Nuria Riechenberg is no stranger to adapting to new cultures. Her parents are Spanish and German, she grew up speaking French in Luxembourg and she is fluent in Japanese after an exchange year in Tokyo as part of her economics major at the University of Pennsylvania, US.
Even so, she says, adjusting to life in Shanghai has been a challenge. She is in her second year of London Business School’s (LBS) Global Masters in Management (GMiM), when the cohort of 40 students – 20 Chinese, 20 international – leaves the calm surroundings of Regent’s Park behind and heads to China’s megacity for a year.
“The move to Shanghai is a rollercoaster. Everybody has responded differently to the environment. For some it was the first time living in Asia, for some it was their first time in China, for some it was their home town. In London we helped the Chinese students out and in Shanghai they’ve been doing it for us: paying bills, booking flights.
“We’ve all had a readjustment period but the feeling is, this is the one year we’re going to be students in China – let’s make the most of it. Everyone is making lots of effort to soak up the experience – exploring Shanghai’s food markets and local restaurants, travelling in China and the region. I’m going to Hong Kong next weekend and then to Bangkok.”
Nuria did a six-month marketing and consulting internship at the German Chamber of Commerce in Tokyo and another with the Economics, Trade and Development section of the EU delegation to the United Nations before applying to LBS. She decided the GMiM would be the perfect complement to her previous studies.
“As well as the opportunity to get in touch with the European business world, I was attracted to the hands-on approach. I wanted to supplement my economics degree with business skills, accounting and marketing, to learn how to be competitive in today’s marketplace.”
As the recipient of the Global Masters in Management Merit Scholarship, she has been keen to engage with the LBS community and contribute in any way she could. “I’ve done my best through my passion for the public sector.” She organised the first trek to Brussels and Luxembourg for the Business and Government Club and chaired the organising committee for the Global Social Venture Competition.
In August Nuria is joining Boston Consulting Group (BCG) as an associate, following an internship between the first and second years of the GMiM. “I learned a lot in those eight weeks.”
She appreciates the lifelong LBS network and admits she will slightly miss being a student. “LBS’s community is its biggest strength. A small campus means you interact with so many different people – not just other MiMs but MBAs, Executive MBAs. I loved my year in London.”