MiM: Why I chose to do the 4th term

By Aakash Shah (MiM 2020)

On the Masters in Management programme, although you can complete the programme after three terms, there is the option to take an additional fourth term. Within this term, you get the opportunity to take three more electives. Hear from one of our MiM students, currently undertaking the optional fourth term, why he chose to do it and how he is finding it.

Numerous factors went into my decision to take the 4th term at LBS, but perhaps the most important was that I just didn’t want to be done with business school just yet! The MiM class of 2020 faced an unprecedented year in many ways. In March, the pandemic hit us like a wall, and within a week, our “normal” was changed. The most significant impact to us was that our electives (that take place during the last third of our programme) were to take place online. While LBS did a fantastic job handling the switch to online learning, after completing my electives, I felt that I had much more to learn. One of the best aspects of LBS is the diversity of your cohort. There are highly experienced individuals already with years of experience in their fields, and there are those that are still trying to figure out which career path is best for them. I fell into the latter category and having an extra-term at LBS helped solidify where I saw my future career path heading. The 4th term allowed me to feel more developed as a business student and more prepared for a future in the corporate world.

The first two-thirds of the MiM programme allow students to develop a robust skill-set of business fundamentals encapsulating data analytics, financial accounting, finance, and strategy, but the electives are where students can take courses in what interests them the most (ranging from organizational behaviour to accounting to finance to marketing). Additionally, electives are held across programmes and give students a unique opportunity to work alongside MBAs, EMBAs and other degree programmes. I felt that I gained a substantial amount from my elective choices, as I was able to take courses in topics that interested me and that I thought would have an extraordinary impact on my personal career aspirations. Furthermore, as the pandemic had slowed hiring processes for multiple students (including myself), I felt that I was not ready to leave business school yet. Given that I had already invested the time and effort to come to LBS, I wanted to maximize my time at business school. Therefore, I felt that the 4th term would allow me to have more time specializing in topics where I wanted to enhance my knowledge and give me even more time to connect with students across other degree programmes.

Doing the 4th term at LBS has been a fantastic experience. Although the campus is operating in a limited capacity, LBS has undertaken many efforts to incorporate the hybrid learning system. With the updated learning environment, I have had the ability to connect with individuals from other degree programmes more closely. MiM is a busy programme—you’re continually applying to jobs, taking numerous classes in a wide variety of disciplines, and balancing social commitments (either through LBS or externally). The 4th term cuts out a lot of the noise. It’s a time for you to dedicate yourself to learning new topics without the external pressures that naturally occur during the standard MiM. It’s a time to gain expertise in subjects you want to learn more about, and you’re given the ability to focus on your academics without much external noise.

As I approach the end of my time at LBS (hard to believe it’s less than a month away), I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity to do the 4th term. To me, it added a significant amount of value to my degree, and I leave the school well-prepared for my future—both academically and personally. It is a unique privilege to attend an institution like LBS, and to me, the 4th term allowed me to maximize my time here and gain the skill sets I feel will aid me in my future endeavours, whatever they may be.

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