“The USA/Canada Scholarship gave me the freedom to pursue the career path I wanted.”
Emily’s background is in political crisis work: she was senior programme officer for Democracy International and programme manager for the US Agency for International Development. She wanted to transition from working in government to the private sector and decided an MBA was the best way to achieve her goal.
“I knew I wanted to achieve more, faster and that to get there I needed a broad overview of the various functions of the businesses I sought to work in,” she says. “I wanted a truly global school but one that was still well-known in the US. London Business School (LBS) ticked both of those boxes.”
Emily was thrilled to be awarded LBS’s USA/Canada Scholarship, which covered half the fees. “It definitely made the decision to study at LBS a lot easier,” she notes. “But, beyond that, the scholarship gave me the freedom to pursue the career path I wanted without being tied down by an additional £50,000 of debt.”
During the two-year MBA, Emily took a six-month internship at Blockchain, a leading bitcoin wallet company, and spent three months at PayPal before landing at a London-based artificial intelligence (AI) start-up. Always looking for roles and sectors where she can have an impact, Emily was drawn to AI.
“We’re only beginning to see the potential of AI and the impact it will have on our society. Having come from political crisis work and seen what economic and social upheaval can lead to, I wanted to be on the cutting edge of what I believe represents one of the largest transformations our society is experiencing.”
At LBS, Emily was active in the Tech and Media, Entrepreneurship and Africa Clubs – focusing on fintech and start-up ecosystems in emerging markets. “Probably my strongest friendships were formed through the clubs, because that’s where you find the people that care about the things that really interest you.”
Emily particularly chose LBS for the global nature of its student body. After working internationally for the previous five years she found that “LBS and London, albeit before Brexit, offered a truly global outlook on business.”
“LBS is a good size,” she continues. “It’s not so small that you’re in an insular bubble but it’s big enough that you can find your niche. It’s not competitive, it’s a collaborative environment.”
Among many memorable MBA experiences were attending Slush, a start-up event in Helsinki, and the Global Business Experience in Mumbai, led by Rajesh Chandy (“an excellent professor”). “It was powerful for me to see India from the entrepreneurs’ side,” she says.
As she navigates her post-LBS career she notes “You don’t leave an MBA with a particular expertise, but what you do gain is a broader awareness of the various functions of a business. You may not be working in marketing or finance but you understand the fundamentals and that is critical to asking the right questions.”