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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/


One year out - things I would have / could have done differently

Posted by Manish on 12 July 2009

Astonishingly, it has been almost a year since I graduated and plenty has happened since. A nice long trip between congregation and my job, my new job, the true effects of the economic downturn, suspected green shoots etc etc.

I have spent quite some of this time looking back at the MBA and what it's given to me. More importantly, I keep thinking (with some level of regret) about the things that I missed out on or didn't make the most of.

1) Trips: I certainly should have taken a trip or two in the first winter of our MBA. I hear the trip to Japan was absolutely fantastic and so was the one to South Africa. These were the 2 biggest trips organised by the respective clubs. Not only were some incredible bongs built during those 15 days, but the trip was also such a convenient way to see places I have never visited with all the local knowledge available through your classmates. 

2) SportSport, and in particular going to MBAT in year one, are probably my biggest regrets. Ok, I am not so much the athletic type but the 2 years of the MBA were a perfect opportunity to participate in sport of some type at some level. This could have been a great way to meet people and keep fit. The MBAT victories are held in such high regard at school that I feel now that I should have been part of it. 

3) Sundowner: I have always been fascinated by the idea of being a bartender and what better way to give it a try than by being a Sundowner at the MBAr. This had the added benefit of getting to know a ton of people. However it required quite a commitment in the first place which was a bit difficult for me. So not a very deep regret.

4) Breakfasts talks: The Alumni relations office puts together a series of breakfast events with Alumni and members of the international advisory board. I went to this event only once in the second year and I met very senior McKinsey directors and other successful businessmen in a setting that involved 15 other students around a small table early in the morning. I still distinctly remember the life's lessons that were shared during the session. Clearly I could have benefited from more of these had I started attending these earlier in the MBA. And they finish just in time for 9 am class so no excuses for missing these. 

5) Summer Ball: I skipped it thinking it was just another event to celebrate graduation some more with friends. I was content with all of the disorientation partying but in retrospect The Summer Ball is the big one  and probably best not missed.

Anyway, what's done is done. At least the list of cool things I got to do is multiple times longer than this one.

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.

I've said my goodbyes..

Posted by Manish on 12 July 2008

It felt strange yesterday to empty out my locker and return the keys to the office. Clearly quite contrary to the day I arrived to pick up my locker number and keys. Simple task which mark the beginning and end of our time at school. I also recycled my binders yesterday (yes we love doing that here), and while I cleared out my bookcase I was reminded of how much we have learnt in the last 2 years.

Some of my colleagues have started working already. From the looks of it, the transition back into work life is not an easy one, especially if you have had such a good time for 2 years. I am fortunate to have a few more weeks off for traveling before I set off into the career I have chosen. Thankfully too, I am going to be based in London so I don't feel like I am being separated from this lovely school environment. It will be close at hand if I have the longing to go back and sit in class or hang around the quad. It won't be the same though. We were the fabric of this place for the last 2 years and now we go join the fabric of a community of 28000 alumni.

As a freshly minted MBA, I can only say one thing to readers who are wondering whether or not the 2 year MBA is worth it. I echo the sentiments of all my peers when I say that it as been the best and biggest life altering experience of my life. It takes sacrifices and hardships but it is a supremely NPV positive project.

Capstone begins today

Posted by Manish on 30 June 2008

Capstone 1: a Final touch; a crowning achievement;a culmination 2:a stone that forms the top of a wall or building

The capstone class marks the beginning of the end of the MBA at London Business School. It is a 3 day class where you get back with your original stream and "wrap" up your learnings from the MBA. Essentially it is UGM (our very first course of the MBA) revisited after we have gone out and studied everything we wanted to during the two years at school. For me the excitement is about reliving the first few months of the MBA - for me those were extremely formative in terms of friendships and my own development. It will be interesting to see how we have all changed (for the better, I hope) over the 2 years vis-a-vis the personalities we all brought into the classroom when we started.

Victorious again: UCLA case competiton

Posted by Manish on 07 May 2008

The case teams from London Business School are on fire this year. Our team had another massive victory at UCLA, Anderson winning top honours over 15 other schools including Chicago GSB, Oxford Said, USC Marshall, NUS, HEC , IESE and many others.

The team (all MBA2009s):

Rodrigo Ormaechea
Abhishek Kapur
Ilias Anagnostopoulos
Arturo Silva-Santiesteban


This is particularly good news for the consulting club which worked hard to get teams together and increased participation at such competitions as compared to previous years.

BU Tech Strategy Case Competition

Posted by Manish on 30 March 2008

I'm proud to announce that the London Business School team (Rene Plug, Sasa Brcerevic, Tobias Schweiger and me) have finished in the 3rd place (out of 16 teams) at the BU Tech Strategy Case competition. We are still in Boston recovering from the celebration last night.



The transition is complete: from hi-tech. to consulting

Posted by Manish on 26 November 2007

I came to B-school to shed my baggage. My baggage comprised of 2 technology degrees and ~5 years of work in the high tech sector. It was good work and good money but I give you my official story line - "I was rapidly narrowing into a niche which I was not comfortable with" (rights not reserved).

The journey through B-school was meant to be my 'wash and iron' which would allow me to develop and market my skills as a non technology business person. And it has turned out to be a premier cleaning service :-). 

Mind you it is a difficult and often depressing process. No matter how convinced you are, companies will always start by looking at your background (education and work experience) and the moment they see 2 high tech companies on your CV, it is thrown into a pile with other geek CVs. It's a fact and I reconciled with this very soon in the recruitment process.

For those of you who find yourselves in a similar situation, here are the things that I think have helped me cross the line:

1) A solid CV with almost no technical buzz words (I would say any thing more technical than hardware, software, database would be red flagged). Your future employers do not care that you used multithreading and ajax for developing something cool. They want to know how much money your company saved/made from your work. They want to know  the business impact, not the technical impact. Secondly you will see all your peers have achievements in each bullet while you as a technologist do certain things everyday because that's what you do at your job. I had this problem but you need to make every bullet in your CV speak of an achievement.

2) A solid internship in your area of interest: This is the bigest hurdle but one you mustn't compromise on. If you do an internship in your area of interest, you can build a convincing story about your aspirations.

3) Serious Involvement in clubs: To show your commitment to the area you are gunning for.

4) Something extra: Language skills, passion for things outside school etc. When 300 of your peers are all overachievers, often recruitment decisions boil down to marginal things and this is where your "other" skills come very handy.

This would not have been possible without the catalyst that  B-school has provided to my case. I at the other end of the transformation process and like many of you reading this, was in quite a dilemma about my life as a technologist when i'm 40. It was scary. Now i moving onto a more universal area of business which will bring its own challenges and keep my occupied for the next several years to come.

This time around..The Milk round saga continues

Posted by Manish on 05 October 2007

It has been a while since I posted anything and that has partly to do with the manic summer job that I wrote about a few posts ago.

With October has come back the recruitment season. I was somehow concerned about how quickly this time was going to come ever since the day I got my summer job (about 6 months ago) and here it is to haunt me again. However it feels a lot different this time.

Firstly, working over the summer has given all of us an inside view of the industries and jobs we put on the pedestal 6 months ago. Many of my peers came back with rave reviews. Many others did not find their bliss. Many came back with offers. Many are still looking for jobs. Invariably everyone is a lot more focused this time. What then has summer done to all of us over enthusiastic MBAs? I think it has given us a sneek peak into the real world.

Things seem clearer to me now. I know specifically which jobs i want and am focusing on them only. I went to a couple of banking presentation in January only to realise that those jobs are not for me. I know exactly what to do at milk round receptions this year. I go with specific questions, the answers to which will help me put in a better application.

To a lot of first year students "networking" seems  intimidating. It could be if you make it that way. I found it tedious in the first round but now i see the value in it and make it a point to go speak to people when i get a chance.

In the end, the tension of looking for a job remains. That will not change whether it you are looking for an internship or a permanent job. I just hope to get what im looking for. 

Welcome 09s

Posted by Manish on 27 August 2007

It's quite interesting to see the fresh faces around campus. The MBA2009s start their journey today and I heartily welcome them to campus. It is quote unbelievable that I am no longer a first year MBA student.

They will start their orientation tomorrow at Lords. My own orientation seems so far back in the past. Today is when the 09s get allocated their streams and their *ahem* study groups. I remember getting together with my study group for the first time and chatting for a couple of hours with everyone trying to figure out where we were  coming from and where we were headed. After spending so much time with my study group over the last 12 months, that discussion feels alien.

Anyways, I gave this piece of advice to some 09s I met a few days ago and it is the one thing I wish I could change about my first few weeks on campus. Make the most of your time with your peers. Get to know everyone while you all are still new. Once you get into your streams and study groups you won't get the same opportunity as you will over these next few days.

Once again welcome to your home for the next 2 years.

Summer is here .. and so is my internship

Posted by Manish on 27 June 2007

Summer break is finally here and with it the end of our first year at Business school. (cliche' alert) It feels like i had only just begun! bwaah!

I am happy to be writing about this for I am one of the 6 summer consultants this year. The summer consulting team is a group of 6 management consultants that run their own firm for the duration of summer. This is as much an entreperneurial internship as it is a consulting one. The business operates within the framework of the school and we even have offices in the school (This building is typically where you will be grilled during your milk round interviews). Whole different feel to this building right now. The 6 of us have camped in nice little offices in here.

The SCT needs to find its own business though. Right now we are busy marketing and selling our services to potential clients. As the summer progresses we will do a variety of projects for these clients who will then pay us for our work (yaaaay!). We currently have some exciting proposals out on clients' tables and hope to bag those deals.

What I'm loving about this job is that i have to do so much more than a typical internship in consulting. We had to get our offices setup (tables, file cabinets, phones et al), develop our own brochures and get them printed, take over accounts and finances. you get the point. It is like running your own business which is a great opportunity to do something entrpreneurial over and above the actual consulting work. Of course the end goal is to get a proper consulting job in a top firm but you never know where this will lead!

"Doth the moon shine the night we play our play"

Posted by Manish on 23 May 2007

The 3rd annual London Business School summer play was held last week on 2 nights. Roughly 3 weeks of preparations culminated in a night of 3 performances which included scenes from Denise Deagan's "Daisy pulls it off", Charles Webb's "The Graduate" and William Shakespeare's "A mid summer night's dream". The summer play was organized by the acting and creative communications club and was attended by over 200 members of the school community including students, alumni, faculty, staff and partners.

The plays were directed by David Lightbody (MBA2003) and John Lightbody, who have been involved with the club since its inception. The best part about this experience was that while the summer term of our MBA has been grueling and there was really no time for anything but projects and homework, every minute spent on rehearsals was unbelievably relaxing. Most of the participants had taken acting I classes offered by the club. I was an exception though and it was a pleasure learning from John and David (thanks for shepherding us!). One of our actors had painstakingly put together wonderful costumes for our play (case in point ‘the magical Puck’). I played the part of Snug the joiner in "A midsummer night's dream". Kudos to the school facilities staff that helped us put together a great night with food, drinks and performances.

It was great to participate in this fabulous event because it was an opportunity to exercise our creative sides (and as they say, use the left side of our brains). Img_8575 Img_8795 Img_8704 Img_8878 Img_8902 Img_8987

Help with Accomodation

Posted by Manish on 22 April 2007

Ever since I settled into my wee little flat on Abbey Road last year (after a tough long distance search for a flat and a week long search after arriving), I have been hoping to help out the incoming class with searching for their own flat. You will soon hear about a flatcrawl where people get together to find roommates and see tons of posts from fellow admits looking for flats/flatmates. However, it is still pretty depressing sitting in another country trying to find a flat in London before you arrive.

Bias Alert: I only have information about some areas around the school. Many students live away from school and commute on the tube.

Tip: Don't break your head over it until you arrive. You will find a flat after you arrive. Calling agents and clicking through websites (listed below anyways) are futile because agents need to show you flats. "Viewing" as it is called here is important. It really is. You must see a flat before you sign up for it because it is really hard to tell how a flat is from a few pictures.

The picture is an attempt to mark out walking distances and a few popular building/blocks where students currently live.

Lbs_student_flats St Johns wood is a popular post code. It is an expensive area but it is really pretty and safe. You will mostly be within a 20 minute walk to the school from here. Rents in the area are typically upwards of 200 for a studio and around 275-300 for a one bed. They can be much higher for better blocks.

Many students prefer living right across from the school in Ivor court, Rossmore court. These buildings are so close to school you can even catch the wireless network signal from school. Hanover gate masions is another popular block and is a 1 minute walk from school. There is a large number of students that choose to live towards Baker street station/Marylebone street which are both 5-10 minutes away from school.

The following is a list of agents that are located around school. Some of these agents waive the agent fees for students (you need a school letter for this). Rents can be negotiated upto 10% downwards. However your bargaining power diminishes as you get closer to the start of the term and flats are almost all gone.

JAC strattons - www.jacstrattons.com

Oakleys - www.oakleys.co.uk

Sandfords - www.sandfords.co.uk

KnightFrank - www.knightfrank.co.uk

Foxtons - www.foxtons.co.uk

BrianLack&Co - www.brianlack.co.uk

Benham Reeves - www.brlets.co.uk

General property search websites: www.findaproperty.co.uk, www.gumtree.com, www.loot.co.uk

Hope this helps cool your anxiety a bit.

Student initiative - Yeah we got that!

Posted by Manish on 28 February 2007

Last saturday the Student Association hosted our annual Winterball which turned out to be an extra special event for me.

The event was managed by a student from my stream and everything from the marketing and sales to catering was organized completely by students. The event was a huge success with tickets selling out a few days before the event.

We ran into problems with entertainment (cancellations etc) which put the onus of managing the music for the event back on the student body. That is what made this evening special for me. I had always wanted to try being behind the decks of a DJ and that is exactly what I got to do at the winterball. We had a pro among the 4 of us (yes he's an MBA student!) to shoulder the major responsibility with the equipment but all of us got a chance to have some fun with DJing. For me especially, it was a great learning experience. I had never tinkered with the DJ mixers that i usually fixate on when im in a club. We workedWb hard to put together the playlist for 2 separate room (a dance room and a lounge room).

At the end we had been playing for 2 hours and had been through some massive club anthems that people loved. I also think the student led DJing added an underground feel to the event.

So they were correct when they said that Business School gives you opportunities to try new things. I never expected it to be DJing but I'm glad it was!

The clash of the spring term and recruitment season

Posted by Manish on 16 January 2007

I had been warned about this by MBA07s. But now that milk round and the spring term are both underway I am beginning to understand the gravity of the combination. It pulls you down!

19 companies strutted their stuff last week and from now until the end of february we will see rougly 3-4 companies per week doing their presentations at lunch hour. Everyone is struggling with the fact that classes will be their demanding self like nothing else is happening. Of course we all want good summer jobs, so our focus is on companies and CVs and cover letters and the like. The problem is that the job search is fairly stressful and i have heard it only gets worse as the term progresses (unless you are among the early birds of course).

I hope to stay on top of both these issues and get out of this semester alive and with a good summer job. It's hard enough getting into business school. Now you are competing with the best and the brightest for the next slice of the pie.