A culture for all
“LBS is an environment where sharing opinions is a good thing. Nobody is going to judge you here.”
Senior Manager, FT MBA programme
Senior Manager, FT MBA programme
Moving up the ranks
“During my time at LBS I’ve been fortunate to meet a lot of interesting people and create a number of strong friendships. Culturally it’s been quite an eye-opener because where I’m from you have to be slightly humble - here there’s always been someone within the School community pushing me forwards. Even when I don’t have faith in myself, others do. It’s great to have that.
“LBS is one of the nicest places I’ve worked and it really is down to the people.
“I’m also lucky that I get on very well with my boss. She’s down to earth and she actually really cares. Our line of work can occasionally feel a bit thankless so it’s important to get that recognition, and to be validated. I’m people focused and I need to know who I work for - that it’s someone who can be sympathetic when needed and tough when necessary.
“I started at LBS in an entry level programme administrator position way back in 2012 and I’ve proven myself with several promotions since then. I moved up to a programme management role after about 13 months, then on to a more senior role with the Masters in Management. I worked for the Executive MBA for a couple of years, then I came full-circle back and rejoined the full-time programme again last summer.
“As the MBA Programme has become bigger, the team has grown as well. There are four senior managers on board and each of us oversees a particular function. My role is managing experiential learning – I usually tell students that all the ‘nice to have’ things are in my job! I look after options like international exchange, partnerships, the language programme, the Walpole luxury programme (I have a passion for fashion so I love this!), our collaboration with Hong Kong University and Capstone.
“There are always challenges in the programme office teams because you’re liaising between
students and faculty. But working constantly with different stakeholders you learn that ‘no’ isn’t always final – there’s usually a way around things. It’s about helping people see things differently.”
Breaking down cultural stereotypes
“One of the best things about my job is working with our partner business schools around the world. No matter which one it is or where it is, we all face the same kind of challenges so it’s great to be able to meet up and share best practice. We have a huge network of business schools and I always like to meet colleagues in person if at all possible. Then if there is anything specific I need, I can pick up the phone knowing I already have a solid relationship with them.
“The culture at LBS is very accepting. Everyone takes the approach of trying to help others out, so you never really feel like you’re on your own. You can progress quite quickly and at each level or position there’s a good support group.
“As a ‘minority’ I fit in really well – because minorities don’t actually exist here. In my team there are people from all different cultures, speaking all different languages. Nothing I do in my official job specifically has to do with me being Chinese, but I do know what it’s like for young Chinese students coming here to study. I understand how they can come across in class – quiet and initially reserved – so when I was a stream manager I used to have coffee with students to encourage them to come out of their shell. LBS is an environment where sharing opinions is a good thing. Nobody is going to judge you here.
“The benefits package is excellent, too. I have a daughter, so I take advantage of flexible working opportunities - I work from home on Fridays and work 8am-4pm the rest of the week. LBS is pretty good at helping people accommodate family commitments. I’ve worked with my boss to make things as flexible as possible without compromising the needs of the organisation. I also took the executive education course Essentials of Leadership with Dan Cable – that was fantastic.
“My advice for new joiners? Work hard, don’t be afraid to ask questions and always help others when you get the chance. It’s karma – if you start out doing that, you’ll find plenty of people ready to help you when you need it.”
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