Operating in various industries across all corners of the globe, our alumni hold leadership positions within some of the world’s most reputable organisations.
“From 1997 to 2011 I was part of the US Navy, working as a Surface Warfare Officer - a manager at sea on small warships like destroyers and frigates. In that capacity I ran a variety of units ranging from 15 to 100 people, managing operations, navigation, weapons, communications and propulsion engineering systems. During that time I had several other assignments, including becoming a human resources manager and studying for a master's degree in International Relations.”
“During my final tour, I came to the UK in 2008, arriving as an exchange officer working at the UK’s Permanent Joint Headquarters where I became involved in exercise planning. That was the window for me to have a nine to five office job, whereby I could explore my career opportunities and make the transition into something new.
Through a lot of networking and building connections, I developed the idea that financial services - specifically the sales and the trading side - was where I wanted to be. I had studied engineering during my time in the military, meaning I had strong numerical and science skills; however, I didn't have specific macroeconomics and technical finance skills. I knew that to be where I wanted to be, I needed to refine these skills in the classroom, and that's where LBS came in.”
“I knew I needed to develop my technical skills, so finance-heavy electives were a huge part of my attraction towards the Executive MBA programme. It really did give me the hard skills that I didn't have, and that I wouldn't have been exposed to otherwise.
Some of the courses that really stood out to me were Suleyman Basak’s financial fixed income securities and financial engineering. I had a totally different background to most of the people in my class, and it was challenging for me, but Professor Basak was there to give me the opportunity. He was enthusiastic about what I was doing and respected it, which really gave me the sense that the school understood and was willing to be there to support me, even if I don't necessarily fit the profile of what would be considered a classic EMBA student. The technical skills that I gained were great, but it was also the spirit of the school’s willingness to support my objectives that had a lasting effect on me.”
“The LBS network has been fantastic to me. I remain to this day very close to my classmates from the markets side, be it asset management, sales or trading. Many have remained the closest friends that I have and are now an integral part of my network.
I also had the opportunity to complete a thesis with a classmate for our final project. He worked at Credit Suisse and was able to get us a project there that they partially funded research travel for. This gave me a foot in the door to do a mini-internship whilst looking for other opportunities. It provided me with something at the top of my CV that showcased what I was doing and what I was interested in the world of finance, as opposed to trying to make the transition with just a Navy story to tell.
The LBS alumni database was another great tool that enabled me to have common ground with various individuals when attempting to find my way into the industry. It definitely allowed me to follow more leads and have a natural introduction - people were always responsive when I’d make contact, and it was fantastic to be given the time of day.”
“One of the most helpful things I’ve taken away from my LBS experience was shifting the mechanisms of leadership. The military has a very specific set of leadership styles and frameworks – it’s much more intense, with a very high degree of expectation and pressure, meaning we foster a degree of loyalty and high performing teams in a different way.
For someone with my experience, you don't have the context until you get into the world of business and into the mindset of business people that you actually cannot apply every leadership tool or strategy that you've used in the military into a private sector environment.”
“I continue to be a very active mentor for transitioning military people who are embarking on programmes at LBS, and in general any military person who's trying to find their way from the uniform to the private sector.
Specifically, I'm an established mentor with the Military in Business (MiB) club. I run annual events where I bring in the newest class of MBAs and talk about my career journey and transition, sharing my strategy to help individuals think about their own unique journey in finding what they want to do and how to achieve it.
One of the biggest challenges for military folks is that they don't really know what the universe of work looks like, and what the opportunities are. There's a lot of basics that sometimes they need a lot of coaching on. I'm very proud to call myself a mentor and to contribute my personal time to continuing to try and help veterans find their way in the business world, and LBS is the platform that really helps take this to the next level.”
“I joined the London Business School (LBS) EMBA Dubai programme as a manager in a management consulting Big Four firm; by the time I graduated from the course I was a Director and General Manager within the same industry. Then, two years ago, I was headhunted for my current role as the CEO of a government-owned organisation in Dubai. Employing over 1,900 staff across the United Arab Emirates, I am responsible for the vision, strategy and profit & loss of my organisation, covering the turnaround and growth of the business with new service lines to establish us as a key player within our market.”
“I decided to take on the challenge of an EMBA whilst working full-time; this was the absolute catalyst in my career progression over the past eight years. The programme equipped me with the right knowledge, tools and confidence to pursue general management responsibilities and to be fearless of the challenges that come with them. Looking back and judging by the wealth of my knowledge right now, coming from a technical background with industry and professional services experience, my career progression would have been substantially slower. It would also have been compromised in terms of my performance, lacking the vital knowledge base that makes all that difference when it comes to educated decision-making.
The programme helped me to see through the noise of human behaviour and to focus on what matters most when it comes to managing people, and equipped me with the right tools, methodologies and mindset that can make change initiatives successful. I learnt that being a leader is about having the strength to selflessly give back to your people by way of empowering them to become all that they can be. It’s the ability to form and see through a clear, noble, inspirational vision to base their effort on. There is nothing more powerful than a group of people driven to succeed for a better future and to be useful to each other while belonging to an honorable-cause community. Above all, the EMBA gave me the confidence to dare to experiment, learning through the process and moving forward stronger and wiser.”
“The network in the Middle East consists of an exceptionally diverse community of 1,700+ professionals, full of intellect and promise, covering all sectors and industries, cultures, mindsets, dreams and aspirations. There is immense potential in this community as a powerful unit that creates long-term sustainable value for every single one of its members.
I am President of the Gulf Association, the official LBS alumni community in the Middle East, and a member of the International Alumni Committee, serving alumni at a global level. During graduation I was awarded by the school for Outstanding Leadership and Contribution for setting up the student association for my region. Giving back is a cornerstone of value creation for the school and the alumni community. The quality of education, the brand, the quality of the network, the giving back through student and alumni engagement activity, the life-long friendships; all contribute in their own special way. I would say though, that the way you leverage the network through those special relationships makes all the difference in the value you create for yourself in the long-term.”
“The EMBA-Global programme gave me the academic knowledge that I was missing, even after 10 years of experience in international roles as an entrepreneur, a management consultant and a department manager. When walking into the programme, every single hour that we spent in class opened my mind and helped me look at things in a different way. It helped me to develop better strategies, sharpen my skills as an entrepreneur and gave me the knowledge to operate within the international business landscape, through navigating different campuses whilst working and studying out of Dubai, Shanghai and Hong Kong. These kind of academic experiences really reinforced my ability to operate in a much more intense international environment and pushed me to make a transition out of my comfort zone.”
“After completing the EMBA-Global programme I made the decision to uproot life for my wife and me, moving out to San Francisco in the pursuit of a new adventure. At the time, I only had an extension of my student visa from Columbia and had been based in Paris for many years. It was a very risky move leaving my comfort zone, but London Business School gave me the confidence to make the jump. It was attending one of my lectures that really inspired me and helped me to change the perspectives on my personal and professional goals. I discovered that this was the very beginning of my journey, and realised that it was a good time in my life to venture into new opportunities. The experience had a tremendous impact on me beyond just academic knowledge. The school gave me the capabilities to take risks – it gave both me and my wife the confidence to make a change, encouraging us both to quit our jobs and move somewhere new with limited resources. It was inspirational.”
“Even just within my own class, the community aspect of LBS was a highly positive force. It opened my eyes to others taking risks in their careers and what other people had been through. One of my classmates had made the move from London to Tanzania and we remained in contact, discussing the challenges around being an expat and how to make that sort of move, not only from a professional point of view, but also how to cope with a life-changing event for our families. I arrived in the USA with no job, contacts or prospects. It was a difficult transition to make as I had to completely rebuild my network which takes time, but I also knew that I would be able to lean on the LBS community to help find my new career. Upon moving to San Francisco, my starting point was to connect with LBS’ local Bay Area alumni club, where I’ve since stepped into the role of President. It was very insightful and useful for me to have the club as a starting point for networking. The club president at the time looped me into some of the local events and introduced me to the local alumni.” “Through the network I connected with people like myself, who had come from elsewhere in the world and were now based in San Francisco. It was a great safety net, as I knew that I could rely on the network to get in with other people from LBS. Soon enough, I landed a role at a startup, and eventually was offered a position at Tesla within their management team. With my duties covering everything from people management to operations and strategy, it’s been a huge step in my career that I may have never taken if it wasn’t for LBS.”
“I came from a legal background, heading up the legal team at the Lawn Tennis Association, the national governing body for tennis in Great Britain, and going on to run their charity, the Tennis Foundation. After working in similar companies for over 14 years I decided I wanted to make a change. I was unsure as to exactly what I wanted to do, but knew that I wanted to take a step away from the working environment. Despite learning a lot on the job, I’d never had any specific business academic grounding and it was in this area that I wanted to further my skills. With this in mind, the LBS Sloan programme appeared to tick all my boxes.”
“It is a huge thing to stop working and freeze the income you’ve been pulling in for so many years, especially working in the not-for-profit sector which is where I would like to continue to work after the Sloan programme. I felt it was the right decision for me, but I was concerned whether it was right for my family for me to be investing this much in myself. The opportunity to have the benefit of a scholarship really opened up the possibility of doing the course, but also in receiving it, I was frankly blown away that my experience and goals were felt to be deserving of it. It gave me a sense of pride, and the practical financial impact made a huge difference.”
“Through the LBS Sloan programme, I have learnt practical information on how to run a business backed up by the academic research that goes alongside. It was a real confidence boost and helped me to trust my instinct. The core courses provide you with a rigorous foundation which you can then enhance through your choice of a wide range of electives, in whatever area is of interest to you. The lectures from Herminia Ibarra, a talented and charismatic teacher, on organisational behaviour, definitely piqued my interest. I also really enjoyed being introduced to macroeconomics with Andrew Scott. With an arts background, I’d never actually studied any type of economics before, which meant I got a lot out of it. Jessica Spungin’s Strategy course is also challenging and thought-provoking. Across the board the various components making up the LBS Sloan programme have really been excellent.”
“Both LBS and the programme are incredibly multi-national, and I have loved meeting people from so many different places and learning about their cultures and the ways in which different people approach solving problems. It has been really interesting to see how this dynamic works, especially through the group assignment work as part of the programme. In my group, I have people from Brazil, China, Colombia and India working alongside myself. It’s been great to see how people culturally approach problems in different ways, and how to harness that difference to help us achieve really good results, but also learn from each other.”
“I’m aiming to return to the not-for-profit sector. I believe the programme will give me a real foundation in my next leadership role, in addition to that which I’ve already built, allowing me to hone my abilities. I am highly confident that it has already provided me with the knowledge and skills to transition and take the next step up within the realms of leadership.”