End of Year Reflections: My Journey as a MiM Scholar

Written By, Maria Chiara Pacciolla, MiM2024

One year may seem like a short period, but when it’s packed with obtaining a masters degree, planning your future, securing a job, and enjoying the experience, time truly flies. Reflecting on my journey, it’s astonishing to realize all that has happened in just ten months at LBS. LBS is a unique place, teeming with opportunities, stimuli, and challenges. While the sheer volume can feel overwhelming at times, the personal growth it fosters makes every moment worthwhile.

Starting as a Merit Scholar

Beginning my journey as a merit scholar was both an honour and a responsibility. It brought confidence and a sense of duty to prove that LBS had made the right choice. My initial plan was clear: land a consulting job in the Middle East. Yet, as they say, “Strategy without Execution is Hallucination.” LBS provided me with an extraordinary “learning journey” to turn my strategy into reality.

Support to prepare for a career in consulting.

The MiM curriculum at LBS provides you with the hard skills necessary for building a solid foundation in management consulting. However, what truly sets LBS apart is its exceptional network of professionals and peers. Engaging with industry experts and alumni provided me with insights that no textbook could offer.

Throughout the year, I did countless case studies with my MiM peers and especially with MBA students who had worked in consulting. What surprised me the most was that they weren’t just helping me with practice cases—something already remarkable given that they had no direct benefit—they were genuinely invested in my journey. They offered advice, feedback, and encouragement every step of the way. This level of support went beyond expectations and truly exemplified the strong community at LBS.

Every interaction, from formal mentoring sessions to casual conversations, contributed to my understanding of the consulting world. This immersive experience ensured that I was not only well-prepared for my interviews but also genuinely excited about the career path I had chosen.

Learning beyond the classroom

LBS offers a 360-degree learning journey, and the Global Experience (GE) is a perfect example. For those unfamiliar, GE entails a week-long immersive course in a different city, focusing on understanding its key socio-economic drivers.

My Global Experience took me to Cape Town. This trip was transformative. Having never visited South Africa before, I gained fresh perspectives on global economic dynamics and local challenges.

During the week, we had the chance to support a local business facing a significant challenge. This gave us a practical learning experience and allowed us to make a meaningful impact using the skills we had acquired. Furthermore, coming together as a team to tackle real-world challenges strengthened our sense of community building strong friendships.

Exceptional People: From Students to Professors

I cannot stress it enough: one of the most remarkable aspects of LBS is its community. Students, alumni, professors, and the Programme team create a strong support network that is both a source of inspiration and opportunities.

The School attracts exceptionally driven students from a wide range of backgrounds, from management to biotech to psychology. This diversity enriches every discussion, project, and interaction, fostering a learning environment that is as global as it is dynamic.

The professors at LBS are equally exceptional, bringing a wealth of industry experience and academic excellence to the classroom. Many have worked in top-tier corporations or launched successful entrepreneurial ventures, providing a hands-on approach to learning that is deeply rooted in real-world applications. Their insights, drawn from personal corporate and entrepreneurial experiences, offer invaluable perspectives that go beyond traditional academic instruction.

Courses supporting personal growth beyond a conventional management curriculum.

Amidst the rigor of the year, LBS offers courses focused on personal development, recognizing the need to balance professional ambitions with life’s simpler, yet essential, priorities. One such elective, “Wisdom and Happiness,” was particularly impactful.

The “Wisdom and Happiness” elective was more than just a break from the intense focus on business and finance; it was an opportunity to gain deep insights into what it means to live a meaningful life. The class discussions and reflective exercises helped me understand the importance of balancing my career aspirations with my personal well-being.

Giving back as a Student Ambassador

Serving as a Student Ambassador at LBS was one of the most rewarding aspects of my journey. Throughout the year, I had the privilege of representing the School and connecting with prospective students. This role allowed me to give back to the School that had decided to invest in me as a merit scholar.

I participated in campus tours, information sessions, and networking events, sharing my experiences and insights with future students. Being a Student Ambassador also helped me develop my leadership and communication skills. I took pride in helping others navigate their decision-making process and showcasing the vibrant, supportive community at LBS. This experience deepened my connection to the school and reinforced my commitment to contributing to its ongoing legacy.

My new journey ahead

As my time as a student concludes, I look forward to the next chapter as an alumna and embarking on my professional journey as a consultant in Doha. This year has undoubtedly made me more resilient and, to use a business-trendy phrase, “agile.” These qualities, nurtured at LBS, will be invaluable as I navigate my future career.

In reflection, my year at LBS has been a whirlwind of challenges, growth, and satisfaction. It has prepared me not just as a professional but as a person excited to face the world.

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