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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/

 

Time to travel around - Birmingham

Posted by Pak on 10 March 2010

It has been months since I have written my last blog. Many things have happened and the full time recruitment last year was just mind-blowing. Now come the time to enjoy the last 2 terms in LBS before heading back to the working world. I plan to do A LOT of travelling and to write about my thoughts about the 2 year MBA experience in LBS (namely what I learn, I like, I do, I dislike and feel disappointed about).

To start with, just a short write-up for my recent trip to Birmingham. In the contrary of the general sentiment towards Birmingham (i.e. nothing to see, no fun place to go etc), I find the town is a pretty cool place to spend 1 or 2 days in.

The real gem there is the Jaguar manufacturing plant visit. The plant is about 30min bus journey from Birmingham city centre. The plant visit is a guided tour in a small group (4 people in a group for my case) and it lasts for about 3 hours...and is free. You just need to call and make an appointment with them for the visit.

The Jaguar guide is a veteran engineer in the plant. He retired 5 years ago and now come back to what he calls the most ideal job for him - work 2 days a week and explain to people what he knows the most, i.e. how a Jaguar car is built. The tour starts with the various components that go into a Jaguar car, to the assembling and the final testing. Logic of a certain design is explained and you get to see real workers working in the plant. The plant is huge, tidy and busy with production. Compared to the OTM field trip that I did last year, this plant visit allows me to learn much more.  In fact the Jaguar guide is so much more knowledgeable about every single part in the plant.

Next I went to the World of Cadbury. This place is a great disappointment, even though everyone in Birmingham will suggest you to go there. I will not advise one to go there unless you have young kids that you would want to bring along.

There a few churches in the town, a good number of shopping malls and a IMAX cinema where I watched a 3D movie.


My next post will be on my thoughts about the LBS MBA in general.

Singapore Day 2009 in London

Posted by Pak on 25 April 2009

On 25th April, I went to the Singapore Day held at Hampton Court Palace garden. This is an annual event and was previously held in Melbourne (2008) and New York (2007).

The weather was wonderful and the garden was amazing. What welcomed us at the entrance was the infamous ERP (Electronic Road Pricing) gantry. Currently there are about over 60 gantries in Singapore and the number is increasing. These gantries can be found at the Central Business District, highways and other areas that are prone to traffic congestion.

There were many food stalls in the compound and they provided various famous "hawker food" in Singapore. For example, Laksa, Chicken Rice, Chili Crab, Hokkien Mee, Satay and many others. The queues were long (up to an hour for certain popular food). Yet many people (Singaporeans, non-Singaporeans) seem did not mind at all about that.

There were Singapore's artists performing on the stage while people enjoying the sun and the beautiful garden. Singapore companies, government departments and Standard Chartered Bank had also information booths for people who have interests in Singapore opportunities.

Overall the event was really cool, especially for Singaporeans or people who have stayed there before in London. Just imagine hearing everyone speaks "Singlish" around you in UK.

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Summer is finally here...

Posted by Pak on 15 April 2009

 Summer is finally near the corner!


A tour to Scotland Edinburgh and Highland during the Spring break was amazing. Surprisingly the weather there was better than London (no rain, all sun)!

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Finding a summer internship proves to be very challenging this year. I am glad that I will be joining 7 other fellow colleagues from MBA2010 in the School's Summer Consulting Team. However, it means that we need to start preparation work now, such as preparing marketing material, looking for clients and etc. Challenging but interesting.

As part of the Consulting Club Executive Committee, I have been working with fellow committee members on new initiatives for the coming year. We expect to see a surge in demand of services provided by the Consulting Club, such as the case practices and consulting interviews. This is partly due to the fact that we are expecting a new stream from MBA2011 and students from the MiM programme. In addition, there will be other exciting new developments that I shall share here in near future.

Young Enterprise Volunteer Day

Posted by Pak on 03 October 2008

Today I have taken part in the "Young Enterprise Company Programme" volunteer work organized jointly by the School and the Young Enterprise.

Young Enterprise is a business and enterprise education charity. It works with many schools in London to building a better-motivated and enterprising workforce, at the same time making a real difference to the existing lives and future potential of young people who live and attend school in their area.

My team consists of 3 people, Vivek, Chien Wen and me. Each school has some students who would like to start a business and to sell products. Our role was really to share with them from strategy and execution perspectives, how should they go about doing that. Each team was given around 2 hours to think about what we could share with the target school, based on some background information about the schools, students and their ideas. Then we made our ways to the assigned schools.

My team went to the Maria Fidelis Convent School. Waiting for us were 14 smart and motivated 16-17 years old teenagers (oh my...feel I am so OLD now). We had a very interactive session with them, have them speak up their ideas, shared with them perspectives on formulation of ideas, strategy, organisation structure and skill maps. We even provided them some templates for their subsequent planning and execution.

What surprised me the most was that they were able to come up with ideas on what companies need to consider when thinking of selling a new product (market size, marketing, pricing, costing, customer segments...etc). I think they just need guidance along the way to ensure they are on track and implement what they have thought about.

This is the first time I participated at such program and we would like to arrange with the school/ Young Enterprise to have regular sessions with the students so to follow through with their progress.

Though I have 6 deadlines on next Monday, spending my only free school day of the week is definitely worth it!

Workshops, talks, lessons......

Posted by Pak on 21 September 2008

About 1 month into the MBA course, there are already plenty of workshops, career and club talks etc that filled up whatever free time-slots during the day that one has. Some are indeed very interesting, especially if one is clear about his/ her career goals.

For example, I just had a Business Communication workshop last Friday, which the School engaged an external professional firm to conduct for us. It was a 1 day workshop, from 9am-5pm. The ratio of trainer to students is 1:6, i.e. 1 trainer to a study group. I thought that was really good as a smaller group workshop allows each participant to practise more.

The workshop was really good. Each one of us gave a 2-3 minutes presentation, which was recorded by the trainer, and then the trainer analysed our presentation one by one, supported by techniques and principles for business communications. Then we prepared new presentations again with our areas of improvement in mind. I was able to put the recommendations into practice immediately and observed improvements immediately via the playback.

This workshop is especially useful for us, the 1st year MBA students, as we are going to have MANY presentations/ interviews in the coming future.

Now, the rest of the core courses are going to start in October. The timetable and assignment deadlines appear a bit daunting. But let's see how we will cope with that...

A walk in London

Posted by Pak on 06 September 2008

After a week of school, we are ready to get some fresh air in London. A few of us (Martynas, Pavel, Shijie, Wilson and me) went to take a walk in London.

We went to the Millennium Footbridge, walked along the River Thames and areas nearby. After a long walk, we had some tea at a shop nearby (looking at the price they charged for the type of the Chinese tea made me to note down to bring loads of good Chinese tea leaves when I go to Asia next time).

Next we went to Leicester Square and planned to grab some food at the Covent Garden area. After walking around the Covent Garden, we ended up going back to Leicester Square (China town area). We decided to give a Chinese restaurant a try.

During the meal, we shared a bit of the Chinese customs with our friends and about the Midautum Festival, which is next Sunday (14 September). The dishes were average at best, of course compared to what one can get in China/ Hong Kong. Anyhow, we decided to get a moon cake after the meal. Quite lack of variety here. Beside the conventional moon cake, you don't get to see the Snow Skin type version here. Anyhow, Martynas, Pavel, hope that you like it. :)

We planned to have more regular walk around London during future weekends, and hoped to get more people involved.

By the way, for those who like rock band, do check out Martynas' cool band:
http://www.myspace.com/verslorizikosrezervas

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Are you ready for school?

Posted by Pak on 01 September 2008

Orientation week is finally over and we are marching towards an intensive month of lessons, clubs presentations, career sessions with the School's Career Services.

A better career is definitely one of the key motivation factors for many of us (or you) who have decided to take the MBA path. Though yet still early along the way, I have already seen the list of career sessions and talks that the School's Career Services has prepared for us. We even had some career related talks during the orientation week! I think my concern now is more on finding time to prepare myself to have a constructive discussion with the Career Services team, rather than not be given the supports and guidance that we need.

Anyhow, just like the many bloggers here have mentioned, the diversity I see in this MBA2010 class is really great. I have met and talked to people from UK (of course), Australia, Canada, Egypt, India, Lithuania, Bulgaria, USA, Italy, France, Netherlands, Japan, Korea, Thailand, Russia, Malaysia, my fellow China friends and many more.... Well, being from Hong Kong, it is really an unique experience for me to meet so many people with so diversified background at 1 place.

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This is a picture taken at the Welcome Party at the end of the orientation week (Thanks for Tadahiro's photo).
Disclaimer: This is not some kind of Asia drinking club...and I don't think there is one in the School.

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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Some shots at the School and London

Posted by Pak on 23 August 2008

Hi,

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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Hello London!

Posted by Pak on 21 August 2008

Hi everyone! I just want to share what I am / will be going through during the coming 2 years in the London Business School. I have benefited so much from the School’s MBA blog when I was trying to decide which MBA program to go for, to hear what the people on the ground, i.e. we the students have to say about the School. And of course, my friends out there...as promised, I will love to share with you about my life here!


1 month ago.....

Time flies since the day I received and accepted the offer from the London Business School MBA program. In less than a month, I will be becoming a student once again! Though looking forward towards the excitement lying ahead in the MBA program, I can’t help but to have a headache with the list of things to prepare (or have just managed to strike off my “To-Do” list) before the term starts. Let’s see…student loan application (a.k.a. lots of paper work), student visa application (a.k.a. another round of paper work), accommodation hunting, financial arrangement, buying things to bring along….If that does not sound demanding enough, how about the good face-off time with my boss about leaving my current job. Well, to be honest, my wife has played a big role on these. I have come up a “To-Do” list with a targeted accomplished time for each task. She is the one that has been “monitoring” my progress (I think she enjoys the process). I think that is fun and having her to be part of my MBA preparation just gives me the kind of emotional support that one needs when facing a big change ahead.


First week in London....

My wife and I reached London on 18th August night. The border check at the Heathrow airport took some time. I was initially asked to go to the airport's health checkpoint for taking a chest X-Ray. It was lucky that the past chest X-Ray report that I brought along was deemed to be adequate and I did not need to join the queue for that.


After I settled down at the College Hall (where I am going to stay for my first year), we set off to tackle the list of action items (yeah...literally a LONG list of action items waiting for us to accomplish).

Let’s see, we visited the London Business School the next day and have all the administrative stuff sorted out pretty quickly. We were too excited to wait for the daily 2PM tour and so we started to do a bit of exploration within and around the School. The place is really lovely, plenty of space to stretch yourself after a day of hard work and of course, when the weather is good.


Next we went to do some shopping for my hostel room. Though given what has been provided in my room, I do not really need to buy much. Anyhow, we managed to grab some good bargains at places like Woolworth (thanks to the School's Survival Guide).


Oh yah, did I mention that breakfast and dinner are included for my College hall stay? The meals are up to standard and from the health point of view, I am happy with that. Anyhow, I take that as a good bargain compared to the meals found outside.


The next few days are spent visiting doctor for NHS registration, HSBC for opening bank account, police for registration, and of course, do some sightseeing in London.


Next Tuesday will be the beginning of the orientation week and I am definitely excited about it and looking forward to meet my fellow course mates. Meanwhile, take care, and watch out for this space J

p.s. One can easily configure a Windows mobile device to retrieve emails from the School's exchange server (or yahoo, gmail etc) using the wireless network freely available in the School, without using the more expensive option like the GPRS/ 3G. Was thrilled when I managed to get it working less than 15 minutes.