By Keshav Lohia, MiM2020
2020 has been a strange year. A lot of things went wrong in the first half of this year- the pandemic hit internship offers, job opportunities dried up quickly, we completed our third (and most important) term virtually and missed out any opportunity to enjoy the European summer. However, as they say, life comes with second chances, and for me, the second chance was the fourth term.
As a finance student with experience in management consulting across Asia, my post master’s goal was to secure employment in the VC/PE industry. My main attraction to the MiM programme was the chance to interact and learn with students from diverse backgrounds in and complete a live project during LondonLab. Although these were delivered very effectively virtually, my masters journey seemed incomplete.
While evaluating my options during the summer, I realised that Term 4 offered a lot of value: a rich mix of electives to choose from, the chance to get back to school in-person in London, more time to secure employment and continue my efforts to cultivate a global network. 4 months later, I reflect admirably on my decision to pursue the fourth term – as it provided all that I wished for and more!
Complete Assortment of Electives
In term 3, I chose three electives which best resonated with my goals, spread evenly across strategy, entrepreneurship and organisational behaviour.
With three more electives in Term 4, I felt that I enjoyed a very rounded academic experience, more like an MBA.
Hence, in term 4, I chose to pursue more electives in finance and management sciences:
- Mergers, Acquisitions and the corporate reorganisations
- Advanced Marketing Strategy
- Channel and sales force management
I believed that with my earlier electives focussed on strategy, I could enhance my operational skills from Channel and Salesforce Management and M&A; adding depth to my business education. Further, mastering financial modelling and multiples in my Mergers elective helped me deliver solid results in my internship with a clean-tech focused fund in India.
Support during Recruitment Cycles
As a current enrolled student at LBS, I received several perks in structured hiring processes that don’t favour people who have already graduated. Completing the term 4 keeps you in the loop for the hiring cycles of many investment banks, PE firms and boutique VCs across the world. This year was particularly hard on recruitment due to the financial distress caused by COVID-19 across the world, and the extra time and support provided during fourth term helped me weather the storm. By the time my course ended in December, I was able to secure full time employment at one of India’s leading venture capital funds. The career centre and portals work effectively and as an enrolled full-time student, you get great support from seniors, professors and alumni. This ready ecosystem helped me tremendously while solving cases, preparing investment theses and getting ready for interviews.
Hybrid Classroom Experience and Internships
Upon returning to campus, classes were held on-campus and in-person — a pleasure that we didn’t experience during the onset of COVID-19 in the UK earlier in the year! The teaching method was seamless, involving both Roomies and Zoomies, giving us increased flexibility in chosing to attend classes in person. The relatively easier workload of the fourth term allowed me to complete internships, including one in a clean-tech focused VC; enabling me to upskill and study at the same time. Along with classroom teaching, Term 4 meant that we could return back to London in time to witness the end of summer and enjoy the Christmas lights and mulled wine in the London winter!
Networking and Friendships
Lastly, the hallmark of studying at London Business School is the relationships and the network that we ultimately develop. While studying in Term 4, we were constantly pushed out of our comfort zones and encouraged to interact with Sloan fellows, MBAs and EMBAs – who made up the majority of the cohort as most of our preceding MiM2020 class graduated in August. Limited people from our batch meant we could connect even more with fellow MiM2021s, MBA2022s, making wonderful memories along the way! Increased time meant more travel (yes! I travelled to Lake district, Cotswolds, Bath), more house parties (read: Tier 2) and in turn, more memories!
Looking back, the fourth term at LBS transformed my life in many ways and I can proudly say, the second leg of my LBS journey was as enjoyable (if not more), than the first one! The fourth term should be viewed as a valuable real option (you will know if you have studied Derivatives), which you always have the right to exercise in case things do not go according to plan!