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Lunch n’ Learn

Posted by Debasri on 19 September 2007

I am a woman. And in business. Though currently, not in business but in business school. And these qualifications makes me somewhat of a ‘usual suspect’ as far as membership to the Women in Business club at London Business School is concerned.

The WiB club has started a new initiative called the Lunch and Learn series, in which women students, over lunch with faculty, get to know each other better and take the first steps towards increasing faculty student interactions, outside of class.

At the particular session I attended, six first year female students, together with the President of the WiB club had lunch with Professor Kristine F, who is an assistant professor in Decision Sciences at London Business School. The meeting started with the usual introductions, followed by discussion on the research that Prof F is currently involved in. Through the discussion we realised that faculty partner industry, through research, to help the latter make key decisions; the point being that not all research is arcane and academic but that a lot of the research has some very relevant and critical implications for business. Some of the projects that Prof F is involved are related to developing models for pricing optimisation and revenue management in different industry sectors. One of the ladies present at the lunch had experience in a field that Prof F is currently researching and the two got talking - the first steps towards greater involvement of students in faculty research may just have started at the lunch table!

The discussion then moved towards the challenges related to the multiple hats that women today have to wear. In other words, the multiple roles that women have to assume – that of a professional, a mother, a spouse, a daughter, a sister, a friend. The working woman today may have mastered the art of doing justice to multiple roles largely due to her ability to prioritise and multitask. One of the MBA09’ers at the lunch, who has a 2-month old daughter, laughingly said that she has multiple projects running at any point in time – curriculum related at school and then the baby back home!

We also talked about the multiculturalism that pervades not only school but also all of London and how easy it is for someone to feel welcome in the city. We talked about how London Business School is significantly more diverse as compared to some other business schools, which may have very localised student catchment areas and how this diversity of the class makes the learning experience even more enriching. For those of us at the lunch who were yet to believe in school’s diversity, all we had to do was to look around – Argentinean, Canadian, Icelandic, Indian(s), Israeli and Italian! Absolutely incredible!

I believe the objectives of the meeting were to open channels of communication with faculty to learn from their experiences, to get to know one another better and to form a strong support system for women on campus, to have fun but most importantly, to eat a 'non Bite non cold sandwich' lunch.

I enjoyed myself at the Lunch and Learn session - I ate haddock and chips.

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