How time flies! The Class of 2014 will be graduating in less than two months and we are fast approaching our final application deadline for the Class of 2015 (MiM2015).
As MiM2014s will be leaving our beautiful campus soon, I recently took the opportunity to collect some feedback on, what we hear is always a highlight of the programme, Business Immersion Week.
Before giving an insight into Business Immersion Week (BIW) from a student perspective, let me first explain what BIW actually is. BIW consists of five days of company visits and campus presentations, focusing on creating networking opportunities and allowing students to discover a variety of companies and learn about the way they operate and the challenges they face. One thing to remember: BIW is not about getting a job! It is about discovering different industries and learning about different corporate cultures. During Business Immersion Week students are also tasked to consider and discuss real business issues and challenges these companies are facing. Typically students meet with senior managers, often LBS alumni, to understand the company.
Companies that took part this year include: AT Kearney, BBC Worldwide, Bow & Arrow, Deloitte, Hermes Fund Managers, IBM, Mastercard, Rackspace, Schroders, Universal Music Group, the Net-a-Porter Group, Unilever, Yahoo! and others. BIW also included a presentation on our very own LBS Incubator, which houses students who are launching their own business straight from their programme.
Here is some feedback received from our students:
During our visit to A.T. Kearney’s London office, we heard from Mr. Danil Makarov (MiM Alumnus). Danil told us more about the company culture, walked us through his journey, thus far, with AT Kearney and gave us valuable tips on how to be more effective consultants. We were also invited for a networking lunch where we had the chance to engage in chats with multiple A.T. Kearney consultants. Rashid, Saudi Arabia
It is surprising to see, even within sizeable firms, how an individual can make such a considerable difference. During Business Immersion Week, I had the chance to visit the London offices of IBM and, by talking to some LBS alumni, I was able to understand how the company gives its employees the adequate platforms to support their personal endeavours and projects. Diogo, Portugal
During Business Immersion Week, I had a great experience visiting Aberdeen Asset Management. Not only this was my first asset management company visit, but I also had the opportunity to experience first hand how the operations run on the ground by talking to company employees face to face. After finishing the company visit, I was sure I wanted to give a shot to this new industry I haven’t experienced before! Alex, Romania
I had the chance to visit Yahoo! and gain some more insight into the constantly changing tech industry. It was really interesting to hear the company’s vision on how they planned to reinvent themselves in the changing competitive landscape where other companies like Google and Bing have started to take the lead. Christina, USA
During BIW Week, I had the chance to visit MasterCard office in London. I was amazed by the office premises, it has the best view of the beautiful Canary Wharf. BIW gave me the unique opportunity to interact with senior management. It has given me a chance to consider MasterCard as a potential employer. Snigdha, India
The LBS Incubator gave me a chance to have a closer look at the businesses and the people who decided to commit to the entrepreneurship experience. It was very informal and down-to-earth and I managed to get an idea of what is the day-to-day life on an entrepreneur and all the persistence and motivation it takes to succeed and get your idea going. Viktoria, Bulgaria
I hope this blog has given you an idea of how Business Immersion Week works! If you are interested in gaining more information on what the programme has to offer, please visit our website. For more information on your eligibility for our programme, do not hesitate to contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Two years ago, as part of our Global Business Experience programme, we sent a team of students from Western cultures (North America and Europe) to Johannesburg, South Africa to fix a problem involving a tuck shop – a small retail shop primarily selling food and sweets. The overarching goal was to boost the tuck shop’s bottom line – bringing the business out of the red and into the black.
The students couldn’t come up with a viable solution, which was the point of the week-long immersion program. It’s not that the students weren’t smart or not coming up with ideas, but they struggled to identify solutions that went beyond their culturally ingrained way of thinking. Their recommendations relied too heavily on raising additional funds, an option that was not possible for this business owner. While she was able to make small changes—such as discontinuing items with low profit margins—big change required an investment she could not make, and the students just couldn’t get around this fact.
For these students, the focus was on completing the project instead of working with the client to identify and address her challenges. They took a very analytical, direct and impersonal approach from the beginning—qualities that don’t play well in a culture where dialogue and personal connection are highly valued.
This group of students was not alone in their inability to help a struggling business in a foreign country with different cultural norms. The difficulty in arriving at a realistic solution happened again and again in other teams that were too homogeneous.
At the same time, we noticed that if the students on a team were from different cultures, their success rate was a lot higher. Juxtaposing different ideas and cultural norms clearly helped the students come up with more effective solutions for the micro-entrepreneurs they worked with.
In one such case, a woman who owned a spaza shop (informal convenience stores that are ubiquitous in South Africa’s townships) wanted to increase revenue by offering hot food from an empty space she had in the back of the store. Next door to her was another shop run by a team of Somalis whose business was booming and had no room to expand. The team—which consisted of students from Pakistan, Germany, America, Australia, Brazil and Israel—decided that the woman stood to make more money by renting out her back room to the Somalis next door rather than by making and selling food. It was the perfect solution and one I’m convinced occurred because of the diverse thinking of the students on the team.
Since then, we make the teams we send on week-long immersions as diverse as possible. But it goes beyond nationality. Teams aren’t just composed of students from different cultural backgrounds, but from different careers. A student with a consulting background may get mixed with one from a finance background, or one with experience in IT or accounting or marine biology.
We’ve brought this approach to our MBA programme. We configure working groups so that each member plays to different strengths, is a different nationality, and we ensure that the team has a mixed male to female ratio. In short, we try to reflect what’s needed in business today: a global perspective.
The outside world is changing and as educators of future leaders, we need to think differently about how to respond in ways that best equips the students. Business schools should prepare students to be business managers in a wide range of environments. In order to operate in a global economy, students need to gain an international perspective through exposure to global faculty and internationally diverse classmates, as well as a first-hand experience in different markets. It is only when they have learned how to interact and collaborate with varied people and cultures that they will be able to operate ethically, competently and effectively in a wide range of environments.
Admissions are now closed for the MBA2016 class starting this September. Applications for the MBA2017 class will open late Summer. Please visit our website for further information. For admissions queries, email email@example.com
Like many of you reading this blog hope to be, once upon a time I was an international student studying in London. Being a student in England, and indeed any new country, can be a life-changing experience. As I sit here today on my East Coast train on the way to Durham University (to meet with prospective applicants), I am reminded of my time here as a student discovering my new environment.
If you have applied or followed any LBS news, you will know the School has five key values that we hope will guide students, faculty and staff in everything that we do. Values extend beyond LBS, and to understand, and hopefully appreciate, the culture you live in, you must understand its values. My colleague Lisa wrote in her recent blog post that it’s common to enter into a new environment with expectations, and possibly prejudices, of what the people, food and culture will be like. While these pre-conceived notions may or may not prove to be truthful for you, as a student in a foreign country it’s important, and really a responsibility, that you take the time to discover this for yourself.
As you start to explore your life as a student at London Business School you will soon realise there is A LOT to do in London! I’ve been living here for nearly six years and there are still cities, landmarks, museums, restaurants and so much more that I have yet to experience and see. With all of the offerings that London provides we sometimes forget as visitors to this great city that there is so much outside of our postcode of NW1, and indeed an entire country to explore.
As you consider applying for postgraduate studies, take the time to think about not just the city but the country you are moving to. Yes, London is a unique and interesting place to live, but it is not representative of the entire United Kingdom, just as New York City is not of the United States or Paris the whole of France. To understand the UK – its history, its people and its values – it is important that you go beyond our Baker Street campus and explore what make this country different to probably many places that you to have been to before.
You may even be surprised by what you find!
If you are interested in joining the class of MiM2015 starting this September, don’t forget that our closing application deadline for the year is May 31st, 2014.
Please note that you can still submit by the deadline if your application is fully ready but only missing one element, such as your GMAT/GRE or one reference. The application will then be put on hold and reviewed once complete. Missing documents will need to be received within a maximum of two weeks from your application submission.
If you are contemplating submitting your application past this deadline, and particularly if you have not yet taken your GMAT or GRE or would require a visa to study in the UK, please contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your individual case.
Don’t hesitate to look back at previous entries on this blog in order to get final tips about preparing your application and don’t forget to reach out to our Student Ambassadors http://www.london.edu/programmes/msc/studentambassadors.html in order to benefit from their insights into the programme.
We will look forward to receiving your application!
I recently had the chance to travel once again around India as it is one of the areas I cover in my Recruitment and Admissions role. I had been to quite a few countries in Asia before but this was only my second time visiting India – and my first trip to vibrant Mumbai.
My time in India has had a big impact on me – a fascinating country both anchored in the past and so rapidly ever-changing. I can confess to have fallen in love with Rajasthan. The ‘Land of Kings’ does seep into your thoughts and will stay with you for a long while, like a shimmery friend full of bright colours, honking sounds mixing with the permeating fragrance of spices in the air. Rajasthani women in their luminous orange saris, luscious green fields, brightly decorated lorries weaving in in crazy traffic, and opalescent marble temples – the state is a feast for the eyes. I’ve been impressed by the entrepreneurial spirit of the people I’ve met and also by the diversity of cultures I uncovered.
Having to share my Indian adventures with friends, family, and colleagues back home made me reflect on what I thought I knew about the country and the glimpses of truth I discovered in my travels. Some were cliché, some were true: Indian food is delicious and not always spicy! I had to ask myself: when do local customs become stereotypes? Can preconceptions turn into prejudice? How do you reconcile assumptions with reality?
Being confronted to another reality that happily co-exist with yours – especially if you have not spent a lot of time away from what’s familiar to you – can be a daunting and exciting experience. At LBS, you will be meeting people from countries you’ve barely heard of, people with distinct history and stories, different patterns of behaviour, and unique views on life. And guess what: they are just like you! Embracing those differences (or unexpected similarities!) is what makes being part of our LBS community so challenging and interesting.
As you may be applying to join the School, do reflect on the experiences you’ve had in a multicultural situations or in a diverse team. What did you enjoy about them? What were the challenges? What have you learned that will now help you thrive in an international context? For those of you who don’t have a lot of experience in a diverse environment, how would you approach it?
Here are a few tips on how you could make the most of our diversity as a student of London Business School:
. Be curious and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
We all love to talk about ourselves and what we know well. Your classmates here will be happy to share their unique stories and expect the same of you. Understanding why people do things or think the way they do is a first step towards effective collaboration, both in your personal and professional life.
. Embrace ‘new ways’
The LBS campus is a safe knowledge hub. Solving a well-known problem in an untested way and trusting someone else to ‘know best’ is part of our learning experience here. Take a risk! If you’re not interested in other ways of thinking, you’re in the wrong place.
. Don’t lose yourself!
No one is asking you to forget your own (amazing) culture and customs. Others should be as respectful of you as you are of them. Tattoo, our international cultural event in February truly showcases our student body in its full diversity through rich cuisine, expert (and at times silly) dance moves, and incredibly catchy music!
During my travels around ‘Incredible India’, I just had to keeping eyes and mind open, trust my instincts but also acknowledge my own preconceptions in order to find balance. Letting it all sink in without trying to over-explain it was my way to immerse myself in such a rich country. I did want to learn more after my travels so I have been reading books about traditional customs and history, notably about New Delhi, which I adore. Now, I have to make peace with the fact that I’ve barely scratched the surface of this immense country and look forward to my next visit!
After a year enjoying a fantastic experience as a new mum, I am back!!!
For those who have applied or about to do so and have never heard my name before, I am Morgane Fores. I have been working as a recruitment manager for the Masters in Finance for 3 years. In April last year, I gave birth to an amazing little girl called Enora and decided to stay with her full time during her first year. This was indeed very challenging but a year full of surprises and love. As we all know, time flies, she’s just turned 1 year and here I am, back to work and pleased to rejoin the team: David, Peter and Sara.
I would like to take this opportunity to welcome Ciara McAfee our new administrator as well as Greg Moore, who has recently joined the MIF recruitment team.
Looking back to last year admissions, I am glad to see that our current students are doing very well and seem to be enjoying the MIF experience a lot. Many have now become ambassadors and I thank them all for their support to the admissions team as well as candidates and admits.
This is a very exciting part of the cycle as we are starting to finalise the class and prepare for the new year. A lot of offers have already been made and once again, I am impressed by the calibre of all our admits. We still have applications in process… this is the final count down!!!
On that note, I would like to remind potential candidates for the MIF full time format that the last deadline to apply was on 7 May.
We may make a small number of late offers for the August 2014 intake to strong candidates who submit or complete their application after the 07 May stage 5 deadline.
If you wish to apply, you sould satisfy all the following criteria:
- You must have at least two years’ relevant finance work experience
- If we do not grant a GMAT/GRE waiver you should be prepared to sit a test in the near future. Waivers will only be granted in a small number of cases (see the GMAT section in www.london.edu/programmes/mif/applying.html for more information)
- You must be able to leave your current employment and be on campus by 18 August 2014 for the start of the programme
- If we make you an offer and you require a student visa to study in the UK, you must be prepared to make initial fee payments (totalling GBP 12,850) soon after the offer, as this is one of the conditions of the visa application process. For visa requirements see http://www.ukvisas.gov.uk/
It is imperative that you act quickly if you wish to submit a late application. As a first step, and to register your interest, please submit your CV for review (if you have no already done so) via:
If we decide to proceed, we undertake to fast-track consideration of your application, and we will expect an equally quick response from you.
If it is not possible to consider you for late admission to this intake, but your application is otherwise strong, it will be held for consideration for entry in August 2015.
If you have any questions or would like to talk through the logistics of a late application please email Greg Moore in the Masters in Finance Recruitment and Admissions team: email@example.com
When we ask our students how they motivated themselves for the GMAT, the answer is always the same – they wanted to be a part of the London Business School community and getting a good GMAT score demonstrated that commitment. Even though the Masters in Finance (MiF) Admissions Committee has launched a pilot programme offering waivers for the GMAT/GRE to a very small number of applicants, the general rule to sit GMAT/GRE remains for the majority of applicants.
We would therefore like to help you prepare and encourage you not to panic!
Top tips from a GMAT coach
Here are some top tips from Peter Mazzarese, a MiF 2009 Alumnus and former GMAT coach:
- Think of this as your first business school project. Plan ahead, and budget your time and resources accordingly.
- Get to grips with fundamentals first. You’ll likely need to review your maths, so don’t be afraid to dust off those old textbooks!
- GMAT arguments are all the same…Evidence + Assumption -> Conclusion. The Assumption is never stated, and its job is simply to connect the Evidence and Conclusion. Simply recognizing this structure will yield plenty of points during the test.
- For the Verbal section take little leaps, not big jumps. You can convince yourself that almost any answer is right if you try hard enough. Try and keep a critical eye, and pick the “safest” answer.
- Know your mental state during test is at least HALF the battle. The GMAT can be a stressful experience. Learn to recognize your responses to the stress, and how to effectively handle them.
- Remember, take it easy – just like the test, your preparation is all about maintaining pace and staying cool. Good luck!
Here are some further resources to help your preparation:
Practise the GMAT test with London Business School’s GMAT Simulator and prepare yourself for the real thing!
We are also hosting an online chat on Thursday, April 10, 13.00 GMT, so please register here to join us and learn more about our programme from the MiF Admissions team and current part-time MiF student ambassadors.
With best wishes,
If you are planning to apply for the Masters in Management you will notice that an interview is required for anyone who may eventually be accepted to the programme. Why do we interview? It is important that we have a good understanding of who we would like to see enter the MiM classroom; we are interested in seeing candidates who are keen to learn from those around them, and willing to share their experiences and expertise. In addition to understanding how you may fit, the interview is also a time for us to probe questions that may have been raised during the initial application review; for example, is the candidate truly motivated to study at LBS? Do they have realistic expectations of how we can support their professional and/or personal development? While we do get a glimpse of this in the application, the interview is really the opportunity for us to see whether what’s written on paper jumps off in person, and whether the candidate is right for the MiM.
Whether you’re interviewing for a master’s programme or a job, interviewing can be a nerve-racking prospect. But it doesn’t have to be. While being in the somewhat artificial environment of an interview (how often in your everyday life are you required to describe yourself or answer hypothetical questions?) can cause concern in many candidates, there are ways that you can minimise this stress.
Interviewing is certainly an art, one which you will develop as you advance in your career. How can you begin to sculpt your interview technique? Here are few suggestions:
- Know your pitch: you are at the interview to sell yourself – your experiences, passions, motivations – and to confirm to the interviewer that you are the best candidate for either the programme or job. You know yourself best, so don’t be afraid to shine! If interviewing for the MiM you should ensure that you re-read your application as you will be probed on examples you have written, so be sure to brush up as you may not have looked at your application since submitting it. But make sure that you don’t repeat the examples you wrote in the application verbatim; think of new stories and relevant experiences that you can share.
- Know who you’re pitching to: while you don’t need to know your interviewer’s entire life journey from LinkedIn, ensure that you have a good understanding of who is interviewing you – what is their profile, why might they be interviewing you – particularly if you are interviewed by a member of our alumni community. Some research will also allow you to prepare insightful questions, which your interviewer will be expecting. If you don’t know who will be interviewing you, feel free to ask.
- Show your interest: make sure you do your research. You should know about the school and programme you are applying to. From what you know about the MiM curriculum and structure how it will support your academic and career development? How do you hope to get involved with the campus community? Be sure to demonstrate that you are keen, and that this is the place for you.
- Consider possible answers in advance: depending on the industry and company you’re applying for, chances are your interviewer will want to know about how you will fit in within their environment, and whether you have the intellect to contribute and succeed. If interviewing for the MiM you can expect to be probed on your past experiences, and how learnings from those experiences would support situations you may encounter in the classroom. While you cannot guess every question you may be asked as our interviewers adapt their questions to the candidate, you can come prepared to discuss how you can use your academic, extra-curricular and any professional experience to support your MiM experience, and possible situations you may encounter in business school. And while you should be prepared, don’t rehearse the exact answers. Listen to the questions you are being asked and adapt your ideas and answers to the question.
- Ask questions: what concerns do you have, if any? It is fine to voice concerns or any questions you may have, your interviewer will be expecting it and the one hour you have together will be the perfect opportunity to get all of your questions answered before receiving a final decision.
And don’t forget, while you may not feel confident on the inside, you know yourself best and why you have applied for that programme or job – don’t be afraid to let it show!
A new journey commenced for the EMBA January 2014 students as we welcome them on board to London Business School and the Executive MBA experience.
The new intake of the EMBA programme started on 20th January 2014 with an orientation week introducing both London and Dubai streams to each other and to the School through a series of in and out of classroom activities. We are happy to welcome a diverse group of talented, high calibre people who will bring an immense value and wealth of knowledge to the EMBA experience.
Study groups are formed bringing together people from different backgrounds, nationalities, job functions and years of experience, creating an ideal environment for interaction and exchange of knowledge, making collaborative learning experience a central part of the Executive MBA.
During orientation week students not only get to understand the principles of general management and undertake a series of ongoing leadership development activities but they get to know what it really feels to be part of an international and multicultural student body. Orientation week gives everyone a taste of the great adventure they will be embarking upon in the next 20 months.
A new year and a new journey for the EMBA January 2014 class but for me as well. Joining the Executive MBA Recruitment and Admissions team, from the position of EMBA Recruitment and Admissions Manager at the same time as the beginning of the new EMBA intake, made my first week an equally unique experience. Being among such highly motivated, distinguished people of a variety of industries and backgrounds, in such a vibrant, international environment made it clear to everyone of the uniqueness of the Executive MBA experience.
Here is to new challenges and an unforgettable and transformational EMBA journey!