There are so many incredible experiences on the Imperial Full-Time MBA, in and out of the classroom, the only challenge will be fitting them all in!
Whether you want to develop your data analytics skills, work on a business idea that could become a real business after you graduate, or connect with students in the wider Imperial College, there is an experience perfect for you.
We have compiled a list of five unmissable experiences on the Imperial College Business School Full-Time MBA.
Leveraging data is becoming increasingly pertinent for businesses. Knowing how to use data to solve problems will give MBA candidates a competitive edge in the workplace.
Data Spark is a scheme at the Business School that develops students’ data analytics skills on live client projects. Led by Dr Mark Kennedy (pictured below), Associate Professor and Director of Imperial Business Analytics, the scheme is open to all students on the Full-Time MBA and MSc programmes.
Students were invited to apply for this year’s scheme in October 2017. Projects are six-weeks long and there will be 12 projects in total running from January to June 2018 with 60 students participating.
While we are unable to reveal this year’s client projects just yet, last year the projects included a collaboration with the Royal Bank of Canada on promotion, exit and digitisation in a Global Corporation, and a collaboration with a UK Infrastructure Provider and KPMG on improving customer satisfaction on UK highways.
In addition to the opportunity to get hands-on experience in data analytics, Data Spark also offers students the chance to be a part of the Data Observatory’s work, harnessing the leading research that occurs on campus.
2. Entrepreneurial Journey
The Entrepreneurial Journey is one of the key projects on offer to Full-Time MBA students that focus on building entrepreneurial and teamwork skills. This three-month live entrepreneurial project explores the key challenges of introducing products and services to market.
The Entrepreneurial Journey builds on skills learnt in the Design Thinking for Innovative Problem Solving core module, which teaches students how to use empathy to solve complex problems. It offers students the chance to apply what they have learned on the MBA so far to an entrepreneurial venture that may ultimately lead to a real business venture.
In last year’s Full-Time MBA class, students Byron McCaughey and Henry Oakes came up with the business idea for their business Kahoots in the Entrepreneurial Journey. They presented their business pitch at the Imperial Innovation Pitch Final 2017 and won £10,000 in business funding.
The project also offers the opportunity to connect with the wider Imperial College network and collaborate with researchers and practitioners in the field. Students can also investigate the commercial potential of the project and have their idea developed by one of our project partners, Imperial Innovations and the Royal College of Art.
Full-Time MBA 2017-18 students began working on their projects in January and are currently engaged in their first coaching sessions. In June, students will present their final project pitches.
3. Innovation Challenge
The Innovation Challenge is a weeklong learning experience that gives students the opportunity to apply innovative thinking to complex international issues and generate business solutions.
Run by Professor Erkko Autio and Dr Charlie Donovan, one of the highlights of the Innovation Challenge is the opportunity for students to integrate with other faculties of Imperial College. This year’s guest lecturers included Professor John Polak, from our Faculty of Engineering, as well as external speakers from a range of companies.
Working in new teams for the week, students use the knowledge they quickly acquire to focus on their business model design and financing the venture. They articulate a problem, write a 10-minute pitch of their business model and present their pitch to an alumni panel on the final day, which is followed by a 15-minute Q&A session.
The theme for Innovation Week 2018 was Sustainable Mobility: People and Goods in Transition. The solutions were presented to a panel of Business School alumni judges including Luq Niazi – Global Managing Director for Chemicals & Petroleum Industries at IBM; Lauren Dickerson – Entrepreneur in Residence at Centrica and Co-Founder and Commercial Strategist at Lunagen Ltd; and Diego Bivero-Volpe – CEO and Founder of Volpe.
The winning prize for ‘Greatest Impact’ was awarded to team River Cycle, for their idea to turn harmful plastic waste in rivers into bicycles. The ‘Most Commercial’ prize was awarded to team Geared Up, for their idea based on improving mobility for health workers across developing countries, focusing on Bangladesh.
4. MBA Connect
MBA Connect is a student-led mentoring programme which was founded by former student Byron McCaughey in 2016. Now in its second year, the baton has been passed to Nicole Suen (pictured).
Initially, MBA Connect was formed to bridge Business School students to the wider entrepreneurial community at Imperial College London, by enabling MBA students to support students in the college with their business ideas.
Now in its second year, MBA Connect has been opened to students on the Executive, Global Online and Weekend MBAs. This gives Full-Time MBA students exposure to a wider network of MBA students to connect with.
Nicole has ensured that, in its second year,the programme puts practices into place to ensure MBA Connect is mutually beneficial for MBA and College students. Nicole said:
This year we tried to make it even more two-way beneficial. As well as mentors working to help the mentee, we set up an additional platform – if MBA students are looking a specific skill to help their business idea, for example if they need someone who can help them code for their start-up, they can find these students through MBA Connect.
MBA Connect has continued to rise in popularity, with approximately 40 mentors now supporting the programme. James Hindle is one of this year’s Full-Time MBA mentors. He provides guidance to a team called Tagless, two PhD Chemistry students who have created a product that makes it difficult to apply graffiti to walls and other surfaces. James said:
Imperial is famous for science and technology and I thought MBA Connect was a good opportunity to see some of the exciting things that are going on across Imperial. The Tagless team are both very clever individuals who are going places and the business idea has the opportunity for a lot of growth.
5. Resilient Leadership Programme
The Full-Time MBA programme is an exciting but very intense year. The Resilient Leadership Programme was launched in the academic year 2016-17 to emphasise the importance of integrating fitness and well-being into students’ lives.
The programme aims to help students to be mindful of their wellbeing, to develop good habits for living sustainably and prepare them for resilience throughout their career. This is achieved through a series of workshops, guest speakers, fitness sessions and sports tournaments.
One of the programme highlights is that Fitbit activity trackers are given to all students on the Full-Time MBA. This allows them to monitor their progress on a daily basis and contribute to a class tracker of their combined activity.
Students are set the challenge to collectively run, walk or exercise their way through the distance to and from their Global Experience Week destination. In 2017, the students travelled the 11,468 miles to and from London to Vietnam. In 2018, students will travel the to and from Chile.
The programme has been so successful that it was noticed on the global stage and nominated for an AMBA Excellence Award. AMBA recognised that the Full-Time MBA students embraced the challenge, significantly exceeded their goal and noted the positive impact this had on their wellbeing.