“I love my job and didn’t want to leave it so the part-time MiF was perfect for me”
The email telling Lillian Starke that she’d been granted a London Business School (LBS) scholarship came completely out the blue. It arrived in August 2015 when Lillian, a Mexican Equity Research Associate for Morgan Stanley, was already enrolled on the part-time Masters in Finance (MiF) programme at LBS.
“I was surprised but also delighted because I’d not applied for the scholarship,” she explains. Lillian received the Masters in Finance Merit Scholarship, which is awarded to students with an excellent academic record. She studied for a finance degree in Mexico before becoming an analyst.
So what brought Lillian to London? She’d always planned to do a masters in finance and was fortunate to be able to relocate to Morgan Stanley’s London office. That move paved the way for Lillian to start studying at the School. “I love my job and didn’t want to leave it so the part-time MiF was perfect for me. I could still work full-time and then go to classes on weeknights and Saturdays,” she says.
Leaving family and friends in Mexico to move to a city where she knew few people was tough. But Lillian settled quickly after building a social circle through LBS and her job. “You have to be sociable and willing to engage if you want to meet new people,” she says. “I’ve got to know friends of friends living here and have met people from the different programmes through classes at LBS. Several people at my office have taken the MiF, so my network also includes LBS alumni.”
Lillian combines working full-time and studying with her role as an ambassador for LBS, which involves giving new students information about life at the School. “I wanted to give something back by answering questions about London or LBS from people who have just joined or are looking to apply,” she says.
Taking the MiF programme has strengthened Lillian’s analytical skills and deepened her understanding of value creation in the business world. It has also given her a fresh perspective on the challenges and prospects that organisations face in a global economy.
“I’ve learnt something new in every class throughout this programme,” she says. “My biggest takeaway is that there’s no room for complacency in a global business environment – you have to cultivate a curious mind and keep readjusting and challenging yourself.”