“London Business School (LBS) is one of the most inclusive, diverse communities out there,” says Dr Nick Deakin MBA2017. “The School even measures its own diversity levels to make sure students and staff reflect its philosophy and London as a whole.”
As current co-president of the Out in Business (OIB) Club, Nick’s leadership has seen the number of sponsors double over the last two years. “Recruiters are increasingly looking for diversity,” he says. “Gone are the days when every employer wants staff who all look, act and think the same. It’s great to be LGBT+ in London. Ensuring that teams reflect the real-world is a real passion of mine as it leads to better results – and it’s something that LBS does so well.”
Nick was ranked number five in the Financial Times ‘Top 50 Future LGBT Leaders in 2016’ list and one of Poets and Quants ‘Brightest and Best’ MBA graduates of 2017. As part of the OIB Club, he helped secure the first LBS scholarship for supporting LGBT+ students. The first recipient Aaron So will graduate in 2018.
Nick says he wants people to enjoy the same things he’s enjoyed so far in his career – a journey which has taken him from St Bartholomew’s Hospital in the City of London to working at McKinsey & Company, as a consultant to firms in the UK and the US. He describes his time as a medic as “amazing”, but rather than work in the healthcare system, he wanted to change it.
“I wanted to do an MBA because I realised that, as a doctor in the city, the only way I could have an impact on the system and bring innovation to the bedside was to learn how to lead and manage change. The MBA is teaching me to do just that. At McKinsey, I saw how big institutions can change institutions and practices on a massive scale. My research at Harvard taught me how we can assess value in healthcare. Here at LBS, I’m learning the frameworks and theories of business. With this knowledge, I can achieve much more.”
After he graduates, Nick is heading for a role as an investment banker, advising the big healthcare players. Although unconventional, travelling the path from doctor to banker will equip him with the knowledge and power to give people with ideas and solutions to solve health problems the finances to execute them.
“This is the very best way I can learn about how funding flows into the healthcare system,” he says. “I can be instrumental in that process and, right now, I’m learning how.” The faculty at LBS focus on the real world, providing Nick with the tools he needs to make his ambitions a reality.
“For instance, Nicos Savva [Associate Professor of Management Science and Operations] looks at healthcare research,” he says. “As a doctor, I know how important his work on the system and pressure within the NHS is.”
While he’s learning how to have an impact on people’s lives, Nick’s own life is being enriched by the LBS experience. As well as contributing to the OIB Club, he’s enjoyed attending the EU Parliament to discuss the UK’s decision to leave the EU and the World Government Summit to give a talk on the government of the future.
He organises sponsorship for the Healthcare Club and has worked as a Teaching Assistant on the Masters in Management programme. In his second week at LBS, he found himself part of a group discussion with Alex Gorsky, the CEO of the world’s biggest pharma company Johnson & Johnson, about the problems his sector faces.
“Alex told us he was there because he loves what LBS and its students stand for,” says Nick. “To get those insights from someone so important, and hear his endorsement of my business school, is just incredible.”
Watch Alex Gorsky, CEO of the world’s biggest pharma company Johnson & Johnson, talk to LBS about innovation.