Jolande Bot-Vos

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This year, MSc Management at Imperial was ranked 14th in the world and 2nd in the UK in the Financial Times Master’s in Management ranking. In this interview, I talk to Programme Director Jolande Bot-Vos who explains the programme’s flexible pathways and shares the aspects of the programme she’s most proud of.

Tell me about MSc Management

Academically, MSc Management is a strong programme and this year’s Financial Times ranking shows the strength of the programme.. Students get an important education that covers all aspects of business. It’s also a branded education because Imperial College Business School is part of global-leading Imperial College London.

What opportunities do students have to develop their work experience and practical knowledge on the programme?

MSc Management is also a practical programme and students develop their business experience on Integration moduleswork placements and consulting projects, where students work on a real business problem with a partner company. Past examples include Lamborghini, eHarmony and Ernst & Young as well as smaller start-ups.

We bring a lot of corporate voices into the classroom, bringing with them a lot of knowledge on how to operate in the corporate environment and translate theory into the workplace. Guest speakers this year include the Managing Director of Blackrock, the Chairman of Microsoft Europe and a Partner at McKinsey.

Tell me about the programme’s pathways.

MSc Management is a very flexible programme. We teach key management topics in the core modules, and students can use their electives to specialise and tailor their education to their own development needs and career objectives. After the autumn term, students choose from the following four pathways:

  • Digital Business
  • Energy Business
  • Financial Services
  • Strategy and Leadership

More information on the programme’s pathways can be found here. In the summer, students can choose from a range of electives to further specialise or broaden their management knowledge and skills.

Why is London a great location to study MSc Management?

London is a very diverse and welcoming city, with over 300 languages spoken and 100,000 international students from over 200 countries. As a student in London you get a truly international network.

As well as being home to many companies and organisations, London is also one of the largest financial centres in the world, making it ideal for opportunities to secure internships and future positions. 

London also has a wonderful cultural offering – and most of them are free! The life in London can be very exciting, not only on the social and cultural level, but also the educational part. It’s a wonderful combination of things.

How does the programme reflect the latest developments in management?

Management is constantly changing, and the topics that matter today weren’t relevant 5 years ago and won’t matter in 5 years’ time. Right now, sustainability, big data and analytics are popular topics, and companies want to know how they impact their business now and in the future. We have already incorporated these topics into the programme to prepare students for the workforce.

Global exposure is also an important element of the programme because business is becoming more international, and companies look for employees who understand geographic, cultural and social differences. Students go on a European Immersion trip and can elect to go on an International Study Tour or study abroad at one of our global partner universities.

What are the teaching styles and assessments that students are exposed to on the programme?

The autumn term is a more structured and controlled learning environment before moving into a more independent mode of learning in the summer term, where students get more freedom to apply their learning to business situations. Different learning styles are adopted depending on the topic, and students are exposed to lectures, workshops, case discussions and group work. Students can expect to be assessed by a mixture of coursework and examinations.

As Programme Director, what aspects of the programme are you most proud of?

One of the unique aspects of MSc Management at Imperial is our focus on innovation. We listen to the feedback of students, our Business Advisory Board of senior leaders, and to companies that hire our students, and use that information to innovate the content and structure of our programme to stay at the forefront of education. For example, this year we adjusted the assessment methods and made the programme more flexible, offering more electives.

This innovative spirit is at the heart of the Business School and it’s something I’m very proud of. We also try to instil an innovative drive in our students. Core modules on the programme include Innovation Management and students can elect to study Design Thinking for Innovation in the summer. Prominent MSc Management alumni have taken that innovative spirit and developed their own businesses, for example Rajen Ruparell, co-founder of Groupon International (MSc Management, 2007) and Vibin Joseph, Executive Director, Biozeen (MSc Management, 2008). They embody what we want to achieve on the programme: developing future leaders based on innovative thinking.

What opportunities does MSc Management offer for networking, leadership and commercial awareness?

All are embedded in the programme’s core modules and electives. Guest speakers share their commercial and leadership experience, and their visit offers an opportunity to network with them. We also have networking events and skills development, including careers fairs and company presentations which exposes students to a large number of organisations and industries.

What opportunity do students have for professional and career development?

We have an excellent Careers & Professional Development Service who help our students in two ways. They build relationships with employers and prepare students to be competitive in the selection process. Before students start the programme, they complete pre-programme online modules to build their CV and business profile. Students also take industry courses to learn about different industries and inform their decision-making.

Throughout the academic year, students can access mock interviews, assessments, employer fairs and on-campus company events, as well as join our Career Clubs, to be successful and competitive in their career and professional development process.

Is there anything else you would like to say about MSc Management at Imperial?

What makes our Business School so special is that it is part of Imperial College London, a world-renowned STEM institution. It’s a unique opportunity for students to connect with other disciplines and develop their knowledge and skills in that area. For example, one MSc Management student is conducting his Capstone Project in collaboration with a research group at the Grantham Institute, a world-leading authority in climate change and the environment.

Students can get involved in more than 200 clubs and societies on offer at Imperial for fun and for developing their network, as well as their personal and professional development skills. One example is Imperial College Women in Business. MSc Management offers a great learning environment inside the classroom and an enjoyable experience outside the classroom, as part of Imperial College London.

Learn more about MSc Management at Imperial.

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