management & derivatives. So, all you need to do is take your pick and filter the list in the elective timetable to narrow it down to the useful courses.

Pointer #4: Forget balance, let’s have some fun. I am putting myself in great danger here, of course, because there is no guarantee that I won’t be told off for giving you this completely irresponsible advice. But, honestly, if there is something I most highly recommend people to do at LBS, it is to have fun. So, if among the electives there happens to be a subject which truly interests you, do not hesitate to bid for it, even if it has nothing to do with your future career or if you have only the faintest notion of what it is all about. Because why not? There will probably be no other period of time in your life in which you are so totally free to satisfy your academic curiosity. As I distinctly remember, in my application essay, I did tell LBS that the reason why I want to do the MiF is, first and foremost, because I want to study. Up to this point, 2 terms into the program, I find that I can still repeat that conviction of mine with pride (I do have to repeat it actually, you know, people keep raising eyebrows at my choice of doing that Behavioral Finance elective).

As a final thought, despite the jumble I made in picking electives, my Spring term was, on the whole, very enjoyable and I do not regret taking any of the 4 courses I took. I learned an awful lot of new things and I had my fair share of fun too. Bottom line: you can’t go wrong with any of those 32 (and soon to be increased) electives.

That is it, folks, I hope you find these pointers of mine somewhat useful, if not, please be generous enough to consider it a harmless bit of rambling from a student wishing to do something different in this last week before her new school term starts. I am doing 5 electives in Summer, so wish me luck?

Read the rest of this entry »

Today I submitted my last take home exam and officially reached the end of my first term at LBS. Thought it might be a good time as any to look back on all that has happened since first I set foot on campus in August.

In the first month, there was a flurry of activities hosted by the school’s Career Services team, which very much took me by surprise, since according to my logic, the job is rather supposed to follow the education and not the other way round. Anyhow, it was a pleasant surprise, because the Career Services team are full of wonderful people and all of us MiFs love them very much. Thanks to their effort, by the 3rd week of September, I was the owner of:

  • A flawlessly written, challenge-action-result structured, beautiful, one-page CV
  • The ability to produce a perfect cover letter for any company, any job, within the hour
  • A range of impressive skills to deal with the most challenging of interviews
  • A new and much improved LinkedIn profile (yes friends, at LBS, you do get help with LinkedIn)
  • Solid networking techniques which transformed me from a socially awkward penguin into an acceptably effective networker (if this result seems somewhat lackluster compared to the rest, it was by no means Career Services’ fault, as I said, I was a penguin)
  • The beginning, and the knowledge to duly figure out the rest, of an answer to the question “is it for me?” with regards to a wide selection of industries
  • An ambitious yet plausible career plan, with a plan A and a plan B and room in the back for plan C

The 3rd week of September also marked the beginning of a series of on campus recruitment (OCR) events, where representatives from a long list of prestigious firms showed up to convince us students they would be the perfect employer, and in turns, we got the chance to exercise our newly developed networking techniques in an attempt to impress them as potential employees. It was an exciting period, and in case you are a sponsored student who does not need to look for a job after graduation (lucky you!), you can still enjoy yourself by sitting back and admiring the air of utmost professionalism and urgency as your classmates dashed from lecture theaters to company presentations to drink receptions, all in their best suits.

Around the time the OCRs were going on, the many student clubs at LBS also started kicking off their agenda for the new school year. The first order of business is usually a session to introduce the club to the new students, which doubles up as a call for applications to the executive committee. The Student Association Autumn Elections and the search for Student Ambassadors are both on the way during late September too, so if you are an aspiring student leader, this is your turn on stage. I myself managed to get away quite well with this period, securing a post in the executive committee of the LBS Industry Club. For your information, the Industry Club is one of the biggest clubs on campus. Our mission is to help people figure out whether a corporate career is ideal for them and if it is, how to land yourself the job. During Autumn term, our agenda centered on the highly popular “What is…?” series, weekly events where we brought in industry experts to satisfy any questions you might have about a plethora of industries and corporate functions. (Sorry for the PR, just thought I should do my duty as VP Marketing of the Club.)

Before you become overly concerned, allow me to confirm that yes, we did our fair share of study this first term too. The term began with 2 preparatory courses in accounting and data analytics (you can get exempted from any or both if you have a professional accounting certification or/and demonstrable knowledge of statistics). Then there were the 4 core courses: Personal Assessment and Development, Investments, Financial Accounting and Analysis, and Corporate Finance and Valuation. With the exception of Investments, which leaned a bit more to the technical side, all the courses were mostly case study-based, the result being that lectures more often than not resembled open floor discussions. The MiF’s diversity assured that no matter the case, there were always at least 3 experts on the subjects to keep the debate heated. Another exceptionally fine feature of the MiF that I have come to appreciate was the fact that whenever a professor asked “Is there anyone here from xxx country?”, almost 100% of the time the answer would be yes. Cheers for the amazing 42 countries represented in our class this year!

Group assignment was an important component in any courses, so we spent a lot of time with our study group (which we were randomly assigned to, and remained the same for all core courses). My study group is one Australian/New Zealander short of representing all the world’s populated continents (Antarctica does not count), and no one used to work in the same industry as any other, so you can imagine the “fun” we had trying to resolve all the (friendly) arguments. That said, we somehow grew so close as a group that when we submitted our last assignment, everyone got so emotional I swear I was able to detect some teary eyes here or there.

In the first weeks of December, up to our choice of electives, we can take 1 or 2 block-week courses to wrap up Autumn term. These block weeks were quite intensive since the format means that we complete an elective during a single week. I chose to take Strategy for MiFs during the first block week (and skipped the second week in favor of a trip to Edinburgh, but pray do not let my laziness get to you). Strategy turned out to be my favorite course of the whole term. My classmates were of the opinion that I liked Strategy so much simply because all the case studies happened to be about my favorite things: coffee, luxury watches, books and fashion, not to mention the simulation game at the end of the week, which involved us acting as managers for football teams. However, I would maintain that the numerous theories of strategy we were taught were equally enjoyable.

I think it would be apt to end this post by showing you the bottle of champagne our group won for arriving at first place in the mentioned strategy simulation game. Our lecturer professor Ioannou specially warned me not to show the world how at LBS we talked about sports and brought alcohol to lecture theaters, so naturally I feel obliged to do exactly that.

Champagne

Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday to everyone. Do feel free to drop me a line if you have any questions about life at LBS.

Read the rest of this entry »

It is difficult to believe that it is December already and I have completed my first LBS exam. It felt like only yesterday when the Masters in Finance Full Time and Part Time students met for the first time in our week-long introduction course for London Business School (for the Part-Timers anyway) and we were all struggling to adapt to the life of a student!

 

Now I can reflect on the past few months of this journey and I have come away extremely impressed with the quality of this business school. LBS prides itself on the quality of the faculty, the quality of the students and the quality of the curriculum. This is why LBS is the premier business school in Europe and is one of the “global elite” business schools.

 

The first semester tackled Financial Accounting and Analysis. Some people would think that this is a boring topic, suitable for those who are accountants by nature and remote from the reality of business. They are wrong! It is a class that combines theory and reality and provides the tools to critically analyse corporate performance. The practicality and applicability means that people can employ these skills whether they work in corporate finance, equity analysis or investing (both professionally and personally).

 

Group work is one of the most rewarding experiences over the past few months. The MiF student body is extraordinarily international and working in groups makes us appreciate different cultures and ideas and helps break through any “silo mentality”. The student group is diverse but universally clever, hard-working and are definitely the “future leaders” of the financial and business community globally.

 

One of the better aspects of LBS, and one that if you are thinking of applying you must consider, is the optional courses and clubs. For instance, I have just finished an optional course on “Advanced Financial Modelling” that has taught me how I can quickly and accurately build a model for a variety of purposes from operational performance to M&A. These skills are applicable from Day 1 and builds out your CV and skillset for current and potential employers (as well as if you want to use modelling for personal investment purposes). The clubs are similarly useful with alumni from across industries coming in for panel discussions and networking. There is so much variety to choose from that it is difficult to manage your diary!

 

I know that this sounds a bit “full on” and maybe a tad too serious but there is a ‘work hard, play hard’ aspect to LBS as well. Whether it is drinks, dinner, Thames River cruises or ski trips, LBS students know how to enjoy themselves when away from the textbooks!

 

The past few months has been an exciting journey for many of the MiF students. LBS offers such breadth and depth of opportunity that I have barely begun scratching the surface. No one should be in doubt that this school gives you the opportunity to develop those soft and hard skills to achieve your potential.

Read the rest of this entry »
avatar

Life as a MiF….

Posted by: Christina

First of all, I have to note that they do call us “Miffs” – not M-I-F (personally I think that miff sounds a tad strange).  This is just one of the many things I have discovered since stepping off the plane in August.  I am originally from Philadelphia and spent my entire life in 1 city, which is precisely why I chose to pursue a global post-graduate degree and LBS has not disappointed.

Life has been a roller coaster since I arrived.  Given that the MiF programme is only one year long, we were immediately thrown into classes/career services events.  We’ve already completed one course and it’s not even November.  Orientation was held at the beautiful Mansion House.  It was here that the MiFFT 2013 class was together for the first time.  There are 118 of us from 33 different countries.  Meeting everyone has been exciting and learning everyone’s names has been a challenge!

My first 2 months were unbelievably busy and, like the weather in London, unpredictable.  They’ve been filled with classes, late nights in the library studying for the investments final, meeting amazing people from all over the world, the stock pitch competition, and spending far too much money at the Windsor (or The Max as I like to call it for all you Saved by the Bell Fans out there).  I’ve discovered a lot about myself, and even found that I might actually like accounting (thanks to our amazing professors Scott and Achmed!).  I’ve also adjusted to the British culture, from figuring out where the keys are on the British keyboard to learning which way to look when I cross the street.  I cannot believe that it’s almost November (but I am looking forward to Halloween!).  The first 2 months have been amazing and I can’t wait to find out what the rest of the year has in store for us!

Read the rest of this entry »
avatar

My journey to LBS

Posted by: Gayathrisai

There comes a stage in our career where familiarity breeds strategy! It was precisely at this stage that I recognized the need to enhance my technical skills, to make a geography shift and to gain global exposure. Soon began my search for the right course and school. London had always fascinated me since the first time I heard about the city during my mom’s visit in 1989. Everything about London points to its diversity – right from its people to its architecture. It’s one of the financial centres of the world. According to me, so is LBS! In the coming year, I look forward to a truly global experience, lifetime associations, loads of fun, wonderful memories and of course, hard work!

My journey to LBS is one of nostalgia, founded on the cornerstone of foresight with pillars of toil. My preparation for GMAT and the application process were clearly sandwiched between the crazy 70 hour work weeks, not to mention handling social and family calls. While getting admitted to LBS is a milestone, successful course completion is like scaling a mountain peak, though the discipline that got me here is sure to see me through!

Read the rest of this entry »

If there were such things as “test drives” or “samples” on offer, people would be spared the excruciating challenge of choosing which Business School to do an exchange in or even give tens of thousands of internationally traded currency.

In the past 5 years I managed to attend 3 pretty hot schools – London School of Economics, Booth School of Business under the University of Chicago and now – LBS. So I can compare them across some important points; but I beg you to not ask for a ranking, OK? Finding flaws is a tough enough task already – they are all close-to-my-heart-alma-maters, and I will stand up for them against even minor offenders until the very end, like Hector for Troy.

Location
§
Booth has 2 campuses – in downtown Chicago – for those who prefer combining work with pleasure evening courses; and a Hyde park campus on E59th, which is very south, if you know what I mean. So south that I once had to sleep in the student’s lounge because I was too scared to get outside and walk home.
§
The West End location of the LSE will make sure that by the graduation time you turn into a musical connoisseur. If only you did not have to run from one building to another under the rain to change lecture rooms.
§
Baker Street tube station is great for connecting with all the significant spots in London, while being in a quieter area, with a personal and private Regents park.

Sports
§
Booth can boast its access to the University of Chicago fitness facilities – think classic American football, basketball, baseball fields, boxing arena, full size swimming pool with 20 lanes, gym with at least 100 cardio machines and countless iron-lifting options, cheerleader team, etc! Everything you dreamed about (or saw in movies) and more, which can compromise the amount of time you spend in the library.
§
To work up a sweat from any form of team sport at LSE you will have to go to Berrylands (a berry-less village 25min away from Waterloo station on South-West trains). Training standards however make up for it in full.
§
Having a game of rugby in Regents Park, or a round of cricket on the Lord’s Grounds sounds super fun; going to a midget gym + swimming pool in the basement of the library – not so much. But I guess it works…

Speakers
§
Booth did not live up to my expectations, I ended up not going to a single event.
§
No other place can compare to the quality and quantity of LSE speakers. Ever. The only problem is that here a concept of an “early bird” is taken quite literally – if you want to give celebrity speaker a listen – you need to come and physically stand/sit/lie in a queue. Sometimes for a very long time. Before dawn. I remember getting to the School at about 4a.m. only to find myself number 12 in a queue for Alan Greenspan (back in 2007 J), which was to open at 7. The best part is that all the speakers become exceptionally friendly when within the LSE walls, so if you dream of a Soros’s signature – you are guaranteed one after his lecture. Together with a photo. And a kiss.
§
LBS is a good cocktail of speakers and conferences across all industries, country leadership and even celebrities. Business and theory come holding hands to all the events. Students also ogranise industrial tracks around the world (e.g. entertainment track to Hollywood, high-tech track to Sillicon valley).

Lectures
§
Many lecturers at Booth are held by its Nobel prize winning alumni, who cover all the material in class to such extent that no books are required to get a top mark at the exam.
§
Attendance at the LSE was obligatory, but majority of time was spent on deeply theoretical concepts as well as guidance of how to approach self-studying.
§
LBS lectures (at least the core MiFPT ones) are the most engaging and fun I have ever come across. Really.

Self study
§
Booth has the best study area, kept pitch-dark and thus extremely quiet. Assignments are marked very quickly and the results uploaded to the web portal almost immediately (IT services are outstanding). There is also always an option of studying on the beach.
§
LSE is known for its largest in the world Business and Social Science library with a famous spiral staircase. It is open to LBS students as well, as both schools are under the umbrella of the University of London.

Examinations
§
Booth MBA exams seemed like a vacation – you are even asked to put your name on every page of the paper.
§
LSE scores for the toughest exams, most of which take place in summer, even if a class was in autumn. Anonymity approaches MI5 standards. Getting a distinction is next to impossible.
§
LBS only allows to re-sit the core courses, but some electives will give you a take-home exam.

…to be continued

Read the rest of this entry »
avatar

To infinity and beyond

Posted by: Inna Leontenkova
Comments Off

Fasten the seatbelts tight and don’t forget your shades – we are about to witness the MiF brand take off to the stratosphere, and shine even brighter.

Our dear friend in the world of business education – SIDANE* university – has come to accept the demand and value add of an advanced post-experience programme that provides financial professionals with a deeper insight and an opportunity to advance, specialise and network. Or I should rather say “finally accept”, as it’s been more than 20 years since LBS launched MiF, gracefully paving its winding road while moving along the learning curve, and shaping a top-notch international finance force.

How does having a potential competitor make us feel? Borrowing some McDonald’s – we’re “loving it”. No jealousy. No second thoughts, doubts or reservations. We look forward to making the world a better place together, being a team, doing exchanges and holding conferences together. Because what we do here differs astronomically from what’s on offer at various MSc Finance – we already are working in Finance and intend to stay. (Those with trust issues please do Google “Masters in Finance” to get a Wikipedia page explaining the literal meaning of these words’ combination, mostly focusing on general pre-experience courses giving insight into the alluring world of banking and accounting). That’s why we are over the moon to see the MiF programme branch out – it needs to be positioned strongly as a brand to establish recognition similar to the MBA. Competition drives progress, innovation, sophistication, keeps prices under control and we long to see more of it. So “just do it” Thornaw*, Varhdar*, and Forndast*, launch your own MiFs – the world is waiting!

*To avoid unintentional transformation of this post into a free advertising campaign, I conjured up “fictional” university names by doing an anagram exercise (also do not confuse SIDANE with the infamous head-butting football personage of the same origin)

Read the rest of this entry »

As one of the ambassadors for my MiF PT 2013 course I participate in open-door events for the prospective students. I noticed that many of those who drop in to ask questions, grab a brochure and have some coffee + biscuits, exhibit high interest in the school without a firm awareness of which programme they would like to apply for.

So if you aspire to be a part of the LBS community and haven’t a clue which programme suits you most, the below test will help you quickly figure out your personal path of the least resistance in the school.

Which movies are you more likely to watch on a rainy Sunday afternoon ??
(a)
“The Godfather”, “La Dolce Vita”, “Avengers Assemble”, “American Beauty”
(b)
“Margin Call”, “Wall Street”, “I don’t know how she does it”, “American Psyco”
(c)
“I am number 4”, “Horrible bosses”, “Thank you for smoking”, “Captain America”
(d)
“Inception”, “Fast & Furious”, “Jeux d’Enfants”, “American Pie”

How do you get to work every morning ??
(a)
“My chauffer Edward calls on me, but honestly, I would much rather cycle to save the environment”
(b) “I get a cab from my Chelsea flat to the City / Canary Wharf” or “I usually just walk – its not too far from Pimlico to Mayfair”
(c) “I am trying to use public transport to save up for an upcoming considerable investment into my further education”
(d) “I don’t have a job yet – still writing my thesis”

How would your friends describe you ??
(a) Mature and classy
(b) Adventurous and urbane
(c) Tenacious and suave
(d) Motivated and agile

ANSWERS
- mostly (a): sharpen your strategic thinking with Sloan Masters in Leadership and Strategy designed for successful leaders with more than a dozen years of experience;
- mostly (b): dont wait any longer to apply for the world’s premier and ultimate qualification, turning you into a true Master of Finance;
- mostly (c): boost & accelerate your career by giving MBA / EMBA a bite;
- mostly (d): widen your horizons and get noticed with Masters in Management.

Read the rest of this entry »

Mr. Jan W., a risk analyst from CQS, who was interviewing me for the MiF admissions, did not expect to be asked why for every girl on the course there’re as many as 9 guys. He only said that he’d absolutely love to have the proportion levered up a bit…

The most universally accepted answers that people throw at you in situations like that are “gender inequality”, “glass ceiling”, unbearable hardness of “juggling commitments” with “family obligations”, all of which are usually followed by the respondent pulling on a condescending mask of grave pity. Why this version of truth and attitude haven’t become extinct yet is beyond my understanding – its not the 50’s anymore in most corners of our society. Take me, for example. My life is not hard, my life is wonderful; I am not juggling – I am finding time to do things I enjoy; I don’t have family obligations – I have people I love and care about the most in the world; I am not committed for life – I make my own choices, take pleasure in keeping busy and climbing up the Maslow pyramid.

Is my case ordinary? The only child, I was originally meant to be a boy called Ivan. That didn’t quite work out for my parents, – they had to deal with a little curly me, …and repaint the nursery. Their aspirations, however, transitioned into my daddy teaching me to play a guitar, chess, drive a car age 5, etc. In Russia kids go to mixed schools and only learn about some sort of inequality by reading foreign magazines. Probably the aftermath of communist days, we are brought up to share everything in our lives – when my great-grandpa went to the WWII, my great-grandma was in Moscow working as an armed guard at a gun manufacturing factory, while my granny was less than 2 years old.

I will not be so ignorant as to say that the problem doesn’t exist. It does, and the gender proportion of the business school intakes falls under its umbrella, together with numerous other examples, which routinely feature in high-profile conferences, workshops and change initiatives. But constantly talking isn’t necessarily communicating. Changing the public’s attitude is astronomically hard; while taking it one person at a time is stomachable.

So ladies, if you are even slightly considering applying to MiF, no matter your background, please remember that “inequality” is actually about “diversity”. There is no one-size-fits-all profile – you can read the details of LBS students on the website while I will shed light on the statistics that are left undisclosed by school’s official brochures – about our girl’s personal life and work. The best thing about doing the census was the unanimous “what gender inequality…?” response to me mentioning the topic of the post.

I am not a feminist. I would just like to see more of inspired and empowered ladies who are not being dramatic or paranoid, who step outside the comfort zone of clichés. Maybe we don’t rule the world, but we definitely make it go round.

Post Scriptum: My intake showed a more up-beat result – 3 girls for every 7 guys; and according to the MiF program office our course is exceptionally close, fun and overachieving (and not forgetting LBS MiF confirming its N1 World ranking this year). I hope the admissions levels are representative of the level of applications and this notion becomes a steady trend. Our exceptionally charismatic professor H. Moon taught us during one of the Org. Behavior classes that people perform better in co-educational environment . So for the business school guys the current situation is less performance enhancing than for the girls, isn’t it ;) ;)?

Read the rest of this entry »