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This blog is for MBA applicants who want to know more about life as part of the London Business School community. The site is managed by the MBA Admissions Team with content provided by students and alumni.

Are you a London Business School Full-time MBA candidate or student? Do you have a blog that you would like listed here?

This blog has moved

Posted by Adcoms on 07 September 2010

After 4 years, we decided it was time to give our blog a makeover.  Please visit our new look blog, complete with a fresh group of London Business School student bloggers from our MBA, Masters in Finance and Masters in Management programmes at London Business School student views.

The new site retains all of the content found on this blog, along with a few new features that we hope you’ll enjoy. We look forward to welcoming you to the new site, and hope you continue to follow the London Business School student experience!

If you link to this blog, please adjust your links accordingly.

We have moved to http://blog.students.london.edu/

 

First month after the MBA

Posted by Vipul on 30 August 2010

Armed with the shiny new MBA degree (well not quite) marching we went into a world of dreams and opportunity (well not quite). But at least I have a visa and a temporary 3-month paid project.


The graduation ceremony was impressive. The champagne reception afterwards even better. And the summer ball was truly amazing. It was great having a jug of pimms with my parents and sister at the Windsor Castle Hotel right after graduation. It was also great taking pictures with my family and in-laws in LT1 and reminiscing about first year core classes. I was a bit surprised that we didn’t actually get any sort of degree/letter at the actual ceremony (they will mail the degree later). But our names did get printed in the Times that day :).


The lack of a job was closing in on achieving “emergency” status. To be honest I managed to get 2 offers within the month after graduation. But they either paid too little to cover my loan or required me to move to a country where language and taxes were a problem (more so than in Britain!). So I took up another short-term project in London, with an IT company that I liked. Hopefully within the next 2 or 3 months I will be able to land a nice permanent job. The market is improving, but its still not easy out there.


The other feared battle was the work visa. This was actually not bad at all. I managed to get it fairly soon, though it did cost a fair bit. Only wish I had known earlier that it was possible to get a premium appointment and get the visa on the day. But I was lucky and still managed to get it within 4 days (read more about my visa experience on my travel blog here).


It’s a little hard getting used to not being a student any more. Many of my friends are now moving away from London, and I’m busy with regular farewell parties. But I still go to campus once in a while for Gym and keep meeting with those classmates that remain! There is a lot of change and hard work ahead, but I am looking forward to it.

Inside the classroom - 3 / 3

Posted by Sanjeev on 30 July 2010

In my earlier posts you have read about my study group and heard about the exploits of some of my stream mates on the cricket field. In my final blog piece on this subject i.e. “Inside the Classroom” i want to introduce you to everyone else in my stream (i.e. Stream A)

Beyond just the effort on my part, it would be uninteresting for you to hear me rant about 80 students. Thus I am making a humble attempt in classifying my stream mates into 4 groups – Brainiacs, Stalwarts, Socialites and In-betweeners. 

  •  BrainiacsRightfully as the name suggests these are the intellectual wizards who advance classroom discussion with their thought-provoking and insightful contributions. Some of them volunteer their time and expertise in conducting tutorials (on quantitative subjects such as Economics, Finance and Accounting) while the others conduct career panels and interview prep. Sessions.

           Key traits – humble, self-less and intellectual

  • Stalwarts - If Braniancs are the mavericks inside the classroom then Stalwarts are the mavericks outside it. This bunch craves competitions (rowing, soccer, consulting case-study, marketing strategy etc.). Their accomplishments exemplify the diversity of talent at London Business School.

           Key traits – passionate, action-oriented and winners

  • Socialites –  They plug the gaps in a student's life at B-School. After all there is more to B-school life than countless cases and incessant job-search. Give them an excuse to party or plan an escapade out of London and they will be your bosom buddies :) The social crew in my stream are debonair party planners - birthday's, stream socials aka dinners/BBQs, weekend trips to Italy, France, Holland etc., you name it and they will make it happen!

           Key traits – outspoken, gregarious and humorous                                                                     

  • In-betweeners - Indeed this is a quirky bunch - late to class if not absent from class :) It's hard to typecast these people as their moods and behaviors oscillate across the continuum between Braniacs and Socialites. They show flashes of brilliance across the board and are driven more by challenging the norm than following the herd.

           Key traits – unconventional, idiosyncratic and witty

Winners of the "Study Group Love" Awards (Stream A) - Thanks to the Stream A Social crew!

Seb, Tat, Stas, Balazs (Jeff and I are on the certificate :))

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Congratulations MBA2010!

Posted by Adcoms on 09 July 2010

London Business School is celebrating the graduation of the Full-time MBA class today. Students are joined on campus by friends and family from all over the world to reflect on their achievements from the last 15-21 months

Staff and faculty are proud to celebrate the success of our community. We wish you all the very best in your careers, as they take you all over the world. 

For a taste of today’s celebration watch MBA TV

Random bits and pieces I have learned along the way...

Posted by Kimmi on 27 May 2010

  • There is always someone at LBS who knows the answer to your question. 
  • Don't mass post on discussion boards. It's really annoying. You don't want to be that guy / girl.
  • There are other pub options in NW1 besides the Windsor.  Try the Swan & Edgar.
  • Though you think it won't happen, you will talk about the weather. A lot. 
  • There is occasionally nice weather in London.
  • There are very few secrets in the MBA.
  • Though you try to fight it, you will use British phrases - e.g., I now fancy things. Also, see "bits and pieces" in blog title. Another British-ism I've picked up along the way.
  • There is such a thing as Club Conference fatigue. You don't have to do everything in autumn term.
  • You will make friends from pretty much all over the world. Diversity = LBS.
  • First year really does fly by. 

Inside the classroom - 2 / 3

Posted by Sanjeev on 09 May 2010

This may sound paradoxical but in this blog entry i am going to take a setup outside the classroom to shed some light on "Inside the Classroom" experience.

This weekend members of the London Business School Cricket Club organized an inter-stream cricket tournament at Regent's Park. The event drew 8 teams - one from each of the 5 streams from the MBA 2011 class, 1 team from the MiM 2010 class and 2 from the MBA 2010 class. The format of the game was tweaked to accommodate a rare occasion when so many people could get together willingly of course, to 8-a-side in a 7 over game.

The day long knock-out tournament culminated in the finale played between Stream A (technically the 2011 inter-stream champions) and an assorted 2010 team of seniors.The picture below captures the camaraderie and spirit of the runners-up team from Stream A.

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Front Row (Left to Right):

  • William - Wicket-keeper extraordinaire!
  • Barry - Ice-cool, ideal for pressure situations
  • Karhik - Buoyant and adaptive
  • Rajesh - Spin linchpin of our team
  • Varun - Captain & MVP (match-winner)
  • Sid - Economy bowler who milks wickets
  • Shankar - Precision pacer

Back Row (Left to Right):

  • Sebastian - All-rounder & MVP (match-winner)
  • Rafael - Mexican fieldsman
  • Sanjeev - the guy who takes the hits (literally) while his peers hit the ball
  • Maxime (hidden from view) - Canadian discovery & MVP  (a lusty hitter and cheetah like fieldsman)
  • Andrew - Dependable like Dravid

Squat Position:

  • Hajime - Terrific fielder and perhaps the first Japanese with a 100% score rate in MBA cricket!
PS: The views reflected above are entirely my own and in no way are intended to judge my honorable stream-mates each of whom i am pretty sure would think is worthy of an MVP rating, at least on the cricket field :)

CNN broadcast of British leadership debate

Posted by Adcoms on 30 April 2010

Last night, CNN broadcast live from London Business School, to get the views of our students on the third Prime Ministerial debate, focussed on the economy. 

For those of you who were unable to watch the live coverage last night, catch the CNN report at http://edition.cnn.com/video/#/video/world/2010/04/29/ctw.foster.biz.students.reax.cnn?iref=allsearch 

CNN broadcasting from campus tonight

Posted by Adcoms on 29 April 2010

As part of the current series of Prime Ministerial debates taking place on British television, international broadcaster CNN will be broadcasting live from London Business School on Thursday 29 April to get the views of our students on the leaders, the issues and the forthcoming General Election as they watch the debate unfold.

It will be broadcast across the world, so tune in if you can! If you are watching in the UK, it starts at 19.30 BST.

Broadcast timings for other regions:
PT:   12.30 (Thursday)
ET:   15.30 (Thursday)
BST:  19.30 (Thursday)
CET:  21.30 (Thursday)
New Delhi: 01.00 (Friday)
Hong Kong: 03.30 (Friday)
Sydney:  06.30 (Friday)

Case Study: Running a business during the MBA

Posted by Alex on 26 April 2010

As we quickly approach the end of our first year at London Business School, I decided to ask a colleague student to reflect on the MBA experience from a very unique point of view - entrepreneurship. Unlike many other MBA students, Guy runs his own business alongside the demanding studies. He started an online business few months before joining the MBA programme called DocoArt, that enables customers worldwide to upload personal photos and have them converted to handmade oil paintings on canvas (or simply buy a stunning reproduction).

1. LBS is known for its strength in the finance education. Is it also a place for future entrepreneurs?

Finance education is indeed a very strong aspect of the school, yet to be ranked number one in the world requires diversity of strengths. The entrepreneurship resources at LBS are truly unique and provide an amazing springboard for entrepreneurs at any stage. For me, the access to world class faculty members, the supporting community of students, alumni network and investors are amazing resources to benefit and get inspired from.

Moreover, the financial education is extremely important especially for entrepreneurs that many times have great idea but fail to have the financial understanding of their businesses. My view on my small business has changed tremendously since I first stepped into the MBA programme.

2. Could you highlight some of the changes you did in your business as a result of insights from your studies?

Although I established DocoArt just before coming to London Business School, many changes have been done in by business based on the things I’ve learned in class. For example, I managed to improve the marketing strategy that we had using ideas I first encountered in the Marketing Core class, such as customer segmentation, targeting and positioning.

With new tools from the Corporate Finance classes, I can now plan proper leverage of future projects or the company as a whole.  Every class I have taken and every student, professor or alum I have spoken with enhanced my knowledge and business view on my venture or any future ventures I will have.


3. MBA course is usually very intense. How do you find time to work on your venture?

Time management is one of the most important ideas I have learnt and improved throughout the course. The MBA course is indeed intense, and thus forces you how to plan your time with great care. You learn how to be more structured, how to reduce ‘noise’ and how to focus on tasks with high priority – skills that are highly important for all post-MBA jobs.


4. Is being located in London helps you to promote your business?

Absolutely! The UK market is one of the main targets of DocoArt. London itself is an international business centre that provides you with access to financial, marketing and operational resources, along with networking and opportunities to enter new markets. The density of businesses from the creative industries in London is just another evidence for all these benefits.

 

5. Are there any specific electives that you are taking or about to take that can help entrepreneurs make better business decisions?

London Business School offers a range of electives for entrepreneurs that shed light on all aspects of starting and running a venture. I plan to take the Financing an Entrepreneurial Business and Managing a Growing Business electives. I believe these will contribute the most to the current state of DocoArt.


6. What would be your advice for prospective students who are interested in an MBA to become entrepreneurs?

Doing the MBA will increase significantly the chances of your future business to become a success. You will gain well rounded business knowledge, earn a great network of students, alumni and faculty to support you. Finally it will open your mind to explore new ideas and opportunities which were not available for you in the pre-MBA setting.

Some things it would have been good to have known

Posted by Steve on 26 April 2010

Coming to the end of Year 1, there's a few things that might have been useful to know


1. Nobody knows each others grades and people are not interested

2. Almost everybody lives right next to school

3. You will spend a large percentage of your cash in the Windsor Pub

4. People will not leave NW1 that often

5. The football team is a good way to learn Spanish as it has so many latin americans

6. There are so many clubs to join you can really only have any meaningful impact in a couple

7. You really do have to sit in the same seat ever class

8. They really do give you free beer and wine every Thursday night

9. Some of the speakers on campus are amazing

10. Inter-business school competitions are as brilliant as they are unpublicised, definitely enter them

11. Most faculty and lots of students have studied in the USA so despite being in London, examples in class will all be US cetric and you will start refering to the Easter Holidays as Spring Break

12. Although you won't have that many hours of class, you will always feel pretty busy

13. it's hard, but not impossible to fail classes

14. you should take every waiver available to you

15. It's impossible for there to be a concensus, some people will love a particular class/professor, while others will hate them - Diversity!

16. If applying for an HSBC loan, bring every piece of ID you have ever had with you, in triplicate

Inside the classroom - 1 / 3

Posted by Sanjeev on 15 April 2010

First of all thank you everyone for the terrific response to my 3 part series on why i chose London Business School.

From here on i will be kick starting a new series of posts to share insights from my class room experience at London Business School. Bear in mind though that this series is more about my classmates than me and the answer to that will become apparent in due course of time :)

For the first year, the entire MBA cohort is divided into 4 to 5 streams and each stream is divided into study groups of 6 - 7 students. At least for all the core courses in the first year everyone works in their pre-assigned study groups and follows the stream specific lecture schedule. Nothing in my view is more reflective of the class room experience at London Business School than its DIVERSITY!

Below are some raw statistics representing DIVERSITY in my study group of 6

  • 6 nationalities (across north america, europe and asia)
  • 6 professional backgrounds (across consulting, investment banking, software and retail)
  • 3 academic backgrounds (across economics, engineering and computer science)
  • 83.3% males, 17.7% females (in absolute terms 5:1, remember % are generally misleading :)) 

Let me further elucidate the diversity of my study group mates with the following 1-liners 

  • Anastasis - debonair gentleman and leader
  • Balazs - rare blend of IQ and EQ
  • Jeff - whiz kid on track to emulate Buffet
  • Sebastian - entrepreneur who could very well be the next Vijay Mallaya
  • Tatiana - fashion starlet with a gift for congeniality
Stay tuned for the next post in which i will share more such interesting people from my stream.

Reward Time - Part 2

Posted by Luiz on 20 March 2010

Besides the professional objective of transitioning from industry into consulting, my other main objective coming to the MBA was on a personal side to have fun while learning on a diverse environment. I can say that this has been a phenomenal experience! The climax moment for this so far has been the Tattoo event: a worldwide festival for 1,200 people, organized by students for students. Each country/region is asked to serve traditional food and drinks from its country and to do a dance performance. I personally spent 3 hours with my fellow Brazilian colleagues preparing 600 doses of caipirinha to serve. As pictures can explain much better than words, here is a link to check out pics of the event.

 http://picasaweb.google.co.uk/116997879769835384301/Tattoo2010?authkey=Gv1sRgCJr97djW18Pf1QE#

Another highlight of this non-professional related experience that the MBA can offer is the country trips that students organize. For instance, there are 140 students going to Portugal in May. Yes, you read it right, 140! Imagine how generous are our Portuguese classmates to organize a trip for such a large group! Other trips that are organized by students are to: Japan, Lebanon, Spain, Israel, Thailand, USA, and SE Asia. The MBA journey is long and hard, but it is worth every second (professionally and personally)!

Reward Time

Posted by Luiz on 18 March 2010

Some of the greatest moments in life are the ones in which you reap the rewards of an objective you worked long and hard to achieve. My main goal of coming to the MBA was to transition from industry into consulting. And oh, I had a big surprise when I found out how early the recruiting process starts.

Applications for summer internship are due by mid-January. Since the summer internship is often a great way to secure your post-MBA job, it is important to do well on that process. This means that November and December should be used for networking, preparing CVs and cover letters, and preparing for interviews. Thus, by mid-October it is essential to have a good idea of where you want to work. You may be thinking: isn’t the MBA an opportunity to step aside, get exposed to new ideas and think about what I want to do? Well… while you can take the time off to think without pressure, the earlier you focus your efforts on your desired field the higher your chances of succeeding (my recommendation for you that are applying to b-school is to use your career goals essay not only to convince Adcom but also to make serious reflection of what are your goals, as these will soon need to be very clear). Prioritizing consulting in the job search process was not easy for me - I have always been interested in trying new and different things and at LBS I was presented with many opportunities such as private equity panels, marketing presentations and industry club events.

The MBA journey has been long: taking the GMAT, writing essays, being accepted, financing the MBA, relocating to a new country, studying to achieve good grades, preparing for job interviews and doing job applications. There were difficult times in which I thought: “Why am I doing this? Is it all worth?” Encouragement from friends and family helped me overcome these weak times and it all paid off last week when I received an offer to join a top consulting firm for the summer. Thus, the moment of signing the contract for the summer internship had a very special meaning for me, one that I will not forget easily. And if you, dear applicant, are in one of those weak moments: yes, the journey is long and hard, but it is well worth!

NYC Media Trek

Posted by Kimmi on 12 March 2010

The Media club at LBS is hands down the best run club on campus.  I know that's quite a contention but I do think it deserves the praise.  I just returned from the first-ever LBS Media Trek to NYC. In a span of two days, 13 students from the MBA class of 2010 and 2011 (as well as some on exchange in NYC) met with 7 companies representing various aspects of the Media realm.  We met with companies such as Google, Time Warner, Meredith Publishing, Limewire, MTV Networks, and Digital Broadcasting Group to name a few.  Because of the small group size we got to spend quality time with executives at each company learning about their business, challenges, and opportunities. Moreover, since the trek was on a Thursday and Friday, we even got to enjoy a rather sunny weekend in NYC! 

If there's one piece of advice I'd dole out to future students - its find out what clubs you are passionate about and become active in them - it's truly one of the more rewarding aspects of the MBA!  And, if the club doesn't exist, you can always be the first to start it.  Now I'm looking forward to organizing the Entrepreneurship Club Conference coming up in May...which I suspect will be another high note of my first year MBA experience!

Time to travel around - Birmingham

Posted by Pak on 10 March 2010

It has been months since I have written my last blog. Many things have happened and the full time recruitment last year was just mind-blowing. Now come the time to enjoy the last 2 terms in LBS before heading back to the working world. I plan to do A LOT of travelling and to write about my thoughts about the 2 year MBA experience in LBS (namely what I learn, I like, I do, I dislike and feel disappointed about).

To start with, just a short write-up for my recent trip to Birmingham. In the contrary of the general sentiment towards Birmingham (i.e. nothing to see, no fun place to go etc), I find the town is a pretty cool place to spend 1 or 2 days in.

The real gem there is the Jaguar manufacturing plant visit. The plant is about 30min bus journey from Birmingham city centre. The plant visit is a guided tour in a small group (4 people in a group for my case) and it lasts for about 3 hours...and is free. You just need to call and make an appointment with them for the visit.

The Jaguar guide is a veteran engineer in the plant. He retired 5 years ago and now come back to what he calls the most ideal job for him - work 2 days a week and explain to people what he knows the most, i.e. how a Jaguar car is built. The tour starts with the various components that go into a Jaguar car, to the assembling and the final testing. Logic of a certain design is explained and you get to see real workers working in the plant. The plant is huge, tidy and busy with production. Compared to the OTM field trip that I did last year, this plant visit allows me to learn much more.  In fact the Jaguar guide is so much more knowledgeable about every single part in the plant.

Next I went to the World of Cadbury. This place is a great disappointment, even though everyone in Birmingham will suggest you to go there. I will not advise one to go there unless you have young kids that you would want to bring along.

There a few churches in the town, a good number of shopping malls and a IMAX cinema where I watched a 3D movie.


My next post will be on my thoughts about the LBS MBA in general.