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« November 2008 | Main | January 2009 »


Posted by Don on 29 December 2008

Now that the winter term is over a moment of reflection is in order…

What a year 2008 has been! What started as a subprime mortgage crisis developed into the seizing up of credit markets and a drying up of liquidity. During the summer commodities rallied, people in Asia suddenly could not afford food and gasoline prices reached new highs. At this time people were still talking about decoupling, and the mood in Asia was certainly better than in the rest of the world, but the financial crisis seemed to be under control. Short-lived rallies in equity and especially credit markets seemed to be proof. Then, in September, the worst happened when over a weekend Merrill and Lehman disappeared, and Fannie, Freddy and AIG needed to be bailed out. Credit Default Spreads went through the roof again and for several weeks we had intraday volatility of 20%-40% - in companies such as Goldman, Morgan and Citibank! (which later needed to be bailed out as well). Now we are waiting to see whether GM and Ford will be alive much longer and how painful the recession will be. Meanwhile funding has nearly dried up – Venture Capital and Private Equity companies are struggling to raise funds. Those with money right now are slowly starting the bargain hunt. The hedge fund industry is experiencing its biggest shakeout – not surprising for an industry that has promised “absolute returns” but is uniformly down.

On the positive side, we have seen history in the making. On the negative side, the job markets are in turmoil. Many alumni have lost their jobs and those of us looking for jobs, either for an internship or for a full-time opportunity are having a very tough time. Anyone with a job offer should consider him-/herself very fortunate right now. An example can be the full-time recruiting event of BCG: a whopping 250 people attended (including finance interested MBAs and MIF students). In the end, no one got an offer from the London, Frankfurt or Zurich office.

Still, the mood remains upbeat for most people – there are still opportunities around and there are still several terms to go.

Some observations from the last term:

- Options and Futures is a fantastic course. The best so far, actually.

- Financing the entrepreneurial business was also great. - I expected more from negotiations/bargaining and managing entertainment and experience. Could have been great courses but the delivery was not up to expectations (maybe professor dependent).

- New venture development was slightly strange – certainly a great course but why did we have to read about 60 pages per week in addition to writing a business plan? I thought the reason of the course was to develop a business plan!

- Elective courses are on average better than core classes with more preparation and work to be done. - 09ers do not own the Windsor, the Quad or Sundowners anymore. The 2010 class does.

- During class discussion you can now easily identify exchange and part-time students

- 2nd internship, 4 classes, 2YP and getting fit again is a challenge ;-)

- LBS really is a very international place: people are literally all over the world for the break, visiting friends and family. Before xmas I was cooking for some friends and we were 6 people from 4 countries, going to 5 different countries afterwards. Really international. Already I know several LBS alumni in Hong Kong where I will be going after school. Fantastic!

All of you – take care and have a great start into 2009! For anyone interested – we put together a list of books for those of you who want to go into finance. Have a look at www.mba2finance.com – we will be working on it …

Take care,

cu don

Second stage application deadline for Full-time MBA beginning in August 2009

Posted by Adcoms on 18 December 2008

If you are considering applying for the autumn 2009 intake, the Stage 2 application deadline is Tuesday 6 January 2009 at 17.00 (London time).  Please give yourself plenty of time to submit your application and try not to leave it to the last minute. In the hour or so before the deadline the server is extremely busy. Stage 2 candidates will receive notification of whether they have been selected for interview via email on 12 February, and Stage 2 interviewed candidates will receive their final admission decision on 31 March.


If you experience any difficulties in submitting your application please follow the Help links within the online application form, or contact our Information Office directly at apply.mba@london.edu or telephone +44 (0)20 7000 7500


Winter closure dates

Please note the MBA Information Office will be closed at 17.00 on Tuesday 23 December and reopen at 9.00 on Friday 2 January.


Common applications questions


Q. Do you require original copies of my transcripts?


Yes, but not yet. We only require copies of your academic transcripts at this application stage. If these documents are not in English then you should provide a translation (your own translation is acceptable at this stage). If you are extended an offer we will require an official paper transcript and a certified or notarised English translation if not in English. The Admissions Committee reserves the right to retract an offer of admission already made if there is any discrepancy between the transcript copy and the original.

We do not require transcripts for courses that did not contribute to a degree.

We prefer applicants to submit transcripts online. Full instructions can be found within the application form.


Q. Can you confirm receipt of my GMAT/English test score or other supplementary information?


Please do not contact the Admissions Office for confirmation that your references, university transcripts, GMAT or English test scores have arrived.  We receive hundreds if not thousands of items of post during the run up to the application deadline and to confirm the receipt of these would dramatically slow the admission and reviewing process for all candidates. Once all of the information has been opened and collated, should an application be missing any documents the candidate will be contacted by the Admissions team.

If you are curious as to the status of your references, this can be checked by logging into your online application account and viewing the Referee Status.


Q. My references / transcripts have been delayed and will not arrive until after the deadline. Will you still accept my application in this stage?


If you submit your application by the Stage 2 deadline, we will accept supplementary materials that arrive during the week following this deadline.  If an item is delayed by more than 1 week your application may be moved into the following Stage so that it can be reviewed with using the full information, but you will be contacted beforehand if this is the case. If you do not hear from the Admissions team you should assume that your application is proceeding in Stage 2.


MBA TV, Episode four

Posted by Adcoms on 15 December 2008

The fourth episode of MBA TV is now available to view online. In this episode we show you the highlights of the 2008 Media Summit hosted by the London Business School Media Club. The club has over 300 student and 650 alumni members, and is one of the most active professional clubs on campus. Students are responsible for developing the content of the summit and securing funding, this year they attracted a number of high profile speakers from the media industry including:

·         Jon Snow, Channel 4 Newsreader

·         Mark Thompson, Director General of the BBC

·         Bill Roedy, Chairman and CEO, MTV Networks International

·         Alan Rusbridger, Editor-in-chief of the Guardian News & Media

·         Stewart Till, Chairman of the UK Film Council

Click here to watch the full uncut version.

Santa Claus is Coming to Town

Posted by Rebecca on 08 December 2008

December! Finally the heart of darkness (November) is over, miraculously the sun is shining and the Christmas lights are twinkling.  There is something magical about London at Christmas, something akin to the holidays that have been immortalized in so many movies.  The streets are coated with blue and white lights (Westminster is particularly proud of its street decorating ability), the pubs are serving hot cider, and there is enough mincemeat to sink a ship.  Last week I was brave enough to venture into Harrods’s Christmas floor, and its tacky glory was enough to tip me over to full-on holiday cheer mode.  My iPod has been on “Swinging Holiday Playlist” ever since. 

On Saturday I went to Borough Market, which might as well be Christmas headquarters: dozens of mulled wine booths, Christmas tree stands, mandarin oranges, roasted chestnuts, Christmas pudding, choirs and Salvation Army jingle bells.  It put me in the right mood for what was the pinnacle event of my holiday season so far: Santa Pub Crawl.

Okay, close your eyes for a moment. Actually scratch that because you need to read this, so open them again.  Imagine you are a weary shopper taking the tube home, when all of a sudden you run into  430 people clad in Mr. and Mrs. Claus outfits pouring into Baker Street tube station, riding the escalator and singing Jingle Bells in unison. At this point, they are orderly and mostly sober Santas:


Later on you venture out into Piccadilly Circus and run into the same 400 Santas (there were some casualties), only they have been hitting the eggnog a little hard and have hijacked several unsuspecting tourists (some Santas forgot that Christmas is about giving, not taking).  They seem to be singing two or three different carols at once, and is it just your imagination or is Mrs Claus’ skirt  a little shorter?



'Tis the season to celebrate, and no one takes partying as seriously as b-school students.  I am grateful for our three week break coming up - it will give me time to recover and prepare (both mentally and physically) for whatever 2009 has in store. 

The English Cut Suit and Hip Hop

Posted by Joyce on 04 December 2008

Today was a very incongruous day. 

Inside one of London's most revered bespoke tailoring firms, I shook hands with a record producer who sells sneakers on sushi-bar-style conveyor belts as part of his hip hop clothing line. 

My decision to come to London Business School was predicated on getting exposed to different examples and avenues of success when it comes to business. One could argue that location isn't important anymore... given how connected the world is online. But tell that to the century-old shops on London's "Golden Mile of Tailoring", or the young, mega-star jetsetters who want their suits made the old-fashioned way.

Stepping into Anderson & Sheppard felt like stepping into a time machine. Their history is steeped in the pages of their appointment books and the patterns that hang on the rails of the cutting room. Seeing it all resurfaced a question I've been pondering for awhile now: are we too fixated on this notion of "growth"? Much of what we learn here in business school is concerned with growing revenues, growing profit, growing market share, etc. But what about doing things simply and excellently, without the ambition of global expansion? Would that exclude you from being "a successful business"? I think I have my answer. When you're the best in the world at what you do, the world comes to you.

So, many thanks to the people Anderson & Sheppard who patiently explained how everything worked in their cutting room. Student life can be hectic, but I definitely recommend visiting some of the local or more traditional firms in and around London (in addition to the time we spend courting our large corporate partners). This is London--there aren't many other places in the world where tradition and history so seamlessly co-exist with cutting edge modern times.

To end, here is a picture of sneakers on a conveyor belt.


(Photo Credit: BAPEXCLUSIVE store in Tokyo. Taken from www.bape.com)

Trying New Things and Being Entrepreneurial

Posted by Matthew on 03 December 2008

Being American, I tended not to travel so much before my MBA.  I had not experienced all of the cultural wonders that would become available to me attending such a diverse school.  Since arriving here, I have attended Carneval parties, Hanami parties, Beaujolais parties, Diwali, a random Wicken event (not school or club sponsored) that I probably would prefer not mentioning, and other parties and events that I never even knew existed.  Nonetheless, sometimes it is also fun to share a little bit of my own culture with others -- thus American Thanksgiving (not to be confused with Canadian Thanksgiving which occurs on Sundays and celebrates the harvest).  My friends and I (about 40 of us) had a huge feast in a flat in London that put my own family's Thanksgivings to shame.  The highlight was a Turducken (a deboned chicken stuffed in a deboned duck stuffed in a Turkey and roasted with stuffing for 12 hours).  I can say that it was tasty, and I am now thinking whether this could become tastier with the addition of pigeons or pheasants or other random fowl.  It was also great seeing the looks on all the faces of my non-American friends at the veritable table of goodness laid before their eyes.  So, if you come here, experience other cultures but also share the best of your own.


1)  You may have noticed that I never talk about academics anymore -- well, as a 2nd year, my life is now down to breaking my life in to units of time and trying to count down the days until I head to exchange in Sydney, Australia.  I plan on bringing a bathing suit, a surfboard, 3 shorts, 3 shirts, and a pair of flippers.

2)  Been brainstorming with friends trying to come up with cool ideas -- there is my standard open up a Mexican restaurant in London and then open up its sister Brunch-only restaurant; trying to produce an alternative pirate musical; or opening up Italian eateries in Mexico targeting the untapped Italian Ex-Pat in Mexico who can't handle spicy population.


Join us for an online chat with current students and members of the admissions team

Posted by Adcoms on 01 December 2008

On Monday 08 December we’re giving you the opportunity to put your questions to current students and members of the admissions team direct from the comfort of your desk during our online chat.

Event details:
•    Date: Monday 08 December
•    Time: 18:00 GMT – 19.30 GMT
•    Where: This event is hosted by Accepted.com

In addition to several members of the MBA Admissions team, our panel of guests includes two current MBA students.

If you are unable to log on for this particular online chat, you will be able to view the transcript online 5 – 7 days after the event.

About our student participants:

Vlad Gudov, MBA2010 student. Vlad is coming to the end of his first term at London Business School and is also an MBA student ambassador. He is originally from Romania where he studied Economics and International Business. Prior to starting the MBA, Vlad worked as a Marketing Research Manager with Ringier Romania. 

Daniela Gruebel, MBA2010 student. Daniela is also an MBA student ambassador who is about to complete the first term of her MBA. Daniela is from Germany where she studied International Business Administration in Wiesbaden. Prior to starting the MBA Daniela worked in the finance sector as Head of Marketing and Communications at LHI Leasing GmbH in Munich.