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“I was progressing well in my career and didn’t want to leave my job at EY to study full-time, so the part-time programme was perfect for me”
Buying a house in London for a reasonable price isn’t easy at the best of times. But Nitant Gupta was confident he could get a better deal after taking the Negotiation and Bargaining elective on the Masters in Finance (MiF) Part-time programme at London Business School (LBS).
The knowledge he picked up at LBS helped Gupta to negotiate the price. “We were given a practical framework for negotiating and bargaining, which we used when role playing deal-making scenarios,” he says.
Other insights Gupta gained, on what he describes as one of the “best course I’ve ever taken”, include the psychology of all parties involved in a negotiation and what they hope to get from a deal. He will apply those techniques – taught by Niro Sivanathan, Associate Professor of Organisational Behaviour – in his corporate finance role at professional services firm EY. Gupta works on sell side and buy side mergers, and acquisitions for clients across the UK, Europe and emerging markets.
The programme has exposed Gupta to different aspects of finance such as economics and data analytics, along with other subjects like organisational behaviour. When taking the World Economy: Problems and Prospects elective, he developed a greater understanding of global economies through case studies such as the Lost Decade crisis in 1982 and the Tequila Effect, Mexico’s economic crisis in 1994, sparked by the sudden devaluation of the Mexican peso. The crisis led to a dip in a range of South American currencies.
“My knowledge of economics is stronger and I feel more confident when in conversation with colleagues and senior management on related topics,” Gupta says. “I now read more about the subject, because I have a greater interest.”
As with most people taking the part-time MiF, Gupta finds the workload that comes with studying at LBS challenging when holding down a full-time job. It’s especially demanding if he’s involved in an M&A deal, when his working hours typically run from 14 to 18 hours a day.
Fortunately for Gupta, he has an accommodating employer. “EY are really good and let me take time off to study,” he says. “I have block weeks where I spend five days focusing on a course or elective without any disruptions.”
He adds: “Some people like to go home and watch Netflix, but my motivation is to interact and engage with interesting groups of people and study at an amazing place like LBS.”
Gupta chose the School for its “incredible” reputation in India, where he is originally from. “Back home, it’s one of the biggest brands.” He says the decision to take the MiF programme was an easy one.
“I also find the part-time MiF programme is very effective when it comes to the know-how of your class. Everyone has a good understanding of the subjects, which makes the conversations and school experience remarkable. Gaining knowledge in class and implementing the same thing in my job within the same week makes the learning complete and effective.”
He adds: “I was progressing well in my career and didn’t want to leave my job at EY to study full-time, so the part-time programme was perfect for me. I can study over 22 months with a diverse cohort of people that have different experiences in finance. One person works in M&A while someone else is in equities, trading and risk management.”
Since joining LBS, Gupta has made many friends from around the globe and extended his professional network. In his first year on the programme, he and his wife went to Lebanon with some of his classmates. He also visited Peru with his cohort and some MBA students. When not working or travelling, Gupta spends time with fellow MiF part-timers who meet up to chat about their work and experiences.
“People on the programme spend as much time with each other outside the lecture theatre as they do inside,” he says. “It’s great because you can go for a drink with them, talk about theirs or your job and pitch different ideas. At LBS, you build a great network of people.”