Kemi Badru

  • Degree Programme: MBA
  • Global Nationality: Nigerian/British
  • Profile Job Pre-programme: Finance, HSBC

“Alumni investing back in the School to give others like me the opportunity to attend is incredible, and testament to the school’s collegial spirit. This also exemplifies how connected, engaged and nurturing the community really is, and makes me feel part of a large, global family”

Finding the right route

Growing up, I always wanted to impact the world in some way. I am from London and it was important for me to be able to stay here – as it’s my home, this is where I saw my career developing. I studied science at university, but soon realised that a career in research didn’t suit my personality. After some consideration, I decided to pursue a career in business, which was much more aligned with my goals and natural tendencies. My career began at EY, where I provided assurance services for clients in the technology, media and telecoms sector. Over three and a half years I gained valuable business and finance knowledge and developed the project management skills that have been the bedrock of my career. After qualifying as an accountant, I moved into a role within the infrastructure industry, but soon realised that I wanted to be involved in strategic and commercial activities, helping to drive growth rather than being in a supporting function. I knew that moving from a technical finance role into a strategic role would be difficult, so I began exploring ways to develop my commercial acumen.

London through and through

I discovered that an MBA could help me pivot from technical accounting into finance and strategy. Whilst there are ample business schools to choose from, I was determined to attend a school with a proven reputation; somewhere with notable alumni, outstanding academic staff, a global network and a location in a global city. LBS fit the bill perfectly. Moreover, I wanted to study alongside driven and intellectually curious people, who would challenge me - again LBS met my criteria perfectly. LBS simply ticked all of the boxes.

Levelling up

Whatever you think student life is, an MBA is completely different to that. You’re being prepared for leadership, to lead responsibly in a corporate or entrepreneurial venture, so the programme is designed to help you cultivate the skills required to do this. An example of this is time management – the MBA ensures you manage your time intentionally. There are copious but conflicting opportunities, both professional and social; navigating these opportunities will depend on your ability to periodically pause, reflect and identify the things that are most important to you. The intensity of the MBA is challenging, but a good kind of challenging. To be an impactful leader you need to be able to quickly assess opportunities based on your goals – these are skills the MBA has already begun to help me develop.

Heart of London, centre of the world

At LBS, you find people from all corners of the world. Whether it’s Peru or Azerbaijan, you find people from countries that you may not necessarily encounter even in a large cosmopolitan city like London. This has increased my cultural intelligence and provided an insight into different ways of doing business. The global make-up of the student body as well as the industry heterogeneity adds an enriching dimension to classroom discussions. If we're discussing a particular topic, there will be several illustrations of how that topic manifests in different geographies and industries. The perspectives I’ve encountered at LBS have helped foster a mental agility that I hope can help tackle some of the ambiguity and complexity associated with the world’s most pressing business and social challenges.

Learning outside of the classroom

There are so many opportunities to learn at LBS, and this is only amplified by its location in the heart of London, a home to some of the world’s leading organisations. Established companies and emerging startups are routinely found on campus, alongside respected thought leaders and policy makers giving presentations on pertinent issues and business trends. Clubs are another source of learning and development, and there’s a huge number of clubs on campus to suit every interest, whether personal or professional. I’m on the Executive Committee for three different clubs. These roles have enhanced my leadership development and widened my social network. The clubs are fun, informative and completely student-led, which is remarkable given the value they provide. There’s also a whole variety of trips you can take which really add to the student experience. Learning in the classroom is great, but I am also finding that a lot of my learning takes place outside of the classroom.

Seizing the opportunity

I was fortunate to receive a scholarship. Alumni investing back in the School to give others like me the opportunity to attend is incredible, and testament to the school’s collegial spirit. This also exemplifies how connected, engaged and nurturing the community really is, and makes me feel part of a large, global family. I’m convinced that I made the right decision coming to LBS, and every encounter with a member of the LBS community confirms this.

Kemi Badru was a recipient of the MBA CAP Social Impact Scholarship

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