“Some of my classmates had studied biology or journalism before coming to LBS. One was even a musician. My university degree was in English language and literature, so we all have such unique experiences and come from different backgrounds”
Taking Salsa classes has had a big impact on Zicong Wang’s confidence. The Chinese student was known for being shy and quiet in lectures during her first term on the Global Masters in Management (Global MiM) programme. But that all changed when she discovered the rhythms of Latin America at London Business School’s (LBS) student-led Salsa Club.
“Salsa helped me build my confidence,” she says. “I was a little shy to start with because you have to dance with someone new every session, but it quickly became comfortable – it’s made me more outgoing.”
In the classroom, Zicong soon became more self-assured after receiving encouragement from faculty. “I was asking few questions when I first joined LBS,” she says, “but I grew in confidence as the weeks went by. I was initially nervous as I thought some of my ideas might be wrong or I’d waste people’s time by asking questions. However, the faculty encouraged us to share our thoughts because we all have different mindsets.”
Zicong, who was awarded the Global MiM Scholarship – Fudan to study at LBS, also drew confidence from being involved in the School’s Marketing Club and China Club. She attended several events to develop her networking skills and managed communications for the China Business Forum. Moreover, Zicong met with MBAs from a marketing background to draw on their expertise and expand her network. Her plan when she finishes the Global MiM is to get a role back in China and work for around 10 years. She then wants to launch her own business.
“I don’t have a business background,” she says. Her only experience of the subject before joining LBS was studying business administration at Tsinghua University. “Most people who take the Global MiM plan to go into investment banking or consulting, but I want to join a management training scheme at a multinational company. My long-term aim is to launch a venture once I have enough experience. But it’s too early to say what kind of business it will be.”
Before then, Zicong is focusing on the second year of the Global MiM, which takes place at the Fudan University in China. She chose the programme to delve into the core aspects of business such as finance, accounting and data analysis. The opportunity to study with a diverse group of people while living and working in London and Shanghai – two of the world’s great business centres – was also a major draw.
“Some of my classmates had studied biology or journalism before coming to LBS. One was even a musician. My university degree was in English language and literature, so we all have such unique experiences and come from different backgrounds.” Being surrounded by diverse people broadens your horizons and exposes you to new ideas and attitudes. It also boosts your confidence.
“I initially struggled to communicate with people in my study group during the first term of the programme, as I preferred to work alone. In their feedback they said I was too shy, which I’ve taken on board. Now, they can see I’m generally more confident about sharing ideas and expressing my views.”