Study Groups: A Melting Pot of Ideas and Minds

Olivier Espitalier Noel, MFA 2024:

As a humbled member of the Masters in Financial Analysis (MFA) 2024 class at London Business School, I have embarked on a journey that transcends borders and cultures at this respected institution. Our discussions, enriched by this mix of academic and life experiences, allow us to approach problems from various angles and develop comprehensive solutions. 

The variety of perspectives has been crucial in improving my communication and listening skills. Effective communication is key in our collaborative efforts, where we’ve learned to articulate our thoughts clearly and listen actively. This practice has helped us achieve our academic goals and understand the nuances of different academic and educational backgrounds. 

Working in such a diverse group has brought significant learning experiences. Navigating differences in academic training demands patience and adaptability, enhancing our ability to communicate across cultural and academic lines. This prepares us to work effectively in diverse teams in the future. Conflicts arising from differences in opinions and approaches have also been part of our dynamics, necessitating the development of negotiation and diplomacy skills to ensure productive outcomes. Adapting to a common academic standard, while respecting each member’s background, has been a conscious and collective effort. 

These challenges have been invaluable in my personal and professional development. Being part of this study group has been transformative, broadening my cultural understanding, enriching my perspectives, and sharpening my communication skills. Engaging with such a diverse set of minds has emphasized the importance of empathetic communication in a multicultural context. 

In summary, being involved in this international study group has been a key part of my MFA journey. It highlights the benefits of diversity, not only in our academic pursuits but also in enhancing our interpersonal skills, particularly in communication. This experience paves the way for personal and professional growth, underscoring the value of diverse collaboration.

Jean Zwerger, MAM2024:

As a student in the Masters in Analytics and Management programme, I have had the privilege of being part of a group that not only represents a spectrum of nationalities and professional backgrounds but also epitomizes the power of collaboration in the face of diverse challenges.  

Throughout our first term we had the opportunity to tackle a range of projects, each requiring a unique blend of our skills and perspectives. Whether it was developing Python-based trading strategies, conducting sentiment analysis on Twitter data, designing data architectures for IoT systems, or creating compelling data visualizations about the best global cities for post-study settlement, our projects have been both challenging and enlightening.  

A groupmate fondly recalled, “The best part about our study group was that everyone took ownership of their work and did all projects as a team. People respected each other’s ideas and thoughts and were always so accommodating”.  

Some standout projects were, for instance, the analysis of New York City’s infamous Pizza Rat in our Applied Statistics class, a creative endeavour that allowed us to explore urban wildlife through the lens of data.  

Another groupmate highlights the essence of our collaboration: “When we were working on a marketing project, brainstorming our idea, the whiteboard was filled with scribbles and diagrams. It was such a creative and fun process!” Our end proposal was “Stage”, an integrated ticketing platform within Instagram, a fun and creative proposal showcasing our understanding of the newly learnt marketing strategy frameworks.  

To prospective and admitted students, I say: embrace the study group experience. It is a unique opportunity to grow, learn, and connect, transcending the conventional classroom setting. The memories you create and the lessons you learn in these groups will be among the most valuable aspects of your time at London Business School.  

Imane El Hafidi, MiM2024:

Collaboration is a major focus at LBS and within the Masters in Management programme. Once you step into the programme, you are assigned a crew of 5-6 students, with whom you collaborate on group assignments and projects throughout the term. Much like colleagues in a workplace, your team isn’t one that you choose; it is assigned to you, and they become your ride or die for the term. For me, my first term study group was truly a wonderful surprise!

Right from the start, two key activities set the tone for our journey, bringing us together and allowing us to hit the ground running as a team:

First, the ‘Away day’ – a day dedicated to outdoor team-building activities during which we collaborated, motivated each other and just naturally bonded. From solving riddles together, strategizing in a F1 pit stop simulation and holding onto each other for dear life while preparing to jump over the top of a 15-meter pole. This day not only revealed our authentic selves but also gave us countless funny moments and anecdotes that became running jokes throughout the term.

Second, the ‘Leading with Impact’ workshop. Here, we were paired with a coach, analysing together our personality tests, and figuring out how to leverage our unique traits to best work together. While it was not a therapy session, it was a very honest and vulnerable experience. We opened up about our weaknesses and shared our strengths. I believe this had the most impact in allowing us to understand how to work together as a group and bring the best out of each other.

The most rewarding part of this experience is how we weren’t only a study group, but a true built-in support system for one another. Helping each other academically outside of our group assignments, motivating each other through recruitment and most importantly accommodating each other in balancing out our academic commitments and the job search. In a sense the study group is like a small sample of the LBS cohort, very diverse, highly driven, extremely supportive and each with their own exciting journey. So, for all these reasons and many more, I’d like to extend my heartfelt thanks to Sebastian, Vanya, Charles, Grant, and Annie. Working and growing with you all was an absolute pleasure!

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