by Sunita Chambore, Student-led Initiatives Manager
On a cold, wet day in March 2019, Margaret Walsh, MBA2020, met with the MBA Programme Office to see how she could share the latest thinking on neuroscience and business with her peers. In further developing her vision, she found herself working with the Marketing Club and the Student-led Initiatives team. The unique learning opportunity her idea provided led it to become a Student-led Highlight.
On 7 October 2019, Margaret hosted two neuroscientists to give their expert opinion and share their experience of applying neuroscience to business. One of them was Dr. Jane Leighton, who works directly with some of the world’s largest advertisers as an expert consultant at Nielsen Consumer Neuroscience. The other was Dr. Joe Devlin, who is a cognitive neuroscience professor at UCL and the Vice Dean of Innovation and Enterprise.
You organised the first ever ‘Neuroscience panel: New applications for marketing strategy’ at LBS. What did you hope to achieve with this event? How did the idea come to you?
Like many of my classmates, I love learning about cutting-edge technologies. One area I’m particularly fascinated by is applications of brain science in business. Prior to the MBA, I was doing marketing research, using neuroscience techniques. When I came to LBS, I found that this idea of neuroscience x business is still relatively mysterious to many. The goal of this event is to bring experts to campus who can shed light on the latest advancements in the field and share some practical business examples.
Did you learn anything about yourself in planning this event?
Planning this event reinforced my passion for using new technology and innovative approaches in business. It also reinforced the importance of working with a team of smart people. The event would not have been possible without the help of our amazing speakers Jane and Joe, as well as the work behind the scenes of Rebecca Brill and Pon Peng of the Marketing Club and the events team.
What were your key takeaways from the panel?
- That neuroscience techniques can provide insights that allow us to make better business decisions
- Neuroscience techniques can help avoid bias in human response
- A healthy level of skepticism is important, and as Joe and Jane highlighted, researchers that are upholding high scientific and ethical standards will welcome the questions and be ready to answer them
You are in the second year of your MBA. What was the deciding factor for you in coming to LBS?
The deciding factors were the opportunity for international exposure and the diversity of the student body. Both were superior to any other school.
What do you wish you had known before you joined LBS?
I was warned, but I didn’t fully appreciate it – that the MBA goes by so quickly! It’s amazing to think we’re already in year 2, but equally amazing to think of all the things that have happened in the first year.
What has been the most memorable moment of your LBS journey so far?
I just returned from my Global Business Experience in Israel. We visited Tel Aviv and Jerusalem to learn about the cultural factors driving the start-up nation and its high tech innovation. We also visited start-ups in the West Bank and met a founder who had left the Gaza territory for the first time in his life to meet with us. It was amazing to study innovation and growth drivers while at the same time learning about the political, cultural, and social context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.