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And we’re off…

Posted by Krish on 31 August 2008

The entire class is here. Orientation week is over. But the fun has only just begun.

As a new student starting his MBA at London Business School, I could've hardly asked for a more exciting start to the program. As you can tell from the experiences of my fellow “20-ten’ers” below, we’ve all had an incredibly busy yet amazing two weeks. I obviously had heard about how diverse London Business School was before I got here, but what lay in store still managed to surprise. My study group, like those profiled in the other posts has seven people – all from different countries (India, Japan, Switzerland, France, United Kingdom, Turkey and Canada). If I can’t learn about global management and leadership in an environment like this, I don’t know where else I’d go. I could go on and on (and want to ☺ ) about the neat things from my brief time here, but my friends have done immense justice to that.

I’ve waited 28 years for this” was what I told the steward at Lord’s. As a die-hard Indian cricket fan whose earliest memories of Indian cricketing glory was watching Kapil Dev hoist the world cup from the balcony at Lord’s, I always have wonderful memories of the ground. When we reached there on our first day of orientation, it was a special feeling. I guess Lord’s place in cricket is like that of Lambeau field in Football (the American kind) – a place that has been witness to remarkable legends and sporting history. Now that Lord’s is only a few minutes walk from school and home, I hope to enjoy some matches there (starting with a county game this coming weekend). More to come on that…

I’m sitting in a room now at school, working on my “Good Idea” for a competition run by the entrepreneurship club (and of course writing this blog) and I feel nervous – not the bad kind of nervousness, but rather that of excitement. The next two years have a lot in store for the 320 of us – classes and exams, interviews and jobs, parties and friendships, heartbreaks and successes. The thing in common though is the school and the fact that all of us will be in this together -- trying to cross the finish line, leaving no one behind and at the same time ensuring that we all enjoy every minute of this wonderful journey.


Posted by Nick on 31 August 2008

Wow, what can I say?  I'm finally here.  It's been 20 months since I first mailed my application to London Business School for the MBA Class of 2009.  I spent two months waiting for an interview decision, a month waiting for an admissions decision, five months on the waitlist, and then another month waiting for a deferred admissions decision.  Once I received an offer for the MBA Class of 2010, I had another eleven months to wait for classes to actually begin.  Those were perhaps the longest months of my life, during which time I tried to distract myself with a month-long trip backpacking though Indonesia and another month visiting friends and family back in the States. Needless to say, I had an incredible summer.

Now that I've arrived  in London, moved into my flat, met my classmates, and begun orientation, I'm finding it difficult to express everything I've been feeling lately.  I'm continuously amazed at the variety of my classmates; MBA2010 is represented by 60 different countries and 45 different languages. The level of achievement that some of my classmates have already accomplished is impressive, as well as the mix of different careers.   My classes are filled with surgeons, lawyers, helicopter pilots, bankers, theoretical nuclear physicists, ex-politicians, entrepreneurs, and a famous concert pianist.  I have truly never been surrounded by this many highly accomplished, successful people... and it feels great!

To say I've been busy would be an understatement;  even prior to orientation everyone was busy partying networking, usually in the form of housewarming parties, pub crawling in Marylebone, or clubbing in Piccadilly.  Now that orientation has started, we're spending our days at Lord's Cricket Ground (its like baseball... sorta... but it lasts days) listening to school administrators and alumni talk about what the next 21 months will hold in store for us, and our evenings doing more... erhm... networking.

Somewhere in the middle of all of this, I've had to find time to go food shopping (for your own sanity, do not do the dollar/pound conversion in your head if you ever come to London... and especially don't do the RMB/pound conversion); set up internet in my apartment flat; register myself with the 1,000 groups, clubs, and activities I'm interested in; and answer the 1.5 billions emails received each day from the school's Portal.  To say I've been busy would be a vast understatement, and I get the feeling that our level of activity now with pale in comparison to how busy we'll be once classes begin next week.

Meet the Study Group

Posted by Rebecca on 31 August 2008

It’s amazing how after all these years it’s possible to still get “first day of school” butterflies.  Fortunately they didn’t last long, thanks due in part to the fact that I knew so many classmates from Admits Weekend, nightly Flat Hunters Pub Crawls, drop-in rugby and Facebook – all of which got us together well in advance of Orientation.  Everyone I have met so far has been outgoing, friendly and with an interesting story to tell, which makes the whole experience very enjoyable.

I met my study group for the first time on Tuesday.  You hear a lot about the diversity at London Business School during the admissions process, and my group is no exception:

·         Guy: background in computer science and mathematics, previously worked in software development in Israel

·         Sami: born in the UK to Lebanese parents, spent the last few years in Saudi Arabia working on workforce simulation, modeling and forecasting for the national oil and gas supplier.

·         Sebastian: background in business administration, previously worked as a corporate banker in Chile

·         Ananth: most recently served as the CFO for his own internet marketing company in India

·         Thibaud: studied law in the UK and France before starting his own business, then worked for the EU Commission in the international trade division

·         And me: Canadian with an undergraduate degree in business previously working as a strategy consultant in San Francisco.

As I listened to each of them introduce themselves, the old Sesame Street song was playing in my head: “One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just doesn’t belong…” but then I realized that each of them could very well argue the same point: we are all very different from one another, but despite our differences we all belong here at London Business School.

On Thursday we headed out to Reading for some quality team bonding.  At first we behaved in the classic polite but distant way strangers do when thrown into something new.  That changed quickly after our first challenge which involved rigging ropes between trees and suspending a blindfolded Sami between them.  We moved on to climbing wobbly telephone poles two at a time and leaping together for a trapeze, and ascending a series of horizontal logs known as “Jacob’s Ladder”, a task that required three individuals to haul each other up each level.   At each turn I found myself amazed at each person’s ability, willingness to challenge himself and to help others complete the task.

I left the day feeling really good about the prospects for our team: we are six intelligent, creative and group-oriented individuals.  If we can figure out how to climb high ropes courses together, surely we will get through our first Business Statistics assignment.

“And now it’s time to play our game, it’s time to play our game.”

The Ultimate Global MBA Experience

Posted by Kobby on 28 August 2008

One of the distinct selling points of the London Business School MBA is the ‘global’ experience it touts. In an increasingly interconnected world, getting that global perspective was among my top reasons for applying to and choosing this programme.

Every day I have spent here, I have felt that global experience in a tangible way. I have met people from Argentina through Zimbabwe, all very accomplished, and all really cool to share a beer a conversation with (seriously!). My class alone has representation from 60 countries, and about 90 percent of the students come from outside the United Kingdom. This is as rare a phenomenon among MBA programmes around the world as it is special.

My study group, like the typical London Business School study group, reflects this amazing diversity of cultures and professional backgrounds. There is Julie, the French veterinarian, Wayne, the Taiwanese political campaign manager, Adolfo, the Peruvian private equity investor, Lauren,  the American engineer, Davide, the Italian consultant, and yours truly, the Ghanaian entertainment researcher. We all look and sound very different, but the one homogenous trait I've found across my study group (and indeed across the student body) is in their respectable accomplishments and their drive to achieve even more.

So far as I'm concerned, London Business School walks the talk on providing a truly global MBA experience. With such cultural and experiential diversity, I expect (I think, reasonably) to encounter many approaches and points of view in anything I do. And it'll never hurt having friends and alumni contacts who span the globe.

Orientation...back to school ha...

Posted by Pak on 26 August 2008

Wow, first day of my London Business School's MBA orientation has begun!

Let me see where to begin...

1. The number of nationalities of people that I have met and spoken to on day 1 has outnumbered the total of that in my all previous years on this Earth. (That is 1 of the key reasons I come to the London Business School, i.e. to mingle with people from a variety of background, countries, cultures etc etc)

2. In a 2 hours or so session, students from different nations have stepped up to give a 2 minutes quick overview of people from their countries and tips on working with them. Though short in duration, definitely a good kick start to get everyone thinking about "collaboration among heterogeneous individuals". (Isn't that what we have been challenged with in our workplaces most of the time?)

3. The majority of people that I met today was eager to find out more about China, Hong Kong and Asia in general from me, such as the business atmosphere, life there etc. And of course I am also equally eager to learn that in other countries from the horse's mouth. I am looking forward to such experience sharing in the coming 2 years.

Some pictures to share:

Yeah..we have our own London Bus for the first day.

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Snc00016 Snc00017Snc00018 Views from the Lord's Cricket Ground, where the Orientation was held for day 1

Forté Forum Event Series this Fall

Posted by Martha on 26 August 2008

Forté is coming to cities across the country with our Forum series, featuring top women business leaders sharing candid advice drawn from their own career experiences. They'll be joined by admissions officers from the top MBA schools, who will answer questions and give advice about the admissions process.

The event includes plenty of time to mingle with corporate and school representatives for one-on-one networking opportunities.

The schedule of events is as follows:

Chicago, Sept. 8th (register by Sept. 5th)

Boston. Sept. 9th (register by Sept. 5th)

Washington, DC, Sept. 10th (register by Sept. 5th)

Los Angeles, Sept. 15th (register by Sept. 12th)

San Francisco, Sept. 16th (register by Sept. 12th)

Houston, Sept. 17th (register by Sept. 12th)

Atlanta, Sept. 18th (register by Sept. 12th)

New York, Sept. 23rd (register by Sept. 19th)

New York, Sept. 24th (register by Sept. 19th)

London, Oct. 7th (register by Oct. 3)

To register for any of these events, visit http://www.fortefoundation.org/forum

This fall, our Forum events will feature business leaders like Aruna Singh, Vice President at Merrill Lynch & Co.; Valerie Grubb, Vice President of Operations & Initiatives at NBC Universal; Johanna McChesney, CEO of Isis Maternity; Dana Dillon-Townes, Assistant Brand Manager at L'Oreal.

Interact virtually and experience our online resources for women considering pursuing an MBA — Visit http://www.fortefoundation.org/site/PageServer?pagename=events_ue_mba_online to access our Podcast series, upcoming Forum webinars and Pre-MBA blog.

Forté Foundation is dedicated to encouraging women to pursue careers in business leadership by providing access to information, scholarships and networking opportunities. Forté is backed by 27 leading corporations, 37 top business schools in the U.S. and abroad, and The Graduate Management Admission Council® (GMAC®).

For more information, please contact me at jessica@fortefoundation.org

Two years later: was my MBA worth pursuing?

Posted by Martha on 26 August 2008

2008_aug_cambodia_97 Just came back from a thirty-day trip in Southeast Asia and I will continue to travel for a few more days before landing in Dubai for a full-time job. I could say my ability to enjoy time off has dramatically improved – thanks to the MBA. Without empty pages on my passport, after two marathons, and with lots of new friends and rewarding memories, the MBA has been a package of experiences.

Needless to say, I also discovered the business world – after a few years in oil rigs. Obviously, I have also broadened my set of skills, particularly those of teamwork and business judgement. Yet, the biggest impact of the MBA has been at a personal level: a change of mindset. I feel more ownership over my professional career and life than I did before. I have also genuinely learnt to appreciate the balance and combination of work and pleasure.

No need to make this blog entry long – the MBA was worth pursuing and wise to choose London Business School.

D-Day -1

Posted by Charlotte on 26 August 2008

I've had to go into hibernation this weekend in order to recover from the Flathunters' Pubcrawl in time for tomorrow; I had actually developed jet-lag from all of our efforts to prove that the whole of London does not shut down at 11pm. It's been a lot of fun and a great chance to get to know people but I suppose we're just like any regular group of students, if slightly (barely) more mature.
The group is great. Still resolutely international. Not as many consultants and bankers as I necessarily expected - a good show of 'industry' too. Everyone clearly has an ability to have fun but you can also see that behind it all people have put a lot into being here and will be extremely buckled down and focused as of tomorrow. I have a feeling it's going to be an inspiring atmosphere.
Anyway, I think I'm nearly ready. I've filled in all the forms, joined the gym, got my laptop working at school and stocked up the fridge. And I've written farewell emails to all of my friends. We got this email from the Admissions team "...you should expect to be on campus from 8.30 to 17.30 from Monday to Friday for the whole of September. Needless to say, the courses you are taking will require some study out of the classroom so you should expect to be pretty busy during this time with little time for any non-MBA related activites!” (their exclamation mark). Sounds like we're signing our lives away!

I'm an Alum already?

Posted by Manish on 25 August 2008

For most part, graduation is a celebration that reminds you of the wonderful journey you have just completed and even the few mentions of the word 'alumni' only serve to remind you of the relationship you continue to have with school and all the people you have met during that journey.

However, when I logged into Portal a couple of days ago it looked dreadfully different. My life and identity on Portal had been taken away in one smooth operation. That's when it fully and finally registered that I was indeed no longer a student but an alumnus.

A warm welcome to the MBA2010s and to the new brigade of bloggers who seem to have got off to a dashing start. I hope to continue posting on this blog as my journey into the corporate world begins on Sept 1st.

Great First Two Weeks

Posted by Jann on 24 August 2008

     I arrived in London almost two weeks ago and while I was still back home in The Philippines, I was convinced that I was going to look forward to finding a flat, using the Tube, and having four seasons in a year.  I was so excited to experience all these because I haven't had the chance to back home.  In hindsight, however, I may have over done it...30 mins after I've arrived from the airport, I immediately went out and walked miles and miles around London looking for a possible flat, got a Day pass on the Tube, and I seem to have experienced four seasons in a DAY (no, not YEAR) having to put my coat on and taking it off more than a couple of times. (To think it was summer here)  By the end of it, I was exhausted!  I think I've reached my quota, in terms of achieving the things I was looking forward to here, just on my first day.

     But there is one thing I enjoyed and still am enjoying a lot for the first two weeks I've been here.  And that is meeting the other MBA 2010s (and some of the MIF 2009s as well). Whether it be through the Flat Hunter's Pub Crawl, Sundowners, Meet and Greet, or just through London tours, nights out, and flat warming events some small groups organize here and there.

    Classes have not yet started, but I'm learning a lot as I meet my fellow 2010s.  My exposure and expertise is within Industry and a lot of the people I've spoken to were from Finance or Consulting.  I expected not to grasp some of what the others have done previously.  There was an instance where I drew a blank stare when I was told by one person he was doing M&A (I still drew a blank even when he said Mergers & Acquisitions).  Nor did I truly understand someone when he said he did subprime mortgage trading. (I wonder if I even got this correctly). It's quite comforting too that not all people have a grasp of the other functions in Industry especially the uncommon ones like my background.  I do hope that the fact that there is diversity will enrich us in the next 2 years.  Of course, do not forget the cultural sharing which makes for good learning as well.
    With the great first two weeks here, I am so looking forward to the next great two years of my life at London Business School.

Some shots at the School and London

Posted by Pak on 23 August 2008


For the past 2 days the weather here is good in general. Managed to get lovely sunlight most of the time. I have been exploring the neighbourhood around the College Hall and mapped out a jogging route around the British Museum. Yeah, the museum is behind my hall and have just visited there.

Below is a clip and some shots, more to come!

A Short Clip Outside the School's Sainsbury Building (Click to view)

Pictures from left to right:
Pictures 1, 2: London Business School
Picture 3: Outside Buckingham Palace
Picture 4: Hyde Park
Pictures  5, 6: Watching Olympic 2008 closing ceremony at Trafalgar Square
Picture 7: Spitalfields Market


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Getting Familiar with a New Place

Posted by Kobby on 23 August 2008

Preparing for the start of term has turned out to be an exercise in familiarising myself with the mundane. I arrived in London three weeks before the start of class to give myself time to get acclimated to life in a new place. After arriving at 8AM with little sleep during my 10-hour flight from Los Angeles, I had a brilliant idea to beat jetlag:  fight sleep during the day, easily fall asleep at night, and awake the next morning on GMT. I failed spectacularly, passing out mid-meal during lunch with a friend.

I've had to adapt in several ways. I've swapped my Nissan and LA traffic for an Oyster card and commuters thronging London's tube systems. Where I once confidently strutted across roads, here, I've felt quite comical when midway through crossing a road, I've been startled by a speeding car bearing down on me from the 'wrong' direction. I've also traded the bright, sunny weather (five rainy days in two years) for four wet days in my first week in London.

Even though we take the mundane for granted, in a new place, sometimes, the smallest things can be the most jarring, and I'm learning that by letting go of what I'm used to, I'm taking an important step towards opening my mind on a bigger level.

Why I chose London Business School?

Posted by Franco on 23 August 2008

I remember that I got the same question last February, at my interview: Why I chose London Business School? I will share with you the same answer that I gave back then. Talking about London Business School is talking about its excellent faculty, its multicultural environment, its recognition as one of the best business schools in the world, its location in one of the most fabulous cities on the planet, among a few of the school’s characteristics. But besides these qualifications, I chose studying at London Business School because of its soul. Yes, its “soul”. London Business School offers me not only all the benefits that other top Business School could offers me, but also, the soul of a Community that cares for the world in which it lives.

London Business School offers me a family that will stay with me for the rest of my life and one on which I will be part as an active member far beyond my period as a student.  I am convinced that studying at London Business School is one of the most important decisions that I have made; most important, I am convinced that I made the best decision: Be one of the members of the London Business School family!

In this blog I will try to share with you my experiences during the MBA. Not only the academics, but also the personal ones, because they are linked to each other. In this blog I will share with you the experiences of a 28 year old Peruvian guy in London. My purpose is to help you to expand your knowledge of the school, on the basis of my own experience. And who knows! Maybe I will see you next year arriving to London with the same dreams and hopes that I have now, as part of the 2011 class. Who knows!

So, this is a personal invitation for you! If you decide to study an MBA in the future, you have the great opportunity to join one of the best business schools in the world, to join the London Business School family and start a journey filled with dreams, passion, challenges and success. We are waiting for you!



Posted by Jerome on 22 August 2008

We're a couple of days away from day 1 and the MBA office is preparing another of their outstanding induction weeks. This week is very special, it's the first back to school in years (a *lot* of years for some of us!) and it's also one of the few occasions when the entire class is together. During the week there will be many opportunities to meet with all of you classmates, from your study group, stream and other streams. My advice to you: after the first day, before the barbecue, have a pint with your study group. Get to know you, background, interests, aspirations. Then try to meet as many students from other streams as you can. You will have plenty of time to meet your stream when the actual classes start. Then September will be the warm up month, with some interesting classes (I loved UIM) and also a day out... I embedded a video for you to see if you can have more fun than we did! September is a great month as the workload is not so heavy (ok ok I waived stats so even fewer hours...) that you can be hanging out with people all the time. Being at the pud every evening at that time of the year is not a bad experience! The weather is still pretty good and it's really cool to chat with new people. Just to give you a taster of what the rest of the year is gonna be like, I also attached the video we showed at the admits weekend. I hope you guys are looking forward to join the campus and I look forward to seeing you!

Four Suitcases

Posted by Rebecca on 22 August 2008

Four suitcases: my Air Canada luggage allowance and the total amount of space I have to pack everything I will need in London. Plus two carry-ons if you want to be technical about it. Depending on your need for stuff (and fashion), four suitcases is either ample space or a life and death situation. I decided to apply an activities-based approach (can you tell I’ve been brushing up on accounting?) and began thinking about all the things I’ll likely do during my first year at London Business School. Certainly there will guest speakers and recruiting events, so a couple suits are a must. And of course there will be plenty of nights out at the pub (I’m already signed up for the Flat Hunters’ Pub Crawl – on every night for four weeks straight) so casual clothes and flat shoes are practical. I already signed up for the women’s rugby team and I can’t wait to run through Regent’s Park, so best find room for my athletic gear. Plus I’ll have to squeeze in the five umbrellas, three power adapters and eight London guidebooks given to me as going-away gifts. The four suitcases are already looking remarkably full. Oh well. Whatever I can’t fit I can either do without or buy – isn’t that what the line of credit is for?