By Joseph Perrin (MAM)
A truly inspiring community:
So far, I have been amazed about the variety of people at London Business School. Everyone here comes with a unique, exciting experience and is looking forward to continuously learn from one another. Here, any student fluently speaks multiple languages, has lived in several countries and discovered various educational systems. Meeting students with different perspectives and experiences has allowed me to challenge my point of view. This diversity of people fosters a creative environment to shape one’s mind and empowers us to positively impact our environment and careers. For example, two friends and I have recently decided to launch our own sustainable clothing brand which profits will support charities operating for child education (@lekker.official).
A hands-on academic experience:
The Master in Analytics and Management has exceeded my expectations. While London Business School is known for its financial and managerial programmes, the appeal of the MAM comes from being a programme that ultimately integrates data science to business application. I believe that the MAM provides us with the right tools to succeed in the modern business landscape. More than that, it gives us a technical edge over other business students and helps us to develop hard skills which are becoming essential in today’s increasingly data driven world. Moreover, the quality of the LBS faculty is very impressive: our professors come from a variety of stimulating backgrounds and bring along excellent credentials. A course that has particularly impacted me is “Machine Learning for Big Data”, partly taught by Kanishka Bhattacharya who holds a PhD from Oxford and is Senior Director at Booking Holdings. This class dives into modern algorithms and teaches advanced machine learning tools such as deep learning and recommendation systems. I believe that such modules will equip me with essential tools which I will put in practice in my professional career.
Learn through interdisciplinary collaboration:
Coming from a business background, my coding experience prior to joining the MAM was limited to a few hours on Data Camp and several assignments completed during my undergrad. As I nervously started the academic year with a coding course in R, I immediately realised the advantage of studying an interdisciplinary masters programme. As each student is assigned to a study group composed of people from different nationalities and academic backgrounds, I have found other students coming from more technical studies that quickly shared their experience and helped me bridge the gap. Moreover, those study groups have been an outstanding opportunity to work closely with students from all over the world, discover different cultures and apply our newly acquired skills on challenging and contemporary problems. Every other week, we are questioned with real-life business situations, such as pricing analysis of Airbnb accommodations in certain cities, clustering the BBC iPlayer audience or geographically studying the results of US elections, which we need to solve in a structured and analytical manner. The strength of such working groups comes from this interdisciplinary and international exposure which brings along many interesting, diverse and innovative point of views.
Feeling particularly enthusiastic about driving sustainable impact across the governmental, social and environmental sphere, my wish is to join a consulting firm which combines critical thinking and data science to solve sustainable challenges. Eager to get some concrete consulting experience, I joined Impact Consulting Club with the objective to gain exposure on and work together with sustainable businesses. The club offers the opportunity to solve 8-week social impact projects to teams of 8 students, mostly MBA’s, under the supervision of Bain & Company. My team and I have been assigned to a start-up which produces re-usable packaging for the food and beverages industry, which we help to grow through a pilot programme in different coffee stores across London. This hands-on learning experience did not only allow me to solve real life problems and to learn from experienced MBA’s, but also to meet like-minded students and professionals with a similar career aspiration.
Networking in COVID-19 times
During these uncertain times, the biggest challenge for us students has been to meet people and grow our network while respecting rigorous government restrictions. The start of the hybrid teaching method at the end of September, in which all students have the ability to follow a share of classes from the lecture theatre, has been a great way to meet other students from the MAM and network during the coffee breaks (while keeping masks and distances of course!). In addition to organising inter-programme networking Zoom calls, the faculty has recently started using the Connect Club platform, a sort of networking breakout room which allows students to meet in informal environments to discuss with other peers. This was a fun way to speak to MBA’s and Early Careers about their LBS experiences and career aspirations. Also, all students have access to the LBS Hub platform, in which students can connect with mentors from the vast LBS alumni community and learn from their valuable industry specific insights. But overall, I believe clubs have proven to be the best method to socialise with peers. I have been surprised by the number of events that were held online and that allowed me to meet other students with similar interests as mine. Since September, I have experienced my first social impact consulting project, shared my passion for wine tasting though the wine tasting club, took part in pub quizzes, ran with students from every programme and played football almost every weekend!