Mohannad Shaheen

  • Degree Programme: Masters in Management

“My managers were always asking for different sorts of data analysis. So when I heard that LBS had launched this programme, I thought to myself, this is perfect for me - one of the world’s leading business schools delivering the analytics capabilities that the industry needs”

Seeing through the gaps

After completing my undergraduate degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, I started researching master’s programmes during my first year of work as a senior consultant at PwC Middle East, so I found out about the Masters in Analytics and Management programme early on. I knew I wanted to do a master’s, but wasn't sure what in, and similar to most consultants, I started looking at MBAs. After identifying London Business School as one of the top MBA schools in Europe, I then thought about specialising in analytics, as I saw a gap in the consulting market where I was working. My managers were always asking for different sorts of data analysis, so when I heard that LBS had launched this programme, I thought to myself, this is perfect for me - one of the world’s leading business schools delivering the analytics capabilities that the industry needs.

A preference for practicality

So far, I’ve been impressed by all of the LBS faculty. They have brilliant credentials, coming from all sorts of amazing backgrounds - whether PhDs from Cambridge or consultants for leading organisations, they bring a variety of styles and experience into the classroom. One of my most memorable classes has been Applied Statistics. It was really intense, and immediately made me feel that I was getting the value I wanted from the programme. I studied applied statistics during my undergraduate degree, but it was very theoretical, and wasn't memorable. LBS’ take on the same subject, with Professor Kostis Christodoulou, I remember being very practical. I’ve never learnt such a theoretical subject in such a practical way that I can apply to real life as soon as I graduate.

Wearing two hats

My aim is to build a skill set in cutting-edge analytics, such as machine learning, and use it in a business context rather than a theoretical context. What is amazing about LBS is that it brings in experienced individuals who have applied their formulas to major players in the marketplace, helping you learn how to apply them practically yourself. I want to take this knowledge and position myself as the combination of a data scientist and businessman.

Diversity makes all the difference

I’ve never been part of such a diverse cohort, and have now met people from so many different countries. It’s been really interesting to learn about different backgrounds, where people are from, and the way they do things. The way the programme is structured means that this diverse group of business people are put into smaller study groups together; in my group there's not a single person from the same country. It’s very interesting to take that into consideration, because once you go into the world to start conducting business, you need to be culturally and socially aware.

Life in London

London is a city of immense opportunity. There's always something going on and it’s been easy to find different groups of people who share my interests. Whether you want to find a group of people who play a certain sport or a group of people who want to do practical applications of machine learning, you’ll meet them. There’s always competitions, hackathons and events going on such as pitches and startup meetups. There’s so much that makes London one of the world’s greatest cities, and it’s a shame if you come here for a year or two and don’t make the most of it.

Opportunity on offer

I'm a member of the Debate and Public Speaking Club, which is a personal interest of mine. We do live debates, and the club also offers workshops to further improve your debating and communication skills. With the help of a friend, I’ve also founded the Martial Arts Club, which is another big passion of mine. I found it really easy to set it up, as the School has been very supportive and great at facilitating getting it going. The trips that the School and the MAM programme offer are also fantastic. I'm going to Beijing for my Global Immersion Field Trip, which I'm really excited about. There are six different cities you can choose between; I chose Beijing because of its up-and-coming economy, and the fact I wanted to experience something new. Plus, I’ve also started learning Chinese and am looking forward to practicing it whilst over there.

A human experience

LBS is not only about the great academics; it is much greater than that, whether it's the diversity, career opportunities, personal mentoring or the care you receive from all the professors and career coaches, down to the clubs, the people you meet and the connections you make. My advice would be to look further than just what you're going to learn and focus more on how you're going to grow as a person during your time here.