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Ellie Nguyen

  • Programme: Masters in Management
  • Nationality: Vietnamese
  • Job Post-programme: Rates Sales Analyst, Wells Fargo

“The scholarship confirmed my decision to attend LBS – it covered nine months of living expenses in London, which made a big difference” 

Financial analyst Ellie Nguyen, a Masters in Management (MiM) graduate and Alumni Chair for the class of 2016, has so much to say about London Business School (LBS), she barely pauses for breath. “One of my flatmates is applying to LBS and I talk about it so much he has to tell me to shut up,” she laughs. “I can’t help it: I want to give back because I know it makes a difference.” 

Ellie was awarded the Masters in Management Merit Scholarship for Women, worth £6000. She had been deciding between LBS and a business school in France. “The scholarship confirmed my decision to attend LBS – it helped cover some of my living expenses in London, which made a big difference. My goal was to work in London and at LBS you have all the top companies and recruiters on your doorstep.”

Prior to LBS, Ellie had taken an undergraduate degree in economics at the University of Edinburgh and interned with UBS, RBC, Citi and Goldman Sachs. Now she is a rates sales analyst at Wells Fargo. One of the highlights of her learning experience was meeting the legendary investor Warren Buffett. “He came to speak to us and we met him in the lift so got a picture with him. In this field, honestly – it’s like meeting God!”

“LBS is an amazing community,” she goes on. “The opportunities you have, the people – everyone is incredibly ambitious and driven. The mindset is, ‘We can do better’ – but without a sense of entitlement. It’s, ‘I can achieve more if I put the work in.’ It’s a tight-knit community and everyone’s helpful. People told me about the strength of the network but I thought they were exaggerating. It’s something else.”

As a woman, it was refreshing to find that there was true equality of access. When she was on the committee of the Investment Management Club there were two co-presidents, one female, one male. “It speaks volumes about the environment at LBS that you never hear anyone say, ‘We need to have a woman on our team.’” She says. “It’s, ‘That person is the smartest person.’ You’re just given the tools and told, ‘Go and do the best you can do.’” 

She is full of enthusiasm for the teaching faculty. “They bring even the driest subjects to life. In strategy classes you learn about real companies – Easyjet vs RyanAir, say – it’s not just theory. One accountancy professor told us about why Messi is an asset worth millions to Barcelona Football Club when on paper he’s worth a few thousand. You gain insights you wouldn’t get from reading the cases yourself. The professors are top academics with real-life experience so they can connect the two worlds. It’s very exciting.”

During her internships Ellie had realised most technical skills could be learnt on the job. “In finance, especially, things change all the time. What’s great at LBS is that you learn all the other skills you need as well: how to work the room, how to talk to people and perfect your LinkedIn profile.”

LBS Careers Centre was another great plus point. “They have years of experience in your particular sector and they take the time to help you with each application. They’re very practical: if you want this job, these are the skills you need, this is what you need to demonstrate. I know if I called them tomorrow and said, ‘I don’t know what to do!’ they would take the time out to help.”