miƩrcoles, 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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At 1:31 a. m., Blogger The SMARTSTART Coach said...


You are one lucky guy! And, with all that international experience, you'll be quite an attractive asset when the companies come courting new grads.

All week long I've been reading about Tattoo; makes me want to go back to school just to experience it.

Enjoy your studies. And LA, and New York and and and...

At 10:07 a. m., Blogger fran said...

global and diverse, yet we are all wearing the same suit and tie. :)

At 4:30 p. m., Blogger karlitos said...

riiiiiiiiiiight, fran, and even the same badge and the same FT below the arm :), but you'll agree with me!

For example, I had never before met an Italian with no accent when speaking English....:)

At 4:36 p. m., Blogger karlitos said...

To the smartstart coach,

it's never too late to go back to school, isn't it? I always use to say that I will feel "old" when I stop feeling curious about learning and experimenting new things....

At 11:28 a. m., Blogger Waleed said...

hi there karlitos! quick question - hiring seems to be happening throughout the 2nd year, so when do the students go for an exchange program? and doesn't that hamper their chances for getting a job?

At 4:33 p. m., Blogger karlitos said...

Hi Waleed,

indeed, hiring does mostly happen during the 2nd year. However, some people might already have a full-time offer after their internship, or (sometimes) they can be interviewed at their exchange school. Also, bear in mind that you can go on exchange in the spring term (january-april) like me, so I hope to have a job by then!

happy to answer any other question you have,


At 1:35 p. m., Blogger Waleed said...

Thanks Karlitos.

Just one more question, i.e. on the living costs in london.. i'll be coming to lbs next year (deferred from last year) and the cost living is bothering me a lot! everyone i have asked has told me to budget about GBP 2000/month.. question is.. do you think the living costs are so expensive compared to other schools that I should bother applying elsewhere???


At 7:15 p. m., Blogger karlitos said...

Hi Waleed,

yes, living costs in London are expensive. 2000 GBP per month might not even be sufficient to cover all the costs (if you include some travels to Europe, some fun nights out, and so on). So yes, LBS is slightly more expensive than other schools if you look at the overall cost (especially now that the dollar is so low versus the sterling!!).

On the other hand, I think that when you are going to invest so much money, a little bit (20%? 25%?) more does not make a huge difference. So, you'll hear a lot of people saying "MBA is once in a lifetime" as an excuse to spend more (for instance, signing up for one of the treks).

Finally, bear in mind that London is an expensive city, but salaries are also quite high. So if you plan to stay in London after your MBA, your ROI will be similar to that of other schools.




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