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The beginning of my LBS MBA - Semester 1

This topic has 2 member replies
MichaelEAConn Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
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The beginning of my LBS MBA - Semester 1

Post Mon Jan 21, 2013 4:16 pm
Some people ask, is an MBA worth it. Two years away from the workplace and you graduate with a tonne of debt. I wanted to share my recent experiences as a new entrant into the London Business School (LBS) MBA 2014 programme. Whilst only recently completing my first semester, there have still been a large number of experiences and lessons that have begun to influence who I am - for the better. I have always strived to understand further on how to succeed in business and I see an MBA as a fantastic tool to accelerate this process. But in addition to the impact the MBA has in my business education, it goes much beyond this. It is an opportunity to reflect on what makes you tick, take some risks and perhaps learn from failure in a safe environment,

Although the core teaching method in an MBA is through coursework, you aren’t necessarily limited in learning only from the classroom. The below three insights are what I’ve gained the most from my MBA so far.

Emotional Change
Today I feel more confident than I ever have in myself. I am able to better argue my position/agenda, and all-in-all feel I am more focused on what I want to achieve. I have overcome significant challenges to reach this stage in my career and feel that I am at a opportunistic stepping stone. Although I am yet to decide on what exact career path I wish to pursue, I am feeling more confident that I am ironing out the kinks and identifying my passions and goals and how I can incorporate this into a career.

Seeing the Interconnections
Over the last six months we have covered seven subjects on a range of topics. Although I have covered some material in my undergraduate Economics/Marketing degree, this time round I am gaining significant insights into the interconnections between subjects. How does the financial decisions a firm makes impact their risk profile, which can impact the overall decision making process, which impacts what the firm produces and go to market with, which is reflective on the business strategy and ultimately the balance sheet, etc. I’m seriously looking forward to diving into this further in Semester Two.

Quality of Classroom Discussions
The recent Bloomberg BusinessWeek ranking gave London Business School a top A+ grade for its ‘Calibre of Classmates’ category. It’s easy to see why. The best part of being in an MBA for me is to get involved in the classroom discussions and continue debating with my peers and study group (six member team I work with on all group assignments for year one). I’m fortunate to be in a stream of 80+ people that I greatly admire. No amount of online research can compare to some of the debates (and lessons learnt) that I’ve had over the last six months. Here’s to another year and a half!

If you have any specific questions, please feel free to post them below. Otherwise I can be found on Twitter via @Conndor

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Thanked by: Stuwy
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Stuwy Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
Joined
11 Mar 2013
Posted:
1 messages
Target GMAT Score:
750+
GMAT Score:
710
Post Sat Mar 16, 2013 9:59 pm
Michael,

Thanks for you post - the way you sum up your experience gives me more energy to pursue this process as it is exactly what I am looking for.

A quick question on LBS.

What's the Student Life like (ie outside the classroom). Is there a strong sense of camaraderie amongst the students? A lot of functions / parties etc? What about Student clubs (sporting or otherwise).

I only ask because I know that LBS (and UK programs generally) have a reputation for being very academically focussed and A LOT of work - and I was just wondering whether the social / networking aspect of the program gets left behind?

A big part of pursuing an MBA for me is the networking opportunities for which I think the above are really important to have, but perhaps equally important is the life experience for the 15-21 months that you are there - I want to have fun as well as working hard.

Thanks in advance for the response.

Cheers,

Stuart

MichaelEAConn Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
Joined
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Post Sun Mar 17, 2013 3:18 pm
Hi Stuwy, thanks for your message.

There is a lot of activities going on around campus and really it is up to the individual how much and how they want to get involved. In a nutshell, it is very easy to get caught up in the LBS bubble!

A lot of the clubs & societies are lead by second years but also have a committee of first years heavily involved. There are lots of 'info' sessions on each night of the week i.e. an industry expert coming in to talk about a topic, which I normally attend one or two a week.

You do get to know your stream very well (around 80 students of the overall 400 in your year level) You do need to make an effort to meet with your friends outside of your stream as schedules don't always overlap.

I feel there is good camaraderie between students at LBS as we are all proud to be studying here. There is always a party going on if you are so inclined to follow, or you can be the social butterfly and be the organiser yourself! Perhaps a Student Association leadership role is for you? Smile

Although the programme is academically rigorous, I personally feel this is more the case for first year. For example I have undertaken a full load in my first year, but in second year I plan exchange and to work part-time when I return as I only need to complete 5 more electives and have two semesters and several block week opportunities to complete them.

Regarding networking, I feel there is no equal in London for an MBA. I have made a conscious effort to network outside of school and develop mentors/peers in my industry of choice. There are usually treks organisied in your field of choice i.e. the Technology Club last year went to Dublin for 3 days to meet 10 or so companies including Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn start-ups, and more. We're about to do a week tour to the Silicon Valley/San Fran too. This experience has been invaluable to me during my degree.

I hope this helps with your question and good luck with your applications.

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