“Don’t worry that you might be different from others, because at LBS there is no norm”
Most MBA graduates find one full-time job is more than enough, but Nick Drinnan clearly likes a challenge. When he completes his London Business School degree in July, Nick will take up a position with L.E.K.’s Life Sciences and Medtech division – and continue his pre-MBA role as a Consultant Urological Surgeon at the Royal Surrey County Hospital (a leading UK centre for minimally-invasive surgery).
“I worked for L.E.K. in their Life Sciences and Medtech division over the summer and absolutely loved it,” says Nick. “But I’d also like to keep operating, so will continue to do clinical and operating sessions throughout the year to keep up my surgical skill.” It sounds like a win-win situation for both employers. “I would hope that it will be of use to L.E.K. to have someone on the team with an inside, up-to-date understanding of current hospital management and funding. And I’d hope to be able to help the hospital’s management to streamline and improve their operations through implementing general concepts that I learn during my work at L.E.K.”
The intersection between medicine and business was one of the key motivations for Nick’s MBA. “When you study clinical medicine or surgery, you have limited exposure to elements such as medical business or health finance. I wanted more experience in medical and surgical tech, to learn how business interacts with healthcare, and to find out how entrepreneurship and innovation can be conceived and nurtured within the global healthcare environment.”
Combining a strong focus on healthcare and entrepreneurship, LBS was an obvious choice. But, says Nick, what really captured his interest was the school’s diversity. “The fact that LBS has a strong Healthcare Club, curriculum options like the London Business Experience in major teaching hospitals and a faculty who have excelled in their field and have a truly global view – is very, very difficult to get elsewhere. I found that incredibly appealing.”
Nick says that one of the most fascinating things about his LBS experience has been finding out just how much he still has to learn about healthcare. “The Healthcare Club has been really interesting. I’ve gotten to know and work with people from markedly different backgrounds and jobs within my industry – from pharmaceutical directors from India to healthcare strategists from Chile. It’s helped me see things from a worldwide perspective and broadened my horizons about the opportunities within healthcare.” He now tries to help others within the club in his role as lead of the Careers team and outside the club as a healthcare Peer Leader.
Nick also took part in the Entrepreneurship Club’s Launchpad Programme. “That proved interesting and incredibly useful in terms of understanding and witnessing how ideas develop into something tangible, and learning the different ways to access support and funding within my own network and beyond.”
With a non-traditional MBA background, Nick initially felt some trepidation about joining the programme. “I worried that my skill set was so niche it might not be appreciated, so being awarded the MSc05 Scholarship was fantastic - it proved to me that LBS was an incredibly supportive and inclusive environment. I felt both the alumni and admissions team were saying, “We do truly want and look for diversity, and we’d like to celebrate that through this award”.
“And of course, from a financial point of view the scholarship was wonderful. Pursuing the MBA was a huge decision - I was leaving an extremely stable job, I’d just got married and just bought a house.” Nick chose to put his scholarship money directly towards fees. “It gave me the freedom to make the most of the entire MBA experience. With my fees covered by the scholarship, I used the money from my part-time hospital work to travel with LBS, taking part in the Snow Trek to France, Sailing Trek to Croatia, and trips to Italy, Poland, Spain and Taiwan.”
Nick has some advice for people considering an MBA who come from non-traditional backgrounds. “Don’t worry that you might be different from others, because at LBS there is no norm. Instead there’s endless variety – such a range of professional and geographical backgrounds, personalities and interests, that there will always be something to entertain and challenge you. The MBA opens up a multitude of exciting doors that you wouldn’t otherwise have the means to explore. It may take a leap of faith but gives you the potential to do anything and go anywhere, and have a lot of fun along the way.”
Nick Drinnan was a recipient of the MBA MSc05 (1972) Scholarship