by Renato Akaishi, MBA 2018
Before joining LBS you hear about the fantastic experiences you can have and they are indeed true. However, it is hard to imagine to what extent they will affect your MBA and it is only when you actually live these experiences that you see the true value that they add to your MBA journey. For now, I will talk about my experience in the trips organised by students for students, or as we call them: Treks. There are two types of treks that enhanced my experience: professional and social.
I had the opportunity to organise two professional treks, one to Switzerland, visiting healthcare companies such as Novartis, Roche and Medtronic; and another to Germany visiting companies in the automotive industry such as Porsche, BMW and Bosch. Besides the professional opportunities the treks provided, through networking with the companies, they also allowed me to connect with students from all programmes at LBS – which personally, is one of the key differentiators of the school, from Early Careers to Sloans and EMBAs, you meet people with diverse backgrounds and experiences who are always willing to help and exchange some ideas.
On the other side there are the social treks. They are led by the regional clubs and curated by proud local students that want to showcase their countries’ best to their colleagues. In my experience these are the best to learn about the country and get to know hidden gems that only locals would know. During my time at LBS I had time to fit a few of these treks into my calendar – my list includes Lebanon and Jordan, Japan, China, Bulgaria, Germany, France and Pakistan – the latter being my most recent trip, which was an amazing social-cultural experience and it is a great example of the value a trek adds to our personal experience.
We (1st and 2nd year MBAs, MiMs, MiFs and Sloans) had a great overview of the country’s politics, meeting the Prime Minister, US Ambassador and Ministries of Finance and Senators – as well as the businesses, meeting the executive board of the largest oil and gas company in the country and a microfinance bank, as well as some of its microentrepreneurs. We also learnt about the countries’ education system, visiting NUS (the largest university in the country) and a Cadet school. Lastly, we had great exposure to the art scene, where we visited the school of arts and had dinner celebrations with local music and dances.
For the coming months, we from the Brazil Club are also organising the Brazil Trek and I am joining the Israel trek, which is a mix of social and professional visits – visiting all the main sights Israel has to offer as well as the booming tech scene in the country.
These treks are a true reflection of the LBS experience – a diverse, multi-cultural environment, in which you can learn about any topics you want with the London Business School brand being a key initiator for virtually all opportunities you might look for. All of this tied with a social and networking aspect, in which you meet not only people in your programme, but also people across all LBS that can become lifelong friends and/or a professional opportunity in the future.