Posts Tagged ‘Orientation week’

Landing in London the night before the first day of orientation, I literally had no time to catch my breath before I was swept into the whirlwind that is London Business School! Walking into City hall amidst  a chattering, buzzing group of new LBS MiMs, I instantly felt like part of a community, with the most unbelievably diverse group of people I had ever been around. It wasn’t just the fact that we accounted for more than 50 nationalities, it was the languages, the experiences, the undergrad majors, the internships, the perspectives. Coupled with the fact that everyone was incredibly warm, curious, open, energetic, and just plain fun, I knew that this was going to be one of the best years of my life.

I quickly learnt the art of time management. It’s quite incredible, the number of activities one can sign up for on a daily basis. Class, club activities, recruiter events, case study sessions, parties, sundowners, and the general discovery of this wonderful city. It became clear however, that as alluring as they all were, I had to carefully plan my day so as to meet all my commitments. The result was a very populated calendar, but very fulfilling days.

And yeah, I must mention my study group. To provide some context, every MiM is assigned to a study group of about five or six people. Since we are given a plethora of group assignments, simulations and presentations, one ends up spending a lot of time with their study group. I simply loved mine. It’s amazing how it was never a competition, but always a collaboration; how motivated everyone was; how much you can learn from each other; how deep, enduring friendships develop. Yes, we spent hours locked up in one of LBS’s many meeting rooms debating on the finer points of statistical modelling, but also spent a memorable evening dining on chicken and wine. I speak nostalgically because I’m going to be assigned to a new study group next term. While I’ll miss my old study group, I’m excited because I know I’m up for a whole new fascinating experience.

To be perfectly honest, I had no idea how much one could grow in such a short time. I’ve only spent 3 months here at LBS but the experience has been immensely transformative. I can’t wait to see what the second term will bring!

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Orientation Week

 

Following up on my last post, I had a couple of months to spend after being accepted into the LBS EMBA programme. I spent these months doing two things.

 

One, I spread the news far and wide – to  friends, relatives, and colleagues. I simply loved the sense of awe I would see in people’s reactions to the news. It reinforced my belief that this was a great programme to be a part of, and made me feel more confident of my decision to accept the offer.

 

Two, I had spent all of June in a nervous state, afraid to think about how life would be during and after the EMBA programme. I didn’t want to jinx it. Now, I allowed myself to slowly become more and more excited. As each development happened, be it a welcome email, an update of some sort or access to the portal, the reality dawned upon me that I was about to go back to school. I spent hours reading about LBS, London and Dubai. I explored the portal until there was nothing left to explore. I joined student groups online. I read discussion boards. The best part was, I enjoyed every bit of it.

 

Finally, the time came to depart for London. I was at the airport checking in my bags. The check-in attendant seemed disinterested, until she asked to see my UK Visa. She had never seen a student visitor visa before. She asked me, are you going for school? I replied in the affirmative. She then asked me why I was going only for a week. As I explained, I saw the same sense of awe in her too. “How cool!”, she exclaimed. She wanted to hear all about it. We had to end our conversation prematurely, as there were people in line.

 

Anyway, I got to London a couple of days before the first day of orientation. I wandered around the city on the first day. Though I had been to London four times before, I had always seen it through the eyes of a budget traveler. The neighborhoods around LBS were something new for me. I loved every bit of it. The second day, I wandered over to campus. At first, I was hesitant to enter. In India, random people just don’t get allowed to enter the campus of a university. You have to have an ID card or a very strong reason to be allowed inside. The gentleman at the reception smiled and asked me if he could help me. I told him I was looking for the EMBA registration desk, and he showed me where to go.

 

I walked over, smiling for no reason. As soon as one crosses the garden between the buildings, there is a wonderful sense of calm. No street noise whatsoever. I signed in, collected my iPad (which was completely unexpected) and hung around to talk to a few other people who were also signing in.  Then I walked back to my hotel like a child who is just returning from a toy store, with my iPad in one hand and LBS welcome kit in another. I slept late, excited about the next day.

 

The first day of orientation was quite a bit to handle, even though it was only an evening. We had a wonderful speech by the Dean followed by welcome drinks. I remember standing in a corner, observing people. Everyone seemed like such a rock star. I felt a sudden pang of inferiority. Now I knew why they had welcome drinks. A glass of wine gave me the courage to socialise. I realized that everyone probably thought the same, and started talking to people. The discussions continued into the night at the hotel bar, and did so all week. It turned out to be one of my favorite things about orientation week.

 

Over the next few days, we had a series of interesting talks by various professors and alumni. Talks about school, career, life after LBS and what not. We also started our first modules, Leadership Skills and Understanding General Management. The professors were top-class and really knew their subjects well. I especially liked the fact that in spite of the research background, they were able to connect real life situations to what they were talking about in class. The examples came from diverse geographies, industries and experience levels and kept the discussions animated and engaging.

 

My agenda for the week was to talk and connect to as many people as possible, be it faculty, staff or students. I focused on those who were part of the London stream, simply because it would be a while until I got to see them again. “London or Dubai?” became the most frequently used phrase in my vocabulary for those few days.

 

At the end of the week, I was exhausted, excited, impressed and humbled. Exhausted, because I consistently chose socializing over sleeping. I was always one of the last few to leave the hotel bar after many interesting conversations. Excited, because the orientation week really set a tone for what lay ahead. I couldn’t wait to go to Dubai for the second module. Impressed, by the calibrof the staff, professors and classmates. I can safely say that I did not meet two people who had done the same thing prior to their EMBA. Humbled, because I was considered good enough to be part of this fantastic group of people. I thought I had achieved a great deal up to this point, but the stories I heard told me there was so much more that my classmates have achieved.  Being one of the youngest in the class, I think it’s a good thing. I have the most to learn, and I will have the most time to apply what I learn.

 

The point that stood out the most for me was the complete lack of arrogance. LBS also did a good job of making it clear that being part of the EMBA program should not lead to a sense of entitlement. They didn’t need to, the class as a group seemed like some of the most down-to-earth people I have met. I go back home eagerly anticipating what lies in store during the next module. I just can’t wait!

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I have just come back from London where I attended one week long orientation for EMBA and I can’t tell you how happy I am.

I am not only happy with my decision of joining London Business School but also could see the enormous value LBS EMBA is going to add in my life in the next 20 months. I am ready for transformation, I told myself excitedly and I am proud to be part of LBS.

Looking back, few months down the line, it was beginning of September 2012 when I started my research of applying to top B school for EMBA. I started my research by creating a list of what I wanted from a school, apart from world class education and FT ranking of top 10. My list had few very important non negotiable criteria’s and few “good to have” criterias. I was looking for a school that could give me the most diverse classroom and international faculty as in the EMBA you not only learn from faculty but from your classmates too. The other things in my list were: more campus visits, a campus near India and once in a month study block. I also wanted the same MBA education and degree but in EMBA format.

I was also apprehensive about Middle East campuses of LBS and other schools but through my research I figured out that in LBS the faculty and education is the same in London and Dubai campus. By joining Dubai campus, I could do 3 core modules in London and a choice of doing electives (6 to 8) in Dubai, London, Hong Kong University, or Columbia Business School. I chose London Business School because it had everything I was looking for and now after orientation week I can say that by joining EMBA and LBS I have taken the best decision of my life.

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My first impressions

Posted by: Nav

The first day of school is always special and I was really excited on my first day as an Executive MBA (EMBA) student at London Business School. Heavy snow greeted the London and Dubai EMBA class, who had come together for the first day of the orientation week on a cold Sunday in January. The weather could not dampen the enthusiasm of the 130 students who had gathered in the Dining Hall for the welcome address – there was a buzz in the room with handshakes and enthusiastic introductions.

As the week progressed, I realised why London Business School was described as an ‘aah’ school by the Dean in his welcome address (‘aah’ being the standard reaction when you mention LBS as your alma mater!). You look around the class and every student is an Achiever– a mix of entrepreneurs, directors, VPs, project managers and students in various other leadership roles. I absolutely love the class debates where everyone has a different perspective on analysing a case study – viewpoints that are so different to mine that every lecture has been a great learning experience.

Another impression I have carried from the Orientation week is that the quality of teaching is absolutely fantastic – I really enjoyed the Leadership Skills course run by Dr. Margaret Ormiston and the Understanding General Management course run by Dr. Yiorgos Mylonadis. The teaching standards set in the first week are high and if all our professors are this good, then it will be a really enjoyable (and challenging!) 20 months.

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MiM2012 orientation was packed with useful career development programs, personal development programs, keynote speakers and of course, evenings at the Windsor. As I look back on orientation week, one message seems to really resonate….Network. Network. Network. And did I mention Network?!

During the first month at LBS I had the fortunate opportunity to hear successful networking stories that showcased the value of building long lasting professional connections. Whether you use networking as a form of job-hunting, a learning opportunity or making new friends, networking never fails to reap professional benefits. In the beginning I was hesitant to walk into a room of strangers in business suits and really put myself out there. However, as one of the keynote speakers so aptly put it, “just be yourself, but with skill”. Already, LBS has helped in harnessing my skills and clarifying the process of networking. I mean, that’s one of the great things about studying at LBS, there are infinite opportunities to make new connections, to hear about others’ experiences and to make valuable lifelong relationships that render beyond Nash lounge and Taunton library. I had the fortunate opportunity to speak with senior executives, managers, and recruiters across all industries including Johnson & Johnson, Accenture and Deloitte. And to think, the program has just begun!

I look forward to continuing to develop my networking skills, whether I’m at the Windsor this evening or the FINCO event later this week.

Happy Networking!

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Why LBS is unique

Posted by: Alexis
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To tell you the truth, it took me a while to get used to the idea that I am officially part of the MiM2012 class and member of the London Business School community! Five weeks have passed since 144 “strangers” crossed the gate of LBS for the first time. One month later, I can say that, despite the little sleep and the really busy day to day schedule,  the overall experience is far beyond what I expected. Learning from the world’s top faculty is certainly one element but also I really appreciate sharing the experiences of an amazingly diverse group of peers, building friendships, having fun, developing my personality and improving my character…

And because first impressions always count, I will mention just a tiny example back from our first week. In  my eyes this experience was sufficient enough to show me that, above all, the Spirit of this School is what makes it the best in the world…

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My MiF experience after one month

Posted by: Jon
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Four weeks down and none the worse for wear.   Intro day and the first week were a breeze; it was great to meet my classmates and small group members.  Away day and the ensuing barbeque was so much fun; a really positive day with great weather and fun activities.  It was great to get to know people outside of school so soon into the program.

The first few weeks of the program are mostly prep courses — accounting, statistics, and Personal Assessment and Development (PAD) — as well as a huge amount of Career Services work.  The classes take up a lot of time but outside of class there is little work.  Most of our free time is spent doing innumerable revisions to our CVs and cover letters in preparation for the CV book publishing date and on-campus recruiting (starting in a week and a half).  We had a great class on networking.  The PAD class was tremendous; we all left feeling the professor was spectacular and wishing we had more.

We’re now into the core curriculum — Financial Accounting and Analysis, Investments, and Corporate Finance — and we only have one 3-hour class each day, but more than enough work outside of class to make us constantly busy.  We’ve still managed to find time to work out, see London, and spend a suitable amount of time in the Windsor Castle.  The classmates who know London organize an open invitation to a different pub in London each week; great for seeing the city with people who are developing into our close friends.

Next week is an Investments mid-term.  Hard to believe one month has already passed.  It’ll be December in no time.  Best to work hard, spend time with friends, and make the most out of the short program.

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Pre-Term 1: Carpe Diem with a disclaimer

Posted by: Wouter
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When I stepped off the Eurostar in London’s Saint Pancreas station, about two weeks ago, my two overloaded suitcases were formal: this was not another city trip or a short term stay to find a flat. This is it, I’m here to stay, to start my two year MBA adventure.

Ever since, there is a funny itchy feeling in my neck. It’s the feeling that something is about to happen. A momentum is building up, with the energy of a late summer evening storm.

The very first week of the program is called Orientation. It is the time when people scramble to meet & greet (and re-meet & re-greet) as many fellow students as possible in a short time, and to get to know the specifics of the program. It’s a time were the only notes taken are names and phone numbers. Somehow, it feels comfortable and warm, like an eternal cocktail party. However, subtly, after some days things changes.

Increasingly, you see people walking with huge binders full of course material, or you notice somebody selling financial calculators on the school’s online portal. In the informal talks, current students refer systematically to a mysterious key ingredient to MBA-success called “time management”. The notes you take transform from phone numbers into to-do lists. The momentum builds.

If you look at the horizon, it looks like it’s going to get busy, it’s going to be a hell of a ride, and it’s going to happen very soon.

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Dear ladies and gents, fellow students, professors and course administrators, alumni, recruiters, analysts, those who are considering LBS as a potential Alma Mater, random visitors who couldn’t fall asleep and ended up on this page – hello to you!

With so many audiences to attend to I will have to spread myself thin to cover every aspect of our life as reborn students… but gosh it feels good to be calling myself that again – immediately gives your confidence an uplift, as well as eligibility for discounted train and opera tickets. It’s 5.43 a.m. on Monday, I am wide awake, feeling excited and a bit anxious, proud and bouncy. Instead of usual commute to the City, I am heading to the Regent’s Park – but my life did not change from work to a picnic, I am up for a week-long induction that looks like a test of ones character.

On arrival, I immediately hear from the career services team that having a part-time programme on your CV demonstrates limitless commitment to career development, admiration of challenges (and pursuance of perfection), which feels comforting, especially if you didn’t think in these terms before. In fact our drive is so high, that people commute not only in space – some travel fortnightly from such faraway lands as Saudi Arabia and Russia; but in time – it appeared that a long lost acquaintance of mine, who took a french course with me 7 years ago in the south of France, was also randomly on MiFpt2013. Some individuals even featured broken body parts, which did not stop them from volunteering for a position of the class social representative. Astonishing.., but, stealing some P.Picasso, – Todo lo que puede ser imaginado es real*. …makes me wonder if other LBS programmes do anything similar…

Another pleasantry that I cannot omit, is the level of LBS’s preparation to ensure we take as much as possible from these 2 years in class. To help us cope with the elevated levels of excitement following some random and other more normally correlated events (including ring-fencing and rogue trading, all of which created a proper mood for studying the so-very-changing finance universe) for 13 hours a day we are mastering statistics, organisational behaviour and accounting – just as a preparation. Our pictures are taken twice, we are armed with 2 name badges and a name plate, a branded backpack, which can compete in storing facilities with Mary Poppins’ sac de voyage; binders, maps, pens and a set of foreign currency to be actively traded between our teams for the sake of kick-starting teambuilding, brain activity and getting a prise. The week ended in the wilderness of English countryside, where our motivation and “trust you peer” abilities were further strengthened by a climb onto a 30m tall poll, followed by a group jump, and other similar amusements. …still keep wondering about the other programmes…

In the interest of other, probably more informative pages on this site, that do deserve your visit, I will finish this post here by congratulating the MiFpt2013 with making it through the first week and wishing the best of luck to everyone: Have Fun! Do not accept defeat! Do not hurt people! And always strive to be happy!

Inna

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First day at school… again.

Posted by: Kennedy
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It’s been more than 11 years since I left Uni. First day back to school was like the first day at school again, I felt excited, nervous, happy, worried, relax and tense. When I walked towards the school’s entrance, I was greeted by many very well positioned welcome signs. They directed me to the Sainsbury’s building where I was given a warm welcome by Linden Selby. She gave me a precious souvenir from the school – a nice magnetic name tag, with my name, the title of the programme, graduation year and the logo of the two schools. The tag signified that I am now a family member of the two business schools. This was the moment when everything finally sank in: “I am now embarking on a life changing experience. Nobody knows how it is going work out at the end, but one thing for sure – it is going to be great!!”

With the name tag nicely secured on my suit jacket, I started walking towards the lecture theatre area where I spent most of the time during the orientation week. While walking up the stairs, the sense of excitement was building up rapidly. I could hear the sound of people chatting got louder and louder every step of the way. When I opened the door and entered the refreshment area, I was greeted by my new classmates and the first lesson began (although the school didn’t explicitly say it): How to effectively remember the name and face of the person you have just met and the conversation you had with that person, then multiply this by 75? No matter what level you are, this does really sharpen your social skills. The good news was that everyone genuinely wanted to get to know each other well. So it was a great atmosphere.

The first week of lectures was amazing! I attended a class visit a few months back and the experience was great. However people couldn’t help but thinking that the school might have arranged the best lectures for the visits, but they are wrong! All the lectures were equally as good. The applause from the class at the end of each lecture clearly reflected this. It was an amazing experience, I have learnt a lot and I felt very inspired to apply the learning at work.

One of the advantages of being an EMBA Global is that we have an average of 11 years of global work experience, so we can relate to the topics and discussions in class. More importantly, people who are here want to be here, so everyone was very engaged. We were asking constructive questions, giving insightful comments and challenging assumptions professionally. Despite the rigorous schedule and extra curriculum activities, no one fell asleep in class despite the lack of it!

Among all the core courses in the first term, “Executive Leadership” and “Leadership and Organisational Change” were my favourites, where as “Financial Accounting” was my least favourite (no offense Professor, I am just telling the truth). However the first week of class changed my perception to Financial Accounting. The professor turned this seemingly boring, dull and complex subject into a very interesting and easily understandable subject. Well… come to think it, it shouldn’t be a surprise, right? Now Financial Accounting is one of my favourite, in spite of the heavy homework ;)

The orientation week went pass really quickly. It was the last day before I knew it. It has been a fun week. It has been great! I have learnt a lot. I have met a lot of nice people. So I am looking forward to the next class week in New York. See you there!

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