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Follow the Global Leadership Summit on Twitter

Posted by Adcoms on 29 June 2009

London Business School's sixth annual Global Leadership Summit got underway this morning, featuring the most prestigious group of leaders to be gathered on one stage in London this year. 

Get regular updates on the days events by following the School's Twitter feed at https://twitter.com/LondonBS or by searching for #GLS2009.

The end ...

Posted by Don on 28 June 2009

So there we are. The MBA is over. Well, not officially but effectively. I personally am very happy – I managed my transition into finance, got a job in Sales/Trading in Hong Kong, did two internships and finished early. So now was the time to relax and enjoy.

BUT – again, the options were numerous. Should I prepare for my new work? Should I join my good friend and tennis buddy Guido on his 6-week round the world trip? Should I travel Europe? Relax on a beach? (When I asked non-MBA friends for advice, they all strangely enough said something along the lines of f*#* off!...)

So – I decided against the round-the-world trip as I had done it before in 6 months (www.cudon.com) and had felt stressed – there are so many things out there to see and do! So then I wanted to strike a balance between seeing things and relaxing. So I spent a few days wandering around London – I had not seen that much of London during the MBA – too busy! Also went to Stonehenge and Bath and explored Richmond and Greenwich with friends from the MBA.

I then went on a 7 day road-trip through Scotland with a friend from the MBA. We took the sleeper train up to Edinburgh, rented a car and went through Scotland with a map and guidebook, deciding every few hours where we wanted to go and stay. So we visited Lochs (including world-famous Loch Ness) and mountains, distilleries and pubs, coasts and islands. The highlight were 2 days on the Isle of Skye – hiking during the day and having beers and singing with local fishermen at night.

I spent some more days visiting my family and working on my golf handicap. I also started a new activity – hot yoga (=Bikram yoga) – which is yoga done in a 40 degree hot room. It is not only stretching and meditating but also quite cardiovascular – I sweat more than in a sauna and am more tired than after 2 hours of rugby!

As a student you have the great luxury of being very flexible with your time – so I decided on a Friday to go on a dive trip on Saturday (I got a 50% discount J. So I went to yoga on Saturday, jumped on a train to Manchester and jumped on a plane to Sharm el Sheik. We boarded a very very nice dive boat and stayed at sea for 6 days, 4 dives per day. We saw great things – reef, wrecks, turtles, hammerhead sharks, dolphins to name but a few.

The day after I returned I went once more to an airport – this time to fly home to Munich and see family and friends. It was very nice to spend a more relaxed time there as the MBA is over and work has not yet begun. And I had almost forgotten German beer….

So now I am back in London and DisOrientation has begun. While next week we will have the final courses in our old stream settings, a student committee has organized all sorts of events for the coming week. This includes drinks and food but also a scavenger hunt and a London walking tour. A good way to meet friends again – the sad part is that most of us will spread all over the world very soon. And while we will be able to meet from time to time, it will never be that you walk around campus and constantly meet people and stop for a chat. And that I will greatly miss.

Last activities

Posted by Don on 28 June 2009

So – the MBA is over. The final course, after the speech-writing GLDP (Global Leadership Development Program, a course including various aspects such as writing, presentation and other soft-skills training), was a block week in International Finance. Its lecturer regularly receives awards from students as best faculty – and we were not disappointed. Prof. Uppal is very approachable and friendly, yet also very very knowledgeable – even compared to the high caliber of finance faculty at LBS. He gave the impression of being able to teach any finance course in any area (option/fixed income/valuations/currencies) at a very high level. He also spent a lot of time on the case discussion, making sure everyone understood the solution and the way it was reached.

Additionally Prof. Uppal spent 10 minutes of each class talking about life and life changing events. This was fascinating as it shed a light on very interesting, moving and touching events, people and lives while at the same time offering perspectives from a seasoned professor with a lot of experience in life. The only unfortunate thing was that this class was almost to good to be taught in a block week – there was so much additional reading that a normal format might have been better.

I added a weekend training course to become a Dive Medic – increasing my knowledge of Decompression Sickness, CPR and wound suturing to be able to handle dive emergencies better. This also included a dry dive in a recompression chamber to 40 meters which was very funny.

The following two weeks I spent with my team mates on finishing the second year project. I was very fortunate to work with two great guys on a very interesting subject – a Funded Search to acquire a medium-sized German company. This investment idea originated at Stanford and has become quite standardized in the US. First-round investors invest $20,000 on average to fund a search process for up to two years. Equity step-up and right of first refusal ensure that the risk is offset by quite a lot of advantages. The whole report was quite long but very substantial. In the current climate we were unfortunately not able to secure enough investors – the other two wanted to really do this full-time after the MBA. We however agreed to keep in touch regularly regarding the funded search and see if the situation will improve in a few years. The only real challenge was the current economic climate and the drying-up of credit – there is certainly no lack of potential target companies.

When I look back on the MBA then it is this I will miss most – working together with great people on very different projects, each bringing different skills and experiences to the table. Having dinner together and working until late at night or during the weekend, trying to deliver the best possible result. Very similar to the consulting world, actually, but with very different topics.

So we went to the MBA Program office together to hand in our report - and the MBA was over. Unbelievable - it went amazingly fast. So many things to do - so many activities and events to attend, trips to go on, people to meet. Now it is all over - and a new chapter begins.

Meditation Retreat

Posted by Don on 28 June 2009

After leaving the boat I took a cab to Phuket bus station and went across Thailand to the east coast (which only took about 4 hrs) and took a minivan to reach Chaiya, in Surat Thani province. Chaiya is the location of a relatively famous temple, or Wat, call Suan Mokkh. Founded over 50 years ago they run regular meditation retreats in Thai and English. Once per month there is a retreat for foreigners. I had done it 6 years ago and had always wanted to come back. What better moment than this – almost done with the MBA and not yet having started work. I also thought it would nicely round up the MBA experience and help me reorganize my thoughts.

This retreat helps the participants focus on themselves – becoming mindful and calming the mind. Usually the mind is all over the place, jumping from one thought to another. A lot of worry and suffering comes from the fact that we spend a lot of time being upset about events in the past (which we cannot change anymore) or worrying about the future (which is not here yet). So by calming the mind (through breathing), meditation and focusing on the here and now, participants try to reduce stress and anxiety. This is not a sect or a strictly religious place – all people are welcome. But it is also not an easy undertaking – participants cannot talk for 10 days and only eat twice a day. Accommodation is provided but very Spartan. All of this helps reconnect with nature – where else do you have 10 days to spend meditating and thinking of yourself (actually: trying not to think at all), letting go of all stress and doing things like watching ants for 15 minutes?

The meditation is done in 3 different ways – sitting, standing and walking. Especially walking is very interesting – the movement is split into 5 parts which are done really slowly. Thus to walk 20 meters takes about 30 minutes. A very interesting experience.

The 10 days went past faster than the last time – I understood the retreat and the way things are run a lot better. And the English monk was doing most of the mediation instruction and Dhamma talks. This is a very interesting character – an English guy who ordained as a monk at Suan Mokkh 15 years ago. He delivers extremely sharp and precise lectures – witty and funny at the same time.

Unfortunately I had to leave one day earlier – I had to retake a GLDP course at LBS. So I took an overnight flight back and had the interesting experience of, within 24 hrs, moving from a rural retreat setting to an LBS classroom for a session on speech preparation and delivery. Weird, mindblowing, great.

Sailing Trip to Thailand

Posted by Don on 27 June 2009

Hi all,

The past weeks were slightly hectic but I wanted to relate to a couple of things that happened in the past 3 months.

At the end of March I had three quite tough exams marking the end of the spring term. Straight out of Lecture Theatre 3 we went to the Windsor for a hard-earned pint, after which I jumped into a cab, went to Paddington and off to Heathrow. A friend from the rugby team and his girlfriend were also on the flight so we celebrated the end of term again at Heathrow (nothing better than a couple of pints after exams!). 12 hours later I was in a totally different world – but I have spent so much time in Thailand I consider it my second home.

I spent 4 very relaxing days in Bangkok in very lush surroundings. Then I met up with 30 people form the MBA – mostly first-year students. We met in Phuket and transferred to the boats. In total we were 3 boats – 2 catamarans and 1 monohull. There was another boat with people from the class but they sailed a bit more independently throughout the week. After stocking up on food and – important – booze, we got organized and got ready to leave. Two boats had skippers from our class while the 3rd one had a Thai skipper. We left the marina in Phuket and before nightfall reached our first anchoring. It was fantastic – anchoring between two limestone islands, food from the grill and chillout music. As the weather held I spent the night on deck – as I did all of the nights. That was very relaxing – a day of sailing and sleeping under the stars at night.

The following days we spent sailing north to see the famous James Bond island and then south, taking on new supplies and water in Krabi. We also had as much fun as possible – spraying other boats with water or stealing the LBS flags at night included. We continued south and spent 2 days on Phi Phi island where I organized some scuba diving for one day. It was nice teaching diving again for a little bit and certainly was great to see reef and fish again.

We had a really good group on the boat and got along really well. There was a lot of fun and laughter but also good conversations – during the day, during food preparation, doing dinners or over a beer at sunset. This trip was a great team bonding exercise – we got to know each other really well within the short time frame and made new friends.

Far too soon the trip was over and we had to leave. Most stayed a few more days in Thailand but I had different plans (report to follow). But a few weeks later we had a reunion party in London and it was great to see everyone again and party once more.

MBA TV - Episode twelve

Posted by Adcoms on 24 June 2009

The highlight of the admissions year, Admits Weekend is an opportunity for admitted MBA candidates to meet their future classmates, get a taste of School life and celebrate the start of a life changing experience.

In this episode Marie Lussier, a current MBA student, is your guide to Admits Weekend 2009 as we welcome over 200 Admits and their partners representing 38 nationalities to our campus for a weekend packed full of activities. 

Episode highlights include interviews with

-           MBA2011 Admits

-           Current MBA students

-           Club Representatives

-           MBA Events Manager, Zoe McLoughlin

Are you thinking of applying for an MBA starting 2010?

Find out more about the application process here:


It’s the end of term, but its business as usual for the Admissions team over the summer. To get bite size news and updates as they happen follow the MBA Admissions team on Twitter

MBA TV, Episode eleven

Posted by Adcoms on 01 June 2009

The latest episode of MBA TV is here.

Studying at London Business School gives our MBAs a truly global experience. Their classmates hail from over 60 countries, as well as being taught by world-class faculty from more than 30 countries. As if this wasn’t enough, we have one of the world’s largest International Exchange Programmes (IEP).

Each year around a third of second-year MBAs take the opportunity to spend a term abroad at one of over 30 partner schools, travelling as far afield as China, India, South Africa and Australia, building new business networks and experiencing a new culture.

In this episode we take a closer look at the IEP including:
• An interview with Stephen Chadwick, Student Services Manager on the IEP
• Coverage of the Exchange Fair, where first year MBAs can meet students who have already lived the exchange experience and alumni from partner schools
• Insights from MBAs who’ve returned from exchange.

For more information on the International Exchange Programme visit our MBA programme page