LBS: An international community

by Freya Evans, Recruitment & Admissions Manager, Executive MBA Dubai

We at London Business School are in many ways citizens of the world- students, alumni, faculty and staff included. “Hi, nice to meet you, and where are you from?” is the most common introductory phrase that can be heard during networking events. We all have a short and long rehearsed answer prepared.

Some background about me: both my parents are from the UK. I grew up in international schools, travelling between the USA and Germany; which I lived in for 12 years. I returned to study in the UK, and following establishing my career in London, started working at LBS in the Leadership programmes recruitment team supporting Executive MBA London, EMBA Dubai and EMBA-Global (Americas and Europe) prospective students. I now work at the LBS Dubai campus as the EMBA Dubai Recruitment & Admissions Manager. I used to identify as a Third-Culture Kid. However, since living in London/Dubai and working for LBS, I have realised this is the norm identity pattern for many.

After four months in Dubai- I love my job- I am honoured to have interviewed and formed professional relationships with incredible representatives of the region: those actively pushing the boundaries of women in leadership (professionally and in their personal time), those playing a key role in promoting the startup scene in the region and individuals who are part of the emerging fintech scene.

One individual who I have gained a lot of respect for since relocating to Dubai is Husam Osman Mahjoub- president of the Gulf Association. The Gulf Association is LBS’s largest club outside of London, with more than 1,700 alumni and students members based in and around the Gulf countries. The Gulf Association organise networking and professional events, including the monthly social gathering (the First Wednesday), the annual World Alumni Celebration (WAC), the Catalyzers Series and guest speaker events throughout the months. It has local chapters in Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar, as well as the regional Women in Business chapter. This month we look forward to the ‘What they don’t tell you about setting up a business in Dubai business’ talk and the ‘Celebrate the Power of Network’ Abu Dhabi event. At the London campus, we also have the Middle East Club formed in 2002, hosting a Middle East Club Career Trek later this month. Both students and alumni are encouraged to join!

I’ve personally also gained from meeting alumni in their different countries through some of our 530 global recruitment events. Further to providing prospective students with the chance to interact with LBS students and alumni, these events are made up of LBS graduates local to the country, people who have relocated with work at different stages and those visiting who would like to connect. Using the LBS online portal, you can reach out directly to individuals and receive invites to events- creating ‘small world’ networking moments and a valuable way to integrate into our new business culture.

What we look for in our London Business School students? Experience living in a different country is not essential for your application to be successful. However, you must demonstrate a strong international understanding, openness to working in multicultural groups and perhaps future international aspirations- or becoming a Regional Head?

I write this blog during our World Alumni Celebrations (WAC). Over 100 celebrations are currently happening in cities around the world, attended by 44,000 international alumni. Find your local global gathering.


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