As the MBA Class of 1996 celebrate graduating two decades ago, we look back on how things were way back when…
Over the last 20 years London has seen many changes not least in its physical make-up. An explosion in development in the capital has seen the skyline transformed by icon buildings such as the Shard, Heron Tower, the ‘Walkie Talkie’, Olympic stadium, the Orbit, London Eye and who could forget the controversial Millennium Dome. The transport network has received a huge boost from the expansion of the Jubilee line, the development of Crossrail and we now have a contactless payment, all of which helps to transport the ever growing population which hit a 76 year high of 8.6m in 2015*.
The Business School too has seen some changes. In 1996 the ‘Management School’ as it was known then, ran 5 programmes and had just over 2650 alumni. In 2003 the School was given the status equivalent to a Faculty and Professor David Begg was appointed as Principal. Now 14,000 alumni, 13 programmes, three Deans/Principals, one ‘Drum’ and one name change later, Imperial College Business School is an internationally renowned teaching institution with alumni in over 130 countries in all sectors of business.
Twenty years ago also saw over 150 fresh-faced students begin their career-changing MBA journey, and earlier this month they held a reunion dinner to reminisce about the ‘good old days’.
The class of 1996 have gone on to achieve great things, with an impressive roll call of job titles including: CEO, Chairman, Global Business Director, and Vice President across industries as diverse as Government departments, investment and banking, management consultancy, as well as several entrepreneurial start-ups.
Alumni Joanne Linder and Delphine Jegoudez organised the event which brought together 8 former classmates, some of who hadn’t seen each other since they graduated. And this was no mean feat given that the cohort is now spread across 30 countries world-wide! And although not everyone could attend the evening there was a great response to the event and a real momentum to reconnect.
The group met at the new Alumni Visitor Centre at Imperial College for pre-dinner drinks, then headed over the road to the Polish Club, Ognisko, enjoying the unexpected entertainment that a few fires alarms and the fire brigade provided!
Delphine said of the evening: “It has been a real pleasure to attend our class 20 year reunion and I appreciated the Business School being present and so much involved. It made us feel that we belong to the Management School still, after all these years.”
It has also been so comforting to meet with our former colleagues and feel that the bond was still there, such a long time later. We all evolved differently, but it seems we share the same values and drive.
Shabbab Khan, who also attended told us: “Thanks a lot for organising the evening. It was fantastic to get together with my 1996 alumni cohort. Unfortunately we have not been able to meet frequently due to various circumstances such travel and different work opportunities. But it was learning about those circumstances that made the evening so enjoyable. Listening to each other’s stories about what we had done over the past 20 years was enlightening and I was amazed at how differently our careers evolved over those two decades. I hope we will be able to meet more frequently.”
Have you been inspired to catch up with your old classmates? The Alumni Relations Office is always here to help connect you with former classmates and help plan a reunion event. And of course don’t forget the extensive alumni events that the Business School and Imperial College also offer, so wherever you are in the world the Business School alumni network is at your fingertips.
*Source: BBC News