miércoles, octubre 17, 2007

...the pre-eminent global business school???

I have been researching some flight ticket prices to go to LA in a couple of weeks for my 2nd year project, and came to think about the many places I've visited, and the great international exposure I've had since I came to London to study at the London Business School. In fact, the school pomotes itself as the "pre-eminent global business school", whatever that might be. I must say that I had a lot of international experience before my MBA (a couple of languages spoken, lived in 6 countries, visited extensively 35 countries, etc...). But I must say that the school has exceeded my expectations in terms of internationalization.

So, let's look at the evidence (and to all those from a certain other business school, you know who you are, I know your school is also very international. I'm not trying to prove the contrary, so stop flaming me! :)

- very diverse student and faculty body: Honestly, I had worked internationally before. That, for me, meant working with an Italian, a Pole, and a Dutch on European projects. Or with a Brazillian and a Chinese (suppliers from emerging markets). At school, I had to work with people with double citizenships, people who had lived in 3 different continentes, Indians, Americans, Mexican, Chilean, Chinese, and even a few Brits! Expand your horizons, dude!

- social travelling: allright, I have always loved to travel, and the past year has provided a lot of opportunities to do so. But I've been to so many places!! I went to France to ski, to Barcelona on a weekend with some classmates, to Japan with the Japan Interests Club, to France to play rugby at MBAT, to Mexico for a wedding...and of course quite a few times home, and to visit friends in Brussels, Luxembourg and Paris.

- academic travelling: yeah, you thought biz school was all about the books and the parties? On an academic sphere, I've been to Amsterdam to visit a flower wholesale market, I'm going to LA for my project (and I'll probably go there again in January), and I'm going to spend a whole term in New York, New York (OMG, I'm counting the days...if only I had a job offer already!!!). The opportunities for exchange are almost endless, depending on your interests, with exchange partners in practically all continents.

- career travelling: at London Business School we don't have to do banking treks like other schools do, because the banks do come from around the corner to see us ;). However, the increasing global reach of the school is patent also in the places where students go to visit companies. In my case, I went to Madrid (duh!) and Dubai (huh?). Some other people went to Hong Kong (on an Asia banking trek) and Silicon Valley.

Of course, I could mention also the cases, based on companies from all over the world, the regional clubs at school, that organize activities related to the relevant cultures, and especially Tattoo, the school's yearly celebration of diversity, and which this year took place just last saturday. We enjoyed food from all over the world (I crave for Korean barbeque ever since!), beautiful shows (the Spanish club brought in a flamenco show, but among many other things there were also Chinese dragon dances, Indian dances, Salsa, bagpipe players, and a Brazilian samba carnival parade!!!).

Was the fact that it is a very international school influence my decision of which business school to attend? Yes. Am I happy with the results?? Absolutely. Want more evidence? I have noticed that, whenever you ask any 2nd year exchange student (mostly from American, but in general from any other business school) what has struck them most about coming to London, they will undoubtedly say: "The diversity here at school. You can't compare it with what we have at home".

QED (for those geeks out there who read this blog)

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sábado, octubre 13, 2007

milkround again: how to get a job in consulting?

This MBA thing just goes so fast!! One week after starting off the 2nd year, and all the big recruiters are back on campus. It does feel a bit awkward to be in a suit all day again, networking in the Marquee and discussing with the classmates which companies offer the best possibilities.

One thing is for sure, when looking back. It is very noticeable how much I (we?) have changed since January, the last time we had to do this. I don't waste my time in cocktails anymore, and go straight to talk to the people that I'm interested in. I don't attend all company presentations, just those that I'm really into (choosing means giving up, the wise man said). And being over the I-banking fever is probably one of the best decisions that I have ever made: the resource reallocation that came after it (basically, using the time I spent on all those banking presentations to work on my applications for consulting firms) makes me feel so much more confident about my possibilities of landing a job in consulting.

Regarding the jobsearch, I wanted to mention all the resources that the School and the students make available for those interested in a career in consulting immediately after their MBA. I reckon there is a similar list for those interested in Finance, and even in Industry, but foir that you'll have to look into other blogs ;)

  • Company presentations: over 20 consulting firms, including all the top strategy houses, generalist consulting ones and several boutique/niche firms will be on campus, presenting their offices, their work and inviting students to drinks and nibbles during the subsequent networking sessions
  • Vault guides are available in the library, with information about the interview processes, profiles of the different consulting firms, salary comparisons, culture, lifestyle, etc...
  • The consulting club maintains several Case books to practice the cases, the most important way of maximizing your chances during the interviews
  • Again, the Consulting Club organizes Case study sessions run by consultants from different firms (usually LBS alumni) on campus, so that students can grasp better the art of cracking cases
  • Crack-a-Case sessions ran by 2nd year students, whereby people with past experience in consulting (be it pre-MBA or over the summer) interview interested candidates and test them on problem solving abilities. I have to say that it's a big commitment (I just spent 4 hours yesterday working on that), but I think it's probably very useful (and provides an opportunity to give something back to the School's community)
So, with so many resources, and after you've learnt to draw 2-by-2 matrices, the chances to become a consultant are quite high!

(to be followed after milkround)

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