It’s the time of year when we celebrate the incredible achievements of the graduating class of 2017 across MBA and MSc programmes at the Dean’s Graduation Reception.
Over 200 graduands joined faculty and staff at the Institute of Directors at 116 Pall Mall. This iconic location provided the perfect backdrop to celebrate the successes of the Business School’s brightest, most innovative and overall outstanding students.
The students recognised at the event are Dean’s Community Award winners, on the Dean’s List, members of the Dean’s Student Advisory Board, Programme prize winners, Student Ambassadors, Student Staff Committee representatives and Student Club leaders.
Professor Francisco Veloso, Dean of the Business School, began his speech with a round of applause to congratulate the group. He said:
We are at this celebration here tonight not with everybody, but with a group that really went above and beyond their line of duty. If you are here today, it’s because you have distinguished yourself in a variety of different ways.
The evening was not only an opportunity to recognise these outstanding students, but to also welcome them to the alumni community. Francisco encouraged the graduands to continue to stay connected to the alumni community both at the Business School and at the wider College more broadly. Francisco said:
One of the things I tell to the students who are starting is that once you start at a school, you never leave. You just change status. Your connection to Imperial College Business School will forever stay with you. It will be part of your life and who you are.
He finished his speech with an important last word, accountability. One of the things we strive for at Imperial College Business School is entrepreneurship and instigating change, and he spoke about holding graduands accountable to these pillars:
Something that hopefully we contribute to you during these years, besides the knowledge, is this sense of responsibility that you want to be an agent for change and hopefully an agent for good. That’s what we’re holding you to, to be that agent of change in whatever organisation you’re in, a start-up, an established firm, a not-for-profit or a social business.
Following his speech, graduands continued into the night, catching up with their former classmates, informing their faculty members and programmes team what they’re getting up to post-MSc and reminiscing about their time at Imperial College Business School.
Meet some of the students honoured at the Dean’s Reception:
Mark Loch, Executive MBA
Mark is graduating on the Dean’s List and top of his Executive MBA class. As the Head of Digital Wallets at Tesco, he is responsible for the Tesco Digital Wallet (Tesco Pay+) and the Payments Strategy across the business.
How would you summarise your experience on the MBA?
Completing an MBA is a big team effort and, from day one, you learn as much from those around you as you do from your lecturers. Differences of opinion, views and thoughts are welcomed and encouraged, all to get to a more rounded understanding across a number of areas. The practical application back into the workplace also ensures your learning is grounded in reality.
The experience is intense, but doing it with like-minded people ensures that it’s manageable and enjoyable at the same time. Lots of early mornings and late nights, whilst having to take exams again, means that you sometimes question your sanity in studying for an MBA, but the learnings you take and the people you meet make it all worthwhile.
Henry Oakes, Full-Time MBA
Henry is graduating on the Dean’s List and is the winner of the Full-Time MBA Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Design Prize. He is the co-founder of start-up TRACK Fintech, along with one of his classmates from the MBA, Byron McCaughey. TRACK is a smart tool to help manage your property finances. Henry is mainly responsible for product, funding and strategy.
What are your programme highlights?
The Imperial Innovation Challenge was hard work but really rewarding. In a ‘Smart Cities’ themed week, interspersed with lectures and talks from leading experts in the field, we had to come up with, research, and pitch a business concept from scratch in front of a panel of judges. It taught me just how much can be achieved in a short space of time.
Only slightly less hectic, and just as insightful, was the Global Experience Week trip to Vietnam. It was an amazing opportunity to really get to know classmates while being immersed in a fascinating developing economy.
Yasemin Ozdogan, MSc Finance
Yasemin is our Brilliant Minds Scholar. Following her MSc Finance, she is an Investment Banking Analyst at Goldman Sachs working on customer retail and healthcare in the Merger & Acquisition team, located in London.
Can you share one piece of advice for prospective students considering an MSc Management at Imperial College Business School?
I know that it’s hard during the studies because it’s a challenging programme. I know there are challenging parts but prospective students have to realise that the network they establish now will be the network they will build their careers in going forward. They have to balance out their lives socially, building close networks with their friends plus they have to make the most out of it; the Careers services, the classes plus the social network they build at Imperial. It’s something permanent and worthwhile that they will have to rely on in their lives.
Sophie Searles, MSc Strategic Marketing
Sophie is the winner of the Best Applied Report on MSc Strategic Marketing. She is now Assistant Product Manager at L’Oreal, working for Armani and Maison Margiela, located in Belgium.
Which of the skills you learnt has been most useful to your new role?
Consumer Behaviour was really helpful. Understanding how consumers think helps as a Product Manager because you have to get feedback from consumers and understand how they’re going to react to a new campaign or any activations.
Nicolas Theis, MSc Management
Nicolas is graduating on the Dean’s List for MSc Management. Post-graduation, he is working at Siemens Management Consulting which provide the management strategy consultancy for the company, located in Munich and serving Siemens globally.
Can you give us an insight on how you managed to balance everything during your MSc?
At the end of the day it’s an MSc and it’s there for you to have fun as well. So sometimes not taking things so seriously or prioritising correctly really helps balance things out.
Lukas Wolff, MSc Business Analytics
Lukas is the winner of the MSc Business Analytics Prize for Best End of Year Report. After finishing his MSc, he did an internship at Amazon in Luxembourg and got offered a full-time role as a Business Intelligence Engineer in the Berlin office.
How did Imperial College Business School Careers help you to secure this role?
They helped me a lot to get the internship and with other applications I had open, but then I decided Amazon because I liked the role the most. The Careers service was very, very detailed. They helped me with my application, they helped me to find out more about the company and they helped me a lot during mock interviews. Without the Careers service it would have been way harder to get this job.
Congratulations and thank you to our Class of 2017!