Study Groups at LBS: A unique learning experience

A cornerstone of the LBS experience is working alongside other students from a variety of backgrounds. Study groups provide a unique experience to work closely with a diverse group of peers, sharing perspectives and ways of working and forming a close bond. Many of our alumni quote the relationships formed through their study groups at LBS as some of the closest they have had through their career, still supporting one another years on.

Below, three current Early Careers students explain why study groups have been so beneficial to them.

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Julien Vermeersch (MFA2021)

“In my term 1 study group, all six of us came from different countries and it was the diversity of opinions that I valued most from this experience.

“Study groups at London Business School are something very unique and they provided me with a different learning experience that I didn’t have during my undergraduate studies. Through this system you get the opportunity to not only learn from your professors, but to also discuss the ideas that are covered in the classroom with some of your fellow students. I found this extremely insightful because it provides an additional level of depth to the discussion and it enables you to debate different perspectives covering a range of topics. In my term 1 study group, all six of us came from different countries and it was the diversity of opinions that I valued most from this experience.

Although I was very happy with my first study group, I think it is great to have the opportunity to move onto my next study group and get to work with different people and learn more about their perspectives. Besides the numerous academic benefits that the study group system offers, I think that it is also an excellent opportunity to get to know some of your classmates better. Over the course of the term, I found that my study group members became some of my closest friends. Additionally, the more professional relationship that you develop with your fellow group members comes in handy when applying for jobs and preparing for interviews. I received a lot of help and advice from them and we regularly scheduled mock interviews between us, which put is us in a good position for the real thing. Overall, I had a lot of fun working on the assignments with my group members and I was able to take away a lot more from them than if I would have been working by myself. “

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David Nazareth (MAM2021)

Ultimately, what you learn from your study group depends in large part on how actively you contribute to group work and how committed you are to learning something new from your teammates on each project.”

“A classmate of mine recently introduced me to a wonderful article by Edward Hallowell (Harvard Business Review, 1999) in which Hallowell talks about the importance of regularly replenishing “human moments” (authentic psychological encounters between human beings) in our daily lives in order to stay energised and to avoid feeling isolated and lonely. In a pandemic stricken year, lacking in “human moments” in the classroom and around campus, working with my study group has been a thoroughly enjoyable experience and something that I’ve actively looked forward to.

Group work is an integral part of the programme at LBS and an element that started right from our first week on the MAM programme. Learning to work virtually with a really diverse group of people was by no means easy, but there’s something about working for hours on an assignment with the rest of your study group that helps you create unique bonds of friendship and productive patterns of communication. Additionally, over time, we were able to build an understanding of each other’s strengths and weaknesses and harnessed the power of our diversity.

My experience working with my study group have also helped me become much more self-aware. I now have a much better understanding of what I need from teammates in order to be highly productive. I truly believe that this is one of the most valuable things I’ve learnt this year and I hope to continue to improve my self-awareness in future cross-cultural teams.

Ultimately, what you learn from your study group depends in large part on how actively you contribute to group work and how committed you are to learning something new from your teammates on each project. I would strongly advise incoming students to focus on this element of the programme because it has definitely helped me learn a lot about myself.”

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Sasha Sabharwal (MiM2021)

We have been able to bring our own expertise to the table, helping, supporting, and learning from one another.

“At the beginning of semester 1 and 2, we are allocated a new study group to work with during group assignments. Both of my study groups have been incredibly diverse in several aspects, including gender, nationality, personality and past work experience. Given the global nature of business, I saw this as an opportunity to strengthen my global mindset and develop my core teamwork skills. Particularly now given the pandemic, it has been a new learning experience for all of us, learning how to collaborate virtually and deliver projects to high standards while being in different time-zones. I have also recognised the importance of flexibility, as well as the need to ensure each member of the team feels supported during these increasingly uncertain times.

Our differing backgrounds and unique perspectives have proven to be incredibly complementary when it comes to group assignments. We have been able to bring our own expertise to the table, helping, supporting, and learning from one another. In addition, we all have different personality types, so working as a team was a great way to learn how to use these to our advantage. It has been extremely rewarding to see the change in group dynamics and project efficiency as time went on, as we began to learn from each other’s personalities and working styles.

Aside from these differences, I’ve noticed two common themes amongst LBS students. The first, unsurprisingly, is the exceptional level of talent. I feel so inspired to be surrounded by extremely accomplished, impressive and driven individuals as it constantly pushes me to become a better version of myself. The second is how respectful, collaborative and friendly each member of the cohort is. Everyone is very humble, despite their academic excellence, and always willing to help to better the experience of others.

It’s no surprise that the highlight of my time at LBS has been the people I have met and worked with. I look forward to the remainder of the semester, working with my second study group on this exciting, unparalleled academic journey.”

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