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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/

 

On Personal Attention at London Business School

Posted by Kobby on 31 October 2008

Even though London Business School enrols hundreds of people in its degree programs, the school gives its MBA students a lot of individual attention. I certainly didn’t expect as much personal attention as I’ve enjoyed, and I've been pleasantly surprised. So far, I have had one-to-one sessions to discuss my CV, my life and career goals, and some of my personality traits among others.

I showed up at my CV one-to-one session half-expecting a quick glance through my achievements and perhaps a pat on my back. No such luck. Instead, I sat and visibly cringed as the lady from career services read my résumé out loud. I quickly decided that the CV needed (a lot) more work and signed up for "CV Surgery," a second individual appointment where another pair of eyes and mouth read my CV out loud again. But this time, I cringed less.

I also signed up for one of the prized one-to-one sessions with Mohan Mohan Mohan (that's his name, honest). Mohan is a wise, old man, a retired P&G executive with enough energy to power the campus for a week. He spends some of his time counselling London Business School students on their life and career goals. We chatted for an hour about what really matters to me – contributing to Africa’s development and its economic boom, which I'm betting will happen in my lifetime – and discussed career options that could help me realize these goals. Like many other students who’ve met Mohan, I left with a greater sense of purpose and new ideas for how to navigate an uncertain job market and get all I want out of my MBA.

The half-hour I spent discussing my personality with a consultant felt strangely similar to what I imagine therapy feels like. We used my 360-degree personality feedback from my former colleagues at Nielsen as a means to assess my positive traits and identify a handful of “personality challenges,” which could make me a more effective leader. For instance, I’m generally unassertive and can appear indifferent to issues, even when I am interested. Not surprisingly, this is a potential liability for someone who dreams of influencing a continent.

For me, talking to others is one of the best ways for me to think through issues. Be it improving my CV, discussing my life goals and career strategy, or sitting through personality therapy, the one-to-one sessions at London Business School have been as insightful as they have been beneficial.

Statistics...Party Time!

Posted by Kobby on 18 September 2008

DISCLAIMER: I spent a few days writing the following blog. Last night, I went to put it up, and discovered a pretty funny coincidence: my fellow blogger, Rebecca, had written on the exact topic I'd chosen and posted two days before; must be the water we're drinking here. Frankly, I found her piece more interesting than mine, but I figured 'What the heck. I spent the time to write this, I'll post it anyway.'

Before classes officially started this term, I hadn't sat in a classroom in over four years. So it was with a tentative eagerness that I approached the first days of class. This tentativeness only got worse when I picked up my class schedule for September term and realized that my first class in business school was going to be Business Statistics.

Now, I don't care what word you put in front of it, statistics is statistics; and all I know is that it completely kicked my butt all over undergrad - and I majored in Math. As if that wasn't bad enough, the course was broken out into five six-hour blocks. At this point, I might have been forgiven for presuming that with 30 hours of stats, September 2008 would not be one of my brightest spots. It was against this backdrop that I walked into my first MBA class, and into the domain of Catalina Stefanescu, Ph.D.

So it came as a bit of a surprise - albeit pleasant - as we delved deeper into the course, that I was hanging in there. By the end of the second class, I had a significantly deeper understanding of statistics than I ever had in three different undergraduate stats courses - no exaggerations here. I'm certainly not a pro yet; but it sure is great to understand what the heck you're doing when you're using a t-distribution to calculate the standard error of a sample of data. I'm sure a lot of this is because I've finally been able to connect hitherto disjointed concepts floating about my noggin. However, I also credit the faculty, whose direct application of theory to real business scenarios makes the subject more tasteful palatable and succeeds where others have failed in getting me to understand this material.

Thus far, I'm impressed with the general quality of teaching at London Business School. Sitting in lecture theatres here has been a meaningful experience. Not only have I learned the material, but I appreciate the benefit of learning by experiencing practical applications of theories. I'm thrilled to discover that so far, LBS is offering exactly the type of learning I want and need for myself.

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.

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.