Start (up) your LBS Journey – How LBS Enables Previous and Future Entrepreneurs 

After more than five years of entrepreneurship, building businesses like 720Impact, Felicico, and Veb Agency, I knew I wanted to change career paths when applying for my Masters in Management at London Business School. But as a founder, I realized how beneficial this managerial education is even when you’re planning to stay in the industry. Here’s why:

Your Objective is to Start or Continue your Entrepreneurship Journey

Studying at LBS allows you to significantly build your most valuable long-term asset as an entrepreneur: your network. You will meet inspiring, like-minded peers through the Entrepreneurship Club or the range of entrepreneurial electives you can choose from (across all programmes!), but it is equally important to build your network beyond fellow founders. These are also great places to find co-founders who complement your skillset! Furthermore, there are plenty of competitions and networking opportunities together with other universities at LBS that allow you to test your ideas early.

Your courses will equip you with the current best practices across all fields (finance, data analytics, strategy, marketing, etc.). As founders, we’re typically very product-focused and neglect some of the other dimensions. Part of our knowledge will also be self-taught, which can be helpful at times, but also exposes us to the risk of missing potential. What’s the best practice to leverage our marketing efforts? How can we build prediction models for our sales? Therefore, it is valuable to have the broad managerial exposure LBS offers at a distinct level and opt for courses that are either your weaknesses or that are key for your (upcoming) business. 

Pro Tips: Dive into the PE/VC club and learn as much as you can about the Venture Capital perspective. This provides you with a great perspective on what potential future investors are looking for. After LBS, it may become increasingly difficult to dive into this industry without being employed in it. Also: People invest in people. LBS will help you establish trust among investors, but there is more they are looking for. During your time at LBS, there are plenty of opportunities to build both a well-rounded profile and learn about ways to be a responsible entrepreneur. For example, engaging in a broad range of social impact opportunities during your time at LBS is a great way to do so. 

Your Objective is to Change your Career from Entrepreneurship to something else (in the short or long run)

If you’re looking for ways to pivot away from entrepreneurship, in the short or long run, then we’re on the same path. In terms of networking, you will be exposed to the opportunity to talk to a range of people who have experienced the very industries and jobs you’re considering. Regular company events on campus and career fairs are valuable as well. These are also great ways to learn small talk with potential employers and refine your skill of networking without asking for a job. With the help of the career centre, you will be able to dive into your options and know how to prepare for interviews – something you may have never done as a former founder. Beyond the campus, you may also want to utilize LinkedIn to reach out to LBS alumni, who are always happy to share their stories and have a brief chat. 

Your core courses will be of great help already to build a more corporate understanding, but you may still want to opt for courses that prepare you for this environment. For example, understanding corporate culture and hierarchy can be of great help. 

Pro Tips: Your future employers will want to see that you’re capable of working in teams as part of their corporation. Therefore, it is important for your CV and experience to incorporate this balance. At LBS, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to do so, such as consulting projects, Executive Committee positions in clubs, or participation in business or finance challenges. 

And lastly…

Best of luck on your exciting journey! Feel free to reach out to me via LinkedIn about your startup ideas and upcoming projects – I’m more than happy to support you with my experience. A special note to my fellow founders who identify as a woman: It’s so much tougher out there for you and we need to stick together and support each other – therefore, most definitely feel free to reach out! 

Written By Carmen Schliesser, MiM 2024

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