“Winning a scholarship was an enabling experience”
Bhagyata Kinger MFA2017 says it was London Business School’s brand power that initially attracted her to the Masters in Financial Analysis programme (MFA). “I needed a degree that would work for me throughout the Middle East and Asia, as well as in London. I wanted a school with a really strong international reputation.”
LBS’s London location also offered Bhagyata exposure to European and US financial headquarters – essential for a career in investment banking markets - but being awarded the GREAT Scholarship was the determining factor in her decision to come to LBS. “I’m not sure I would have come without the scholarship. My father had already covered my undergraduate tuition here in the UK, and although he would have been happy to contribute at LBS too, I really didn’t want him to pay any more.
“Winning a scholarship was an enabling experience. It showed me the confidence that London Business School’s Admissions Committee had in me - I couldn’t have received a bigger seal of approval,” Bhagyata says. “The fact that LBS had recognised potential in me was so motivating. It really put a positive spin on my studies.”
Bhagyata was fortunate enough to receive a permanent job offer from Morgan Stanley just two days before starting her MFA. But she says the advantages of studying in central London shouldn’t be underestimated. “A lot of my friends found being in London absolutely key – they’d turn up to lectures in a suit because they were heading off to a coffee chat, an interview or an assessment centre. They were able to fit it all in between classes - if they’d been studying outside London, they would have had to commute in and miss sessions.”
Those same classmates also improved her entire LBS experience. “MFA students come from varying nationalities and ethnicities, but they also have very different professional backgrounds. What I learnt in class and in practical sessions was continually supported by a variety of perspectives from my classmates,” Bhagyata says. “The fact I’ve interacted with so many backgrounds and workplaces has made a major difference to how I’ve adapted to working in multicultural teams at Morgan Stanley.”
Determined to make the most of the diverse LBS community, Bhagyata also joined the Diwali organising committee and the Acting and Creative Communications Club. “I got exposure to a lot of MBAs, people who had done fantastic things. I also got a lot of advice - the informal mentoring was brilliant, and it was a great place to seek guidance,” she says.
During Business Immersion week, Bhagyata’s MFA cohort went to Google’s London offices where several of her classmates had applied for positions. The meeting was hosted purely by LBS alumni. “LBS people connect, whether it’s at Morgan Stanley, McKinsey, a niche consulting firm or a tech firm. We had such a fantastic experience at Google. Someone dialled in from San Francisco and someone else from Dublin; our alumni are everywhere. And people are very helpful – provided you ask the right questions.”
LBS has a strong cohort of alumni at Morgan Stanley, and Bhagyata says that it’s been great to start her first full-time role with an instant internal network. The MFA has also given her more technical knowledge to rely on. “Whether I’m analysing something or interacting with colleagues from a different function, I have a broad perspective that extends outside my own division. I’ve found that really useful,” she says.
Bhagyata says it’s important to be honest to yourself and know what you want out of the MFA. “Try and have some idea of your goals coming in - whether you want to build up your technical skills, or simply be able to compete more effectively in the job market. It’s OK if you don’t – the MFA is a journey and helps you - but an understanding of your own motivations really helps you prioritise and structure your degree.”
15th December 2017