Prakriti Thapa

  • Degree Programme: MBA
  • Global Nationality: Nepalese
  • Profile Job Pre-programme: Business Development, Kiva.org (Kenya, Ghana), EY (San Francisco, Chicago)
  • Profile Job Post-programme: Associate Director - Strategy, EY-Parthenon

“The most important thing I learned during my MBA is how to collaborate effectively” 

Pre-MBA, Prakriti Thapa had strong ideas about the kind of programme she was looking for. London Business School, she says, was the only one to tick all the right boxes. “I have a global background - I grew up in Nepal and had worked in finance and the social enterprise sector in the US, Kenya and Ghana. So diversity was a real prerequisite in choosing my MBA programme.” In addition to offering the comprehensively global curriculum she wanted, Prakriti says she quickly realised that the calibre of her LBS cohort was exceptional. “Right from Orientation Week I was fascinated by the diverse geographical and professional backgrounds of my classmates.”

With awards reflecting a wide variety of industry, nationality, and academic expertise, this same diversity is celebrated in the LBS scholarship portfolio. A recipient of the LBS Nestlé Emerging Markets Scholarship for Women, Prakriti says: “My scholarship opened up a lot of doors. It definitely made my decision to pursue the MBA significantly easier - I’m grateful for the opportunities I’ve received, and my scholarship still means a huge amount to me.”

The additional financial support allowed Prakriti to focus on developing existing skills – a key member of the School’s Net Impact Club, she co-led the EMEA part of the Global Social Venture Competition, one of the best-known social venture awards globally – and also to explore new avenues. “I came to LBS with an open mind. I had a background in social enterprise and accounting before but was looking to pursue a career that would provide me with the best opportunity for growth. The scholarship allowed me to do an unpaid internship at a start-up and to explore other areas that I was interested in.”

One such area was strategy consulting. During her MBA, Prakriti successfully secured a role at Parthenon, a job she loves. “In some ways my job is an extension of my MBA. I’m constantly learning about new industries and am surrounded by bright, curious, fun people,” she says. “I directly apply what I learned on the programme, whether it’s general problem solving or specific skills; just recently I was having a discussion with a colleague about how to negotiate and I went straight back to what I learned in my Negotiation & Bargaining class.”

Prakriti also attributes her strength as a team player to skills learned on the MBA. “The most important thing I learned during my MBA is how to collaborate effectively. I had so many opportunities to work in a team, from study groups to club activities, and it challenged me to play a different role in each situation.”

One of these roles is as a newly empowered corporate woman. Taking continued inspiration from her LBS cohort, Prakriti says: “I connected with great people at LBS, and it’s fascinating to compare experiences with my female friends and classmates. We’ve had varied positions in different sectors, but one thing we all notice is the limited number of female role models as we move up in our careers. I’m so grateful to be a part of a community that wants to change this.”

Prakriti says that her biggest MBA takeaway is to be an authentic leader - and to encourage the same behaviour in her teams. “It’s something I’ve struggled with in the past, particularly as a woman from a developing country where cultural ideals are different from the countries that I’ve worked in. But learning alongside 400 classmates, all with their own unique experiences, has enabled me to appreciate my authenticity.” Now, she says: “I’m hopeful that diversity in leadership will increasingly be embraced in the corporate world.”

Prakriti Thapa was a recipient of the MBA Nestle Emerging Markets Scholarship for Women

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