A big part of the LBS experience is joining one of our student clubs, and with over 75 clubs and groups to join, there is something for everyone in our community. We spoke with three MBA students to hear how joining the Student Club community has enriched their LBS experience.
Shajia Meraj, MBA2021
“The clubs are the life and blood of the LBS experience. I knew from Day one that I wanted to be a part of the Women in Business (WiB) Club, being very passionate about gender equality and keen to find amazing role models and mentors.
Co-chairing WiB’s flagship EQUALL conference, one of the biggest forums in Europe whose reach extends far beyond the LBS community, has been the highlight of my LBS experience. Over the past few months, I have co-led a team of 15+ students from LBS and organised the largest ever conference in the club’s history with 900+ attendees and 60+ speakers from across the world. I have found true support in my co-chair and partner-in-crime Thomas – an extraordinary male ally (or manbasador as we call them at LBS). I have been inspired every single day seeing the team’s passion and vigour in bringing the conference together (amidst multiple priorities and COVID-induced roadblocks) and I have learnt so much about myself through the process.
Currently I have also teamed up with some very driven and motivated students across LBS programmes to address socio-economic diversity and to ensure that students from marginalised socioeconomic backgrounds are well-represented and find a sense of belonging at LBS. Through the whole experience of setting up this initiative, we have revisited our roots and realised how far each of us has come from our humble beginnings.
If there is anything I have learnt from these very diverse experiences, it’s that no matter where you are from and what your passions are, you will find a true home at LBS. (And to think that these phenomenal experiences have taken shape despite COVID shows that we have truly learned to make lemonade out of the lemons!)”
Miles Jones, MBA2021
“While I have benefited from engaging with many of the student-led clubs during my time at LBS, there are a couple in particular that have really shaped my experience.
The first is the Rugby Club. In my experience, there is nothing like practicing rucking together during the London winter, as Regent’s Park gradually turns to mud, or running onto the pitch against a club team to develop strong bonds with a group of your classmates. As a relatively uncoordinated individual with a background of distance running, I was nonetheless warmly welcomed into a team that included people who had never held a rugby ball before through to former national representatives and professional club players. The life of the club extends well off the pitch as second year members organise mentorship, careers and recruitment support, mental health fundraisers, overseas treks and a range of social events to build community and have fun—often in collaboration with other student-led clubs.
I also found a strong network in the Australia New Zealand (ANZ) Club. As an Antipodean in London, sometimes you just want to speak to other people who get the importance of finding a good Flat White coffee and also mix up all of their English vowels. A highlight of the first year was our club performance of a hybrid cultural dance in front of the crowd at Tattoo—this had to be seen to be believed. Additionally, as a second year, a friend and I act as co-chiefs of Sundowners. Outside of a pandemic, Sundowners is the largest regular student-run event on campus and a great way to unwind with classmates on a Thursday night, sampling the cultures of different club sponsors from the comfort of the Nash student lounge. Like all of the clubs, we have had to think of creative ways to fulfil our role this year, with recent activities including virtual challenges, icebreaker games and a tailored performance for LBS by two professional comedians.”
Jiabo Wan, MBA2021
“I joined several student-led clubs at LBS and they no doubt added much bright colour to my MBA experience. I worked on a pro-bono consulting project organized by the Impact Consulting Club, helping a social enterprise in Tanzania which produces fair trade tea products enter the European market. The project included brand positioning, channel strategy, and was also with a theme on women empowerment and local economic development. It is a rewarding experience for me in terms of expanding my industry knowledge while creating a meaningful impact on society.
As a member of the organising team of our flagship TEDxLondonBusinessSchool event, one of the premier innovation and thought-leadership events in London, I have worked with various London-based thought leaders in different fields such as medicine, counter-terrorism and education. This experience let me get out of my comfort zone and greatly expanded my horizon. I sourced speakers with “ideas worth spreading”, curated talks with our speakers and advisors, and served as one of the MCs of the event. It is this experience that demonstrates how resilient and creative our LBS community is. Due to the evolving pandemic situation, we had to postpone and pivot the event to a virtual format. Instead of simply accepting the “default option” – another Zoom event, which would potentially compromise the event quality, our team quickly decided to pre-record all the talks in various locations. From hospital to theatre, thanks to our smart choices of filming locations, we made those talks even more contextual and engaging, successfully turning a daunting crisis into an amazing opportunity.”