Advisoryboard

Established in October 2004, the Alumni Advisory Board (AAB) provides an important vehicle to foster an active relationship between the Business School and our alumni in an advisory capacity.

The AAB serves to:

  • communicate alumni views and interests to the Business School
  • advise and support the Business School in creating and enhancing services and opportunities for alumni, champion the Business School and communicate its vision externally

Alumni Advisory Board members

Chair: Joanne Linder (MBA 1996) is Co-Chair of the AAB, together with Professor Francisco Veloso, Dean of Imperial College Business School.

The AAB is comprised of 16 alumni hailing from the Business School’s varied programmes. They meet three times a year to provide support and advice on a variety of topics.

Please note the Business School is reviewing the AAB’s application process and not accepting new applications at this time.  We will post an update on the application process at a later date.

Meet our current Board members

Anjalika Bardalai, Weekend Executive MBA 2014

 

What is your current role?

Chief Economist and Head of Research at The CityUK

Why did you want to be on the Alumni Advisory Board?

I absolutely loved my time at Imperial, and so I was keen to maintain an active link with the school, and to try to give something back. The ambassadorial aspect appealed to me too—I think the business school has a great offering and I’d love to help champion the brand.

What value do you get from actively maintaining your connection with the Business School and Alumni Network?

Besides the obvious networking and career development opportunities, I value the idea of staying part of a very distinctive community.

What is your fondest memory from your time at the Business School?

I enjoyed almost all of it, but the study tours really stand out. Those inevitable late-night sessions finishing group projects are very memorable too. We may have been tired, but I’ll always remember the fun we had and the crazy conversations that came out of all those long hours we spent working together.

What was the most important learning you took away with you from the Business School?

There were a number of key lessons for me, but most of them come under the theme of discovery. For example, I learned that once you take yourself out of a familiar, comfortable environment, your skill set might get used in unexpected ways and your contributions might be very different to what you anticipate; and that even after many years of work experience, when you think you know your professional interests, you might still end up being intrigued by a subject or idea that you never imagined would grab your attention.

What advice would you give to a prospective student considering studying at the Business School?

Try to engage as much as possible with people who work in completely different industries from you—people who have radically different training and ways of thinking about things. Most of us rarely get that opportunity in our professional lives.

What do you feel is a key consideration that people need to take into account as they develop their career?

In so many fields the professional landscape is now incredibly competitive and is likely to become increasingly so, and so the old model where we study and gain qualifications first and then work seems insufficient. I think that, for better or for worse, we will increasingly have to embrace incremental, long-term development throughout our careers, whether this comes from attaining additional formal qualifications later in one’s career, independent coursework, practical training, or informal study—or a combination of these.

Elynor Chiu, Full-Time MBA 2011

What is your current role?

Managing Director for EC Consulting.

Why did you want to be on the Alumni Advisory Board?

While I am very active in attending and creating events, I am interested in doing more for the alumni network, especially for the Business School.  I am still amazed every time I learn more about Imperial College Business School and its accomplishments. I believe the School has potential to be world-class MBA programme, and I would like to contribute to making this happen.

What value do you get from actively maintaining your connection with the Business School and Alumni Network?

Lots!  Not only is it a way to keep in touch with my cohort, it is a fantastic way to be connected to the community and learn what is new.  The best part though, is meeting our talented alumni and learning how their Imperial experience still contributes to their lives, whether professional or personal.

What is your fondest memory from your time at the Business School?

The rockets we launched in Prince’s Garden the first week of the MBA – and the ensuing police visit!

What was the most important learning you took away with you from the Business School?

How to really concentrate on polishing your strengths – let those tell your story.

What advice would you give to a prospective student considering studying at the Business School?

Sound advice someone gave me the first week that I would like to pass on – you get what you put into it.  So dive in!

What do you feel is a key consideration that people need to take into account as they develop their career?

Patience and resilience.

Salwa F Darraj, MSc Economics and Strategy for Business 2014

 

What is your current role?
I am a Senior Consultant at EY working with the Business Tax Advisory and the Private Client Services practices. In addition to the responsibilities of my position, I am also the leader of EY’s local Women’s Network.

In addition to my role with EY, I am a Fellow at the Chartered Management Institute in the UK and I serve on the Board of Directors and Chair the Finance, Investment, and Resource Development Committee at a non-profit organization.

Why did you want to be on the Alumni Advisory Board?
Joining and graduating from Imperial always gave me a sense of love, pride and belonging, I learnt so much as a student both inside and outside of the classroom, and since graduation I have always tried to stay involved with Imperial. So far I tried to be involved in many Imperial initiatives, including becoming a Student Recruitment Ambassador, supporting the Dean’s Fund, serving as a Student Mentor, and sharing my alumni profile on the website. So I wanted to strengthen my involvement with the Business School by becoming an Alumni Advisory Board member and I believe that this will allow me to contribute to the Board’s vision and strategy, to raise awareness about the Business School, its academic achievements and to benefit the alumni community.

What value do you get from actively maintaining your connection with the Business School and Alumni Network?
Having connections with the Business School allows me to stay informed about all of its new projects and initiatives directed at the alumni community, and gives me a sense of belonging to Imperial.

As for my connections with fellow alumni, apart from the fact that it is always fun to exchange experiences and memories from our time at Imperial, they provide me with a strong and influential professional network that is rich with knowledge, experience, insights, and opportunities.

What is your fondest memory from your time at the Business School?

One of my favourite memories is from the Business Simulation course, where each group had to record a video to present their findings about a project in a fun and creative way. In the end the videos were very untraditional and highlighted the innovative thinking of each group.

Another favourite academic memory was when my group received a special recognition by the Programme Director for our work on the programme’s final Consulting Project during the end of programme celebratory dinner.

What was the most important learning you took away with you from the Business School?
Perseverance, professionalism, a wealth of knowledge and skills, and the ability to maintain a balanced work-life schedule.

Studying at the Business School pushed me to continuously explore. It refined my financial and strategic consulting skills, widened my horizons, and brought out the entrepreneur in me.

What advice would you give to a prospective student considering studying at the Business School?
I would encourage them to make the best out of their time at the Business School and in London, to never miss an opportunity to be involved in the School’s activities, to make friendships that could last a lifetime, and  pursue your dreams.

What do you feel is a key consideration that people need to take into account as they develop their career?
Never shy away from dreaming big and always go after what they want rather than wait for others to help them. Great things will happen to those who pursue them.

My advice is to embrace change and to always be open to new opportunities and new challenges.

You can email Salwa here or connect via LinkedIn.

Andrew Fernando, MSc Finance 2007

What is your current role?

I am a Senior Manager within EY's Advisory practice. I help Tier 1 Investment Banks address strategic and regulatory challenges.

I have worked across various projects which include; Brexit, MiFID II, governance restructuring and the automation of processes within Capital Markets.

Why did you want to be on the Alumni Advisory Board?

The experience and knowledge gained at the Business School helped to accelerate my career. I would now like to take the opportunity to give back to the School’s community by dedicating my time and experience to help the Alumni Advisory Board with their initiatives.

What value do you get from actively maintaining your connection with the Business School and Alumni Network?

Given the evolving financial landscape, having a strong connection with the Business School and Alumni Network is extremely important for your career progression.

For example, the Imperial Alumni network has a vast array of practitioners across various specialisms that can share industry knowledge and discuss cutting edge changes in the market. Also the Imperial network is very much global, which means you have access to this knowledge anywhere in the world.

What is your fondest memory from your time at the Business School?

Being able to meet like-minded students from all over the world and share experiences and ambitions together.

What was the most important learning you took away with you from the Business School?

Never underestimate the power of a good network

What advice would you give to a prospective student considering studying at the Business School?

Imperial College Business School is a fantastic place to study. They have a global reputation for excellence and being invited for an initial interview at a Hedge Fund, Investment Bank or Consultancy firms is easier with the Business School on your CV. They also have a great careers team who can help with interview prep, case studies and negotiating job offers.

However, be prepared to hit the ground running. Most firms start their recruitment cycle within the first few months of term and you will need to balance interviews and course workload effectively.

The programmes at the Business School are demanding, but if you are successful, you will graduate with a degree that is highly desirable among employers.

What do you feel is a key consideration that people need to take into account as they develop their career?

Never stop learning – always strive to further develop yourself by broadening your knowledge.

Yann Helle, Weekend Executive MBA 2010

What is your current role?

Managing Director, 2H Offshore

Why did you want to be on the Alumni Advisory Board?

I consider my time doing the Executive MBA as the hardest and also most fulfilling 2 years of my ‘student’ life. I learnt a lot and this helped me grow to my current position. I really would like to give something back to Imperial College, and I believe the AAB to be a good place to help promote the School, and share my experience.

What value do you get from actively maintaining your connection with the Business School and Alumni Network?
While you get better insight with experience, you never stop learning. I enjoy being able to discuss and share knowledge with other peers coming from multiple background, industries and disciplines. The relationships developed also during my time at the Business School are also very important to me and I believe those are shared values across the School.

What is your fondest memory from your time at the Business School?
Our MBA trip to China was memorable. The lectures were enlightening and we took an extra week while in China to travel around with other students. What a great time!

What was the most important learning you took away with you from the Business School?
Learning to think strategically, looking at the big picture and how to address it.

What advice would you give to a prospective student considering studying at the Business School?
The actual content of the MBA course could be found in 8-10 selected books. However, the key learnings of the Business School is a combination of sharing different experiences and friendship with other students, lecturers and alumni. The networking generated out of this will last a lifetime and for me is a strong consideration for joining the Business School.

What do you feel is a key consideration that people need to take into account as they develop their career?
Be curious, do not stop learning and growing. This is a stepping stone to developing the confidence needed to do what will make you happy.

You can contact Yann via email.

Oliver Inow, Economics and Strategy for Business 2013

What is your current role?
Senior Manager, Management Consulting, KPMG Canada

Why did you want to be on the Alumni Advisory Board?
Imperial College Business School served as a fantastic springboard into my career in consulting with KPMG and I wanted to join the Board to pay forward the opportunities which were given to me and my cohort through serving on the Alumni Advisory Board.

What value do you get from actively maintaining your connection with the Business School and Alumni Network?
The true power and value of my time at the Business School is the network of those who I encountered during my time doing my Masters and beyond. I regularly attend events in Toronto and interact with Imperial alumni in a professional capacity.

What is your fondest memory from your time at the Business School?
My fondest memory is being part of the founding team of the Imperial Enterprise Lab (previously known as IC Startup) and helping to launch the Venture Catalyst Challenge which is still thriving today. Seeing student entrepreneurs shape and pitch their ideas was a fantastic experience and it’s truly a privilege to see some of these companies go on to raise millions of pounds to fund the next growth phases of their respective ventures.

What was the most important learning you took away with you from the Business School?
I learnt the importance of keeping ‘the plates spinning’ as I was heavily involved in a number of areas of life at Imperial whilst undertaking my Masters, working for a technology start-up, and training for the London marathon. It was a hectic year to say the least, but one which I look back on with great pride and a sense of fondness.

What advice would you give to a prospective student considering studying at the Business School?
Take the opportunities presented to you at Imperial with both hands and lean in to your time at the Business School, both in terms of your learning and networking experiences. It wasn’t until I left Imperial that I truly appreciated the London-factor which Imperial provides in terms of networking and career related opportunities. It opened up a lot of doors to me which have enabled me to get to where I am today on my journey.

What do you feel is a key consideration that people need to take into account as they develop their career?
The best piece of advice I was given was ‘you drive your own car and you can drive it as slow or fast as you want’. Finding the right balance which suits your life is key and remember to set your own expectations.

In the wise words of Baz Lurhmann “Don’t waste your time on jealousy; sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind…the race is long, and in the end, it’s only with yourself”.

You can connect with Oliver via LinkedIn

Joanne Linder, Full-Time MBA 1996

What is your current role?

Owner of Smartpitch.

What value do you get out of your Business School and alumni connections?

Completing the MBA, you become part of a group of people that has an enduring respect for one another. This respect has, for me, led to some lasting business relationships and close friendships.

What do you feel is a key consideration that people need to take into account as they develop their career?

Don’t be afraid of change. Grab every opportunity to try something different. Exploring the possibilities will help you discover what you’re best at and what you most enjoy.

What does success mean to you?

Choose your own measures of success, not other peoples, and make space in your life for achieving them. I’ve always been a strong advocate that your career, should, above all else be something you enjoy. Success will follow.

What is your fondest memory from your time at the Business School?

Knowing that whatever we all went on to do, the experience enriched our lives. That we have all been braver with our careers since.

Josh Liu, Full-Time MBA 2005

What is your current role?

Managing Director & Co-founder of Hardware Pro Limited.

Why did you want to be on the Alumni Advisory Board?

I am passionate about entrepreneurship, and I am always looking for opportunities to invest my experience and learning back into the startup community. By remaining active in the community, I keep abreast of which top universities and business schools are starting different initiatives to drive entrepreneurship and innovation.

As an alumnus of the Imperial Business school, I would like to contribute my experience, expertise and networking skills to help Imperial continue leading innovation and entrepreneurship and maintain its position in technology innovation and entrepreneurship.

What value do you get from actively maintaining your connection with the Business School and Alumni Network?

I have extensive experience in entrepreneurship, digital startups and hardware startups. I am confident that I can make significant contributions in those areas. I do not encounter Imperial Business School alumni often in my field. I would love to further engage with alumni in the tech startup field and collaborate with them to promote Imperial.

Since China has become another important hub for innovation, especially for hardware and Internet of Things startups, I have been building strong connections there. I would love to help any groups interested in entrepreneurship, fundraising or the Chinese/Asian market.

I can also help Imperial provide better career services and employer outreach by helping our students engage with tech startups and companies.

What is your fondest memory from your time at the Business School?

I always enjoyed a nice pint of beer in the Queens Gate pub after a long team project discussion.

What was the most important learning you took away with you from the Business School?

I’ve learned that I should not be afraid to be ambitious. Imperial helped me to build my confidence and ignite my entrepreneurial flair. I am willing to take more risk for the ventures I am involved in.

Heather Mack, Weekend Executive MBA 2017

What is your current role?

Project Manager at Facebook. 

Why did you want to be on the Alumni Advisory Board?

I really enjoyed my time at Imperial College Business School and I wanted to maintain my connection by becoming part of the Alumni Advisory Board. I made such great friends from within my cohort, that I also wanted to meet people from across other years, whilst giving back to the School.

What value do you get from actively maintaining your connection with the Business School and Alumni Network?

It’s great to hear what other people have achieved since leaving the Business School, and it’s a strong reminder that I should continue to push myself and make sure I’m putting my knowledge in to practice.

What is your fondest memory from your time at the Business School?

My Global Experience Week in South Africa and Botswana was amazing. On no other occasion could I have had the opportunity to visit a diamond mine and experience the huge scale of the mine, where dumper trucks, whose tyres were three times my height, looked like tiny Lego toys when looking down in to the depths of the mine from the top.

What was the most important learning you took away with you from the Business School?

I learnt that I can make time for the things that are important to me, and that with the right approach you can juggle work, relationship and friendship commitments.

What advice would you give to a prospective student considering studying at the Business School?

Don’t believe some of the myths; you can make the MBA work for you and it will be a life-changing experience.

What do you feel is a key consideration that people need to take into account as they develop their career?

Make sure you don’t pigeon hole yourself and impose your own glass ceiling. Talk to the right people and find a sponsor, if necessary, who can open doors and help support you in getting to the next level.

Adrian Matze, Risk Management & Financial Engineering 2014

What is your current role?

Economist, New Business Development at Shell.

Why did you want to be on the Alumni Advisory Board?

I am the main coordinator of the Imperial College London alumni network in the Netherlands. We champion a lifelong relationship between Imperial College London and its alumni in the Netherlands. I would like to take my connection with the Business School to a higher level. Joining the Alumni Advisory Board gives me the chance to help to expand the reach and impact of Imperial’s alumni network on a global level.

What value do you get from actively maintaining your connection with the Business School and Alumni Network?

Every time when I attend alumni gatherings I meet new fellow alumni. All of them have different backgrounds, career paths and life goals, but have one thing in common: Imperial College London. Conversations with other alumni help me to reflect on my own ambitions and ignite new ideas.

What is your fondest memory from your time at the Business School?

Syndicate group work! Although the assignments were tough and time-consuming, through syndicate group work I was able to achieve course objectives and learn more deeply by greater peer interaction. Additionally, syndicate group work resulted in enhanced social cohesion. For example, I will never forget the syndicate group takeaway lunches we had in the garden of the Natural History Museum and the pizzas we got delivered at the Library café.

What was the most important learning you took away with you from the Business School?

Keep reinventing yourself, stay open to new and different ideas and embrace change.

What advice would you give to a prospective student considering studying at the Business School?

Unique opportunities do not come everyday, recognise them and when the opportunity presents itself seize them with every chance you get.

What do you feel is a key consideration that people need to take into account as they develop their career?

It is never too late to explore a career transition, but do not underestimate the value of a network. Regardless, of your abilities, starting in a new field can be a complicated process. Try to find an experienced guide to help you navigate and discover who you want to emulate. For example, look for a mentor who is focused on helping you achieve your goals and does not want to push his or her own agenda.

You can connect with Adrian on LinkedIn here

 

Victoria Reanney, Executive MBA 2005

What is your current role?

Internal Audit at ANZ.

Why did you want to be on the Alumni Advisory Board?

I really enjoyed my time at the Business School and gained a great deal out of the experience. The Business School continues to go from strength to strength and I wanted to be part of the Alumni Advisory Board so that I could help to shape the direction of the strategy going forward and share insights about industries that I have worked in throughout my career.

What value do you get from actively maintaining your connection with the Business School and Alumni Network?

Maintaining your connection with the Business School and the Alumni Network means that you have access to fantastic facilities and resources as well as an amazing network of talented people to help you continually learn and develop your career.

What is your fondest memory from your time at the Business School?

Meeting and working with a group of like-minded people from a number of different backgrounds and industries who were looking to learn and take on new challenges.

What was the most important learning you took away with you from the Business School?

That you can do anything in your career if you really want to and you put your mind to it. Completing an MBA enabled me to think outside the box and not limit myself to a specific career path as I result I have been motivated to take on interesting and varied roles.

What advice would you give to a prospective student considering studying at the Business School?

Really make the most of every opportunity. The Business School has great facilities and resources that you are able to take advantage of. Also take the opportunity to build some good networks which will endure long after you have completed the course.

What do you feel is a key consideration that people need to take into account as they develop their career?

Continue to be curious and always look for new challenges. Do not be afraid to take risks in your career as it is the only way that you truly develop and grow.

Melanie York, Full-Time MBA 1993

What is your current role?

Owner of My Marketing Communications Ltd.

Why did you want to be on the Alumni Advisory Board?

I undertook the MBA in order to switch careers from science into business and marketing. The course and name of Imperial College enabled me to do so.  I would like to give back to the Business School in acknowledgement of helping me achieve this career goal.  Also I thoroughly enjoyed my time as Vice President of the (early) MBA Alumni association and have noted with increasing pleasure the direction the Alumni Advisory Board has taken over the years. I remain passionate about what it can do for the Business School, for its students and alumni.

In recent years through One Young World I have worked closely with millennials and have developed an understanding of their desire, for change in society and in business, and their belief that technology is a key enabler in helping them achieve the changes they seek.  So I am interested to explore how the School will meet the unique needs of these young people in the future and to offer my experience and skills to improve theirs.

Those alumni who graduated around the same time as myself, are seeking new directions in their careers; some into entrepreneurship, some into greater social business ventures, some a completely new career path.  I am keen to explore how the AAB is supporting such transitions and what more can be done to help and re-engage them with the School.  A lot has been achieved already and I am sure much is planned by the School. I am also keen to explore what more can be done for those alumni who now live overseas. All this to encourage greater success for, and stronger engagement by some of these “older” alumni, who I am sure have more to give in supporting the School’s ambitions and that of their fellow alumni.

What value do you get from actively maintaining your connection with the Business School and Alumni Network?

I have met and retain fantastic relations with people from my course, through my involvement on the early Alumni Association Board. I have also had great access to continuing education and support through completing a Brand Marketing Course, and using the excellent Careers and Professional Development Service.

What is your fondest memory from your time at the Business School?

My fondest memory is the team competition to transport a bucket of water around an obstacle course, including over a high wire, in the shortest time trying not to spill anything. It was the first opportunity to see this innovative, fun, collaborative and supportive group of talented students work together. That inventive team spirit was echoed throughout the year and left a lasting impression.

What was the most important learning you took away with you from the Business School?

Be passionate about what you do and the people you work with.

What advice would you give to a prospective student considering studying at the Business School?

Be prepared to work hard and learn a lot. The knowledge gained will help you as you embark on the next phase of your career. However the people you meet and the connections you make will be important throughout your life so work hard to build and maintain those relationships both at the School and beyond. They are invaluable.

What do you feel is a key consideration that people need to take into account as they develop their career?

Focus on what you are truly passionate about, and keep learning. The MBA teaches you about business and just as importantly gives you the opportunity to meet people from different backgrounds and different industries. Use this time to work out what you really enjoy doing and afterwards continue to take every opportunity throughout your career to keep learning, exploring and growing.