By Connie Teng, MBA2022
Like many of my classmates, I chose London Business School for my MBA because of its diverse student body and the global experience it offers. With a background in China and South Africa, I want to expand my network and learn from an international community where my peers value diversity as much as I do. Intending to work internationally post-MBA, I hope to build a network that expands across the globe, and LBS has exactly that.
Growing up in Asia and Africa has given me a unique sight into the importance of having a global mindset. After graduating from university, I wanted to pursue a career where I could leverage my financial academic background and play a role in bridging cultural differences within a global environment. Hence I joined a multinational energy company in corporate strategy, where I have worked on projects across a wide spectrum of industries and in multiple countries in Africa.
At LBS, I was able to leverage these invaluable experiences to provide first-hand insights during case discussions and debates. Passionate about the start-up ecosystem in Africa, I led the Accel Awards competition in 2021, where approximately 200 start-ups participated and five were selected to join an LBS mentorship. I have also played a role in the Social Impact Club to organise its annual conference – over 800 participants and 60+ companies joined for a week-long discussion on “Reinventing the Mainstream”.
My most memorable experience with the Women in Business Club is definitely the Equall Conference. The breadth and depth of the programme were incredible, we have had the opportunity to engage with so many female leaders across different industries – Elizabeth Warren was a keynote speaker! There were several career-orientated tracks tailored for students with different interests. I recall clearly the panel discussions with founders in Femtech and female leaders from tech companies in Africa.
I was surprised by the number of student-led initiatives at London Business School. For example, Black in Business and FLII (First-Generation, Low or Intermediate Income) were two student clubs founded last year to drive racial and social diversity at LBS and the wider business ecosystem. A Tech concentration was created last year, driven by the Tech & Media club, to enhance and formalise academic offerings at LBS in the technology and data analytics space. The school encourages and supports students to take initiatives on subject matters that we are passionate about, and there are ample opportunities to do so.
Upon joining the programme, I was anxious about whether I would be able to fit in the “MBA club”, but it turns out to be rather irrelevant at LBS. There is simply no one type of “club” to assimilate to. Every aspect of your uniqueness is welcomed and celebrated, and the school is so big that you will find someone who speaks your language, metaphorically and literally. I guess the only commonality between people at LBS is that we are all different.
I joined LBS with the anticipation that I would be able to make friends from different backgrounds, but I was underestimating the degree of diversity and its impact.
In my first year, I was able to land a part-time internship at an Indian FinTech unicorn through an LBS alum, and with the help of a classmate who has worked at a European VC that has invested in the company. It was fascinating to see how the stars aligned with the network that LBS provides. I have heard many more examples like mine – there is always someone from LBS that will help you along the way to succeed.