Posts Tagged ‘Technology’

First I will introduce myself as this is my first post here: my name is Bruna, I am Brazilian and guess what… I was assigned to Stream B at LBS! I got a triple B here but still don’t know if the Program Office did it on purpose.

Before starting the MBA, especially after looking at the Programme Content, I had some expectations about how my student life would be. Some were totally mistaken and I’ll tell you all about this now.

 

1.Workload and Homework

 

Expectation: I knew the MBA was going to be busy with many different activities, but somehow we can’t really believe when others advise us… You look at the school website, the core courses and the program structure and it all seems totally manageable, totally fine! After all, we all had to work more than 10 hours a day, weekends and holidays occasionally. Of course, it takes some time to adapt to a new routine, but once it is established, I was sure it was going to be smooth.

 

Reality: Actually, there is no such thing as routine here! When you think you understood your weekly schedule, they just change everything on the next week. Thought I would never have classes at 8:15 in the morning, now I am having it for the next… well, have to check my schedule again. By the way, during the MBA you are going to say and hear this a lot! You are going to learn all about scheduling apps and methods to set up meetings. Get ready and find some space to install many apps in your mobile!

LBS MBA reactions reality cat too busy runnning bruna moreira

Source: reddit.com

 

2. Corporate Finance classes

 

Expectation: I do not have a Finance background and I knew a lot of my classmates would be aiming to intern in Finance positions. This meant high-level Finance courses since the beginning, no surprise! I thought it would be very, very, very hard to follow the classes.

 

Reality: I just loved the Corporate Finance classes! And I also think my whole class fell in love with our teacher Anna Pavlova, who read a Finance poem in our first class and proved we can have some fun in class (not as much as in a beach drinking piña coladas, but still…). Not that the content is easy, but it is taught in a way that everybody learns it smoothly.

lisa simpson in love bruna moreira reaction to LBS MBA

Source: giphy.com

 

 

3. Non-traditional post-MBA career opportunities

 

Expectation: My initial post-MBA goal is to continue working in Tech and Telecom and I thought it would be very hard to find opportunities for MBAs outside of the traditional Finance and Consulting industries.

 

Reality: Turns out that not only Finance and Consulting companies are talking about technology, but also the Tech & Media Club is one of the most active professional clubs at LBS. We seriously believe David Morris does not sleep! We get at least 2-3 career opportunities a week from him. And there are also jobs and networking opportunities coming from so many other Clubs: Industry, Net Impact, Energy, Infrastructure & Construction, Sports Business, and many regional Clubs.

cat confused with so many options bruna moreira reaction to LBS MBA

Source: unbounce.com

 

So, after all my research (I did a lot, believe me! Or look at GMAT Club and you’ll see it) before the MBA, I still had some wrong expectations. But it turns out to be really amazing and much better than I imagined! I am sure I did the right choice when I decided for LBS. I recommend you do a profound research and analyse how prepared you are before you start this journey. Then, just open your mind and dive into a new adventure.

 

Please leave any questions or comments bellow. I’ll be very happy to read and reply!

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One of the things I’m pretty certain every LBS student puts on their application is that they will participate in organising one of the many conferences we host each year. There is, afterall, a conference for every taste. It sounds like such a great idea at the time and it’s an easy thing to put on an application. Especially when you can point to similar events you’ve organised in the past.

And then school starts. You do decide to follow through with that statement in your application. Albeit, for a conference in a completely different industry. At first you have grand plans for where it will be and who will attend. Do my notes deceive me? Was I really thinking we would be hosting Mark Zuckerberg, Eric Schmidt, and Rupert Murdoch at the Royal Albert Hall? Well, someone did say you should aim for the stars…

And it was with these grand aspirations that we embarked on preparing the LBS Technology & Media Summit. This planning stage was perhaps the most fun – dreaming up the format, the location, the people we wanted. And it’s probably no surprise that it did not take long for us to get a reality check. Or rather, a series of continuous slap downs like some sort of Stonecutters initiation ceremony.

Over the following months you are greeted by what seems to be more setbacks than steps forward. When you think you’ve found that perfect venue, you realise it’s not available on the date you want, or it’s outside of your budget. And then the same applies for backup options 2 through 10 on your list. You wonder if it’s too late to pull out as organiser. And then when you do have your venue, you realise that you’re now only a couple of months away from hosting it and you must now scramble to find speakers.

The aspirational targets quickly fall away, but you realise if you scratch the surface just a little to get below the rockstars, there is an amazing array of talent right on London’s doorstep. At first it’s like a smorgasband of who to choose from. Where to begin? They all look so good! Inevitably, though some say no, others take an age to respond. And then other suggestions arise later down the road. You do wonder if it’s worth all this effort as the initiation slaps turn into a more of a long grind. But slowly and surely you build up your panels and lock in your keynote speakers.

And then you take a moment to breathe. You look at what you have achieved so far. An excellent venue, an amazing lineup of speakers. You are confident that this will be an exceptional event. There is but one thing missing: the attendees.

With a lineup like this, it should sell itself. There is an early flurry from students. But then it slows. You blitz alumni and students with emails; that helps, but you know you can do better. You become inventive; who else can we target, how can we reach them? It’s like an applied class mashing together strategy and marketing concepts. And strangely enough, after all your hardwork, they do come. And from all walks of life; they fly in from Spain specifically for it, they come from other MBA schools, their visit happens to coincide with their London visit from San Fran, they come from companies I have not heard of.

And you take another moment to breathe. By this stage you have taken the Boy Scout’s motto to heart: Be Prepared. You run through the event in your mind at all hours of the day; sometimes even in your sleep. You wonder what could go wrong, how you would recover. The conference day arrives; it goes by in a blur. You are half aware of what the speakers are saying; you’re furiously trying to tweet their insights (afterall, again, this is a technology and media event). You wait for something to falter; it doesn’t happen.

And it becomes a natural high.

Those times you wondered if it was worth the hours, the stress, the lost hair; you realise that it is. For so many reasons: the knowledge that you’re contributing back to the LBS community; the positive feedback and compliments that you receive from attendees; the opportunity to listen and learn, and sometimes hear heated debate; the fact that perseverance has paid off; the chance to work with your amazing and talented classmates; the ability to push yourself and grow (and potentially fail too).


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Enter the Valley

Posted by: James

In decades to come, people will look back on this time in history and they will ask where you were in the heyday of the internet. You might say something like Silicon Roundabout or Silicon Alley, but those names, that use of Silicon in the title is misleading at best – traitorous at worst; Silicon Valley is the heart where the action lies. Like the days of the goldrush, there is only one true place to be, to be amongst the revolution, in the middle of the action, and that place is San Francisco (or just down the road in the Valley).

And that is where the intrepid travellers of the LBS Tech Trek headed for Spring Break. We set off with our pickaxes and pans, or rather, our iPads and styluses to visit the companies setting the trends for the interweb. Who did we visit you ask? A rock star list of: Google, Twitter, Linkedin, Zynga, Dropbox, Kleiner Perkins, Tesla, 500 Startups, and more.

It was an interesting and eye-opening experience visiting these companies. It is not until you enter the Valley that you start to understand the vibe that reverberates up and down State Highway 101 and around the offices, shops, cafes and homes in the Valley. Conversations in every coffee shop, every restaurant, every street corner mention something about coding, user experience, venture funding or some variant thereof. As it was explained to us more than once, the Valley is a hotbed of innovation that does not so much move through cycles, as it does leap and bound through them. Companies can bounce ideas around, fail, and pivot to new ideas and business models faster than anywhere else possible.

And there lies the second common message shared with us: the acceptability of failure. It is acceptable, nay, it is almost a rite of passage to have failed; risks must be taken to discover what is achievable. Can Silicon Valley be replicated in other parts of the world? We received mix perspectives on this, but it was universally agreed that a prerequisite is that the culture of failure was a necessary building block that would have to be copied. Will it happen? It takes quite a heroic effort to change one’s mindset from risk-averseness to investing in inherently risky ideas. We shall see.

It is a remarkable place and an incredible experience.


A quick nod to the company offices themselves, afterall, the perks received at these companies are legendary. And sure enough, they did not disappoint: Google has a beach volleyball court taking center stage at their offices. But that was only the initial taster we saw; across the companies we visited there were company bikes to ride between office buildings, scooters to glide between office rooms, meeting rooms stacked high with lego, band rooms filled with guitars and drums, m&m dispensers, a coke machines that poured over 100 flavours, and of course the obligatory ping pong table.

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Weathering the Trek for an EMBA

Posted by: Ronald
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I signed up for the Silicon Valley Trek back in February thinking that I’m potentially one of the few Executive MBAs on any LBS trek and it was a potentially daunting activity. However it presented a great opportunity to connect to other entrepreneurs, VCs, managers and alumni that would never be otherwise possible – at least not in this timeframe. I thundered on and the application was done in good time. By March, it was a Go – and the next I knew, I was already on the plane across the calm pond.

At the Bay, the weather was not accommodating:  the previous day was coloured with torrential rain and a tornado warning. I had brought the weather with me to sunny California. Inside, I stared at the busy schedule. It revealed much about the types of companies and what the week has in store: entrepreneurship, hard choices, big exciting ventures and stories of the Valley’s history of successes. But what I did not realise, was that I learned more about the nature of opportunities, waves of unpredictable milestones and cycle of failures and successes.

The trek group and I were inspired by stories and insights of the way business is done in Bay Area. It is very robust and positive. One serial entrepreneur loves there, because “the culture has had a 70 year head start and it embraces learning from failure”. A striking contrast to the unbelievable strength of active-inertia preventing incumbent media companies embracing the new Internet economy. No matter what the adversities were, entrepreneurs with determination and great people will get somewhere. Even if they fail, they try again – it’s the only way.

After a hectic and rewarding week, the clouds parted over the San Francisco Airport and the sun came out. I looked forward to coming back to London, but I can’t help forecasting that Europe’s culture had a different air to entrepreneurship – it does not interpret past failures as a sign of potential success: “if you sunk the boat before mate, you’ll potentially sink it again”. So, am I heading into another storm? Is it worthwhile to subscribe to the way it’s done in the Valley? If so, how does one go about changing the European mindset? Comments please.

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