An insight into LondonLAB

By Alex Hurd – MiM & GMiM Student Recruitment Associate

‘Can you tell me about LondonLAB?’ is often asked by aspiring MiM applicants. I got in contact with Dominic Hughes, an Experiential Learning manager at LBS to shed some light on the project and find out if you actually go anywhere near a lab.

Overview

Dominic sums up LondonLAB at LBS in a simple sentence, “It’s a student group consulting project with a real client.” Running for ten weeks from April to June, students use the learning from core courses in the earlier terms and put these skills to use in a real client facing scenario. Dominic explains, “Our students get to put those learnings into context and have a genuine impact on clients. Our students can also build their network and start to really get their name out there.”

The ten weeks on the project act as a real eye-opener to life as a consultant, and student findings develop into real business decisions for the clients.

MiM2020 LondonLAB was a great success with clients including:

  • Desolenator
  • European Bank of Reconstruction and Development
  • London Luton Airport
  • Oddbox
  • Salesforce

The projects are separated into three key focus areas: New Markets and Products, Responding to and Managing Change and finally Improving Performance and Growing Market Share. These project categories allow students to choose an area that interests them or potentially could benefit their future recruitment choices. The LondonLAB team then do their best to ensure students are working on a project most aligned to their objectives and preferences.

Diversity

Dominic adds that the project allocation doesn’t just stop there: “We try and allocate students their top choices whilst also maintaining diverse working groups; that’s diversity in terms of nationality, gender and also educational background. For example, we look at their undergraduate degree subjects to help balance the teams out.” The idea behind this is to have groups of 6 that represent the strong diversity values of LBS and allows teams to flourish with members having a range of strengths to contribute to the team.

Work or Assessment?

LondonLAB is not just for work experience and the project is assessed by faculty as a core module. LBS support the students during the course as they have a number of consultations with a supervising faculty member. The faculty will essentially act as a critical trusted advisor to the students, and they will be constructively challenging their thinking and also guiding them in the right direction. Some faculty members are former senior consultants and have substantial client-facing experience, so they are able to get the best out of the students and make an accurate assessment of their performance. These projects can be challenging for students, but as faculty often note, the harder the project, the greater the learning experience.

LondonLAB in Covid Times

Pre-Covid students would have had an in-person introductory meeting with the clients and be shown around the office, thus meeting the key stakeholders within their organisational environment. Dominic explained how the adjustments to the project due to Covid do have their advantages: “These are some of the first students to do a full consulting project remotely, which could be a real distinguishing point for them when they move into recruitment process in the near future.”

So, there you have it, a real insight into what you will be doing in the LondonLAB. You won’t be stepping into any laboratories, but you could be gaining experience helping London based clients make their next strategic business moves.

LondonLAB Student Feedback

You can read MiM2020 Echo Wang’s Case Study of her LondonLAB Experience here.

Anonymous MiM2020 Student Feedback

“The client challenged us and supported us to produce a strong recommendation. It was great to work with them and understand the way their firm thinks about investment.”

“I actually enjoyed working with a more NGO-type organisation, and think it really opened my eyes to an industry I hadn’t really considered before.”

“The Faculty supervisor brought a very pragmatic approach to our LondonLAB project which helped the team maintain a focus on adding value instead of being distracted by unrealistic recommendations that we might have given to the client.”

“I enjoyed the entire course from the virtual to working with my team on an actual project with a real company to the sessions with my Faculty supervisor. Overall, one of my favourite experience at LBS!”

“Working with a client as a team alone and without the direct supervision of faculty. I think it is an important learning experience to be on your own in client meetings and having to sort out client issues as a team. At all times, however, I knew we could fall back on the qualified support of faculty and the LondonLAB team and never felt left alone. I very much appreciated that!”



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