It was LBS’s reputation that ultimately attracted me. When studying for a masters, it’s important that it will set you up to achieve your career goals, so attending a prestigious school, for me, was essential. LBS offered an environment that really suited my personality – with a focus on collaboration, encouraging people to help each other and work as part of a team. I never wanted to be surrounded by students who only follow their own paths and are super competitive amongst each other. I wanted to be in a collaborative environment. When you work with others, and come together as peers to reach a goal, the results you can achieve are tremendous.
I always knew I wanted a career in finance. I had previously studied economics and business at the University of Warwick, so had a quantitative background before starting at LBS. I was considering both the MiM and MFA, but decided on the MFA as it better suited my experience. I also liked that it was a very pragmatic and finance driven programme. I knew I would have to work hard and learn a lot, but I didn't anticipate how intense and fulfilling the programme would be. The MFA focuses on the practical rather than academic side of things, which is something that sets LBS apart from many other schools. Everything I’ve learnt through the programme can be directly applied to my day to day life in my current role at Deutsche Bank, which has proved invaluable to my career.
LBS is an extremely diverse place, with students from all around the world. Something we all had in common was our ambition. I found it amazing being surrounded by so many highly intelligent people, yet despite this, everyone had different goals. One of my classmates was a Harvard alumni, and wanted to come to LBS as she was interested by the challenge of studying finance, with a view to start her own company, rather than specialising in the field. It was great to experience people studying to develop the skills to do different things, which was another interesting way that LBS encourages diversity. You may know what you want to do before joining your programme, but that can always change when meeting people with different mindsets and goals.
London was the only place I wanted to study. Being immersed in a thriving global capital, you’re able to take advantage of opportunities that you don’t find anywhere else. Whether attending job interviews, going for coffee chats or networking with people in your industry, LBS’s location in the heart of London makes all of this possible. In my third term, I had a little more time available and decided to work part-time for a private equity firm, outside of studying and class hours. The beauty of London is that so many incredible businesses are based here, you just need to make the most of what’s on your door step. For me, working whilst studying was an extremely valuable experience, and the flexibility of the programme means you can really organise your schedule so that it is manageable.
By joining LBS, you become part of a worldwide network. Whenever you want to expand your knowledge in a particular field, you can reach out to alumni who are always happy to help you beyond your expectations. I was previously interested in growth equity whilst working towards a career in that field, and decided to reach out to an LBS alumni who worked at General Atlantic. As this person was working as the head of Europe for a major growth fund, I assumed they wouldn’t have time to reply to me. The result was very much the opposite. They got back to me straightaway, offered to meet for a coffee and gave me some great advice and information. To this day we are still in contact. The mentorship opportunities are truly unlimited because of the collaborative mindset of the alumni who make up the LBS community.
I am still connected with my classmates, who have gone on to become great friends over the years. I also return to LBS on a regular basis and use the network and alumni community to stay informed of different opportunities. Additionally, I’ve had interns working for me over the years who often ask for advice or referrals when applying to LBS. It’s one of the ways where I enjoy giving back to the School by encouraging smart, sharp individuals who fit into the collaborative mindset to apply.