End of Year Reflections: My MFA Journey

Written By, Nicholas Jeffrey, MFA2024

Before LBS

When I first heard about LBS, I was an outsider looking in. I saw the prestigious rankings, I heard about the incredible diversity, I marveled at pictures of the beautiful campus, and I read about the alumni who had gone to achieve exceptional careers. I began to imagine myself attending such a school, and I embarked on a journey to speak with current and former students there. What surprised me during this process was how friendly everyone was, and how willing they were to help. Soon enough, after a challenging application process, I found myself sitting with an acceptance letter in my inbox, along with a Merit Scholarship. I thought I knew what lay ahead of me – after all, I had done the research. But I was in for a big surprise. 


LBS is more than just a highly ranked business school with a prestigious reputation – it is a collaborative community where people come from across the world to learn, grow, and succeed. I knew that diversity was a priority for the school, and this excited me. However, before joining, I was also worried that I may find it difficult to truly connect with my classmates given that everyone was from such different backgrounds. I have never been so wrong. LBS attracts friendly people who are always willing to help others around them, and I was easily able to connect with my classmates from the day I arrived. Throughout my time at LBS I was able to make friends with people from over 40 different countries. Very few places around the world would have granted me such an opportunity.

Close-Knit Culture

Another feature that stood out to me about LBS is its close-knit culture. No matter how cliché it may sound, being part of the LBS community felt like being part of a big family. My undergrad was done at a university with over 50,000 students. I knew most of my classmates, but the rest of the university remained strangers to me. In contrast, LBS felt completely different. I learnt with my LBS colleagues, I played sports with my LBS colleagues, I visited new countries with my LBS colleagues, and within just 2 months I knew everyone in my MFA program.

Following this, it did not take long to branch out. LBS has such a strong emphasis on clubs and extracurriculars, and soon I knew many other students from across the other programs: MIMs, MAMs, MBAs, and MIFs. These new people I met helped me with career advice, interview preparation, new technical skills, and general self-development; and I would never have landed my post-LBS dream job if it had not been for their help. Being part of this school is more than just education – it is about building the most diverse and close-knit network you could possibly imagine.

Scholarships & Scholars Network

In addition to education and network building, LBS goes to great efforts to support its students, with one significant area being scholarships. Coming from South Africa, the costs of international higher education are extremely challenging, and LBS helped alleviate this by awarding me a Merit Scholarship. Before even arriving this instilled in me a strong sense of confidence, and I was extremely grateful that LBS believed in me enough to offer such an award.

More so than just financial support, this Merit Scholarship also granted me access to the LBS Scholars Network – a community of all the LBS students who have been awarded scholarships across all programs. As previously mentioned, I had access to multiple different avenues for networking and building relationships with other LBS students; however, the LBS Scholars Network elevated this to an even higher level. Being able to attend multiple events for LBS Scholars helped me branch out and meet so many more incredible students – an example being my very first event where I met a group of MIFs and MBAs who quickly became close friends of mine for the remainder of my LBS tenure. I later found myself doing the same elective courses as many of these students, and already knowing them from beforehand became a substantial advantage when it came to groupwork projects and general class interactions. LBS continually offers so many opportunities to meet fellow students, and I strongly believe that a wide and diverse network can be formed here without even fully trying – it just happens naturally.  

Next Steps

Now that I have completed my MFA degree, I am moving onto an Investment Banking role in London. The MFA has not only taught me the financial skills required to thrive in such a role – it has also taught me how to thrive within a diverse environment, and this will be extremely useful in the multicultural workplace that London offers. I know that I will continue to stay in touch with all my LBS friends, and I look forward to making use of the incredible network I have formulated at LBS throughout my future career. There is no doubt that we will all go on to achieve exceptional careers, and I cannot wait to see how everyone progresses as alumni of the one and only, London Business School.

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