Imperial College Business School supports a variety of student-led Business School Clubs that aim to bring together both MBA and MSc students with shared interests, values, career aspirations and backgrounds. There are currently 16 different Careers Clubs at the Business School spanning a wide range of interests. The Careers Clubs provide students opportunities to expand their network, gain valuable industry insights, build links with employers.
Our third IB Career Club of the month is the FMCG, Luxury and Retail Club! Candidate Experience Manager Ollie Waite sat down with President, Michelle Tang to discuss the clubs activities and mission statement.
Ollie: Thank you for taking the time to meet with me to discuss everything FMCG, Luxury, and Retail. FMCG of course stands for fast-moving consumer goods, for the purpose of moving fast I will abbreviate you to FMCG Club. For those who may not know what the club is about, could you tell us about your mission statement?
FMCG: The vision of the FMCG, Luxury & Retail Club is to be the student-led organisation that brings inspiration and trends via quality events and active engagement with our members, who have a shared passion in the sectors. The club facilitates exchange between students and companies, bridging the gap between academia and practice.
With our industry knowledge and connections, the club is devoted to delivering the best experience possible to our members, including newsletters on industry opportunities and skills to succeed in the dynamic FMCG/Luxury/Retail sectors under the T-E-C framework:
Strategic watch on Trends, Active member Engagement with visibility, Close industry partnership & connection
Ollie: That’s a very clear and concise vision, and great to hear that your members are at the heart of that. How have are you putting this into practice, what activities have you run?
FMCG: We have run presentations where companies discuss a relevant industry topic of their choice and inform students about entry opportunities, panel discussions where companies (such as L’Oreal, Kraft Heinz, Tesco, LVMH) exchange ideas with students and other companies about industry-specific trends and developments. We have also run workshops, competitions, and hackathons – we got companies involved and held competitions to solve a relevant business case in groups that then pitched to a panel of judges made up of leading industry practitioners.
Ollie: Very nice, it’s good to make some of these activities interactive so I love the use of hackathons, competitions, and panels! Who do you have sitting on your Club Committee putting all these things in motion?
FMCG: Our FMCG, Luxury and Retail Club Committee is made up of:
- President - Michelle Tang (Full-Time MBA)
- Vice President - Magdalena Podkowa (MSc Strategic Marketing)
- Head of FMCG - Julia Schaefer (MSc Strategic Marketing)
- Head of Luxury - Tomiris Abessinova (MSc Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Management)
- Head of Retail - Ivy Chen (Full-Time MBA)
- Head of Events - Marcus Bridgemohansingh (MSc Strategic Marketing)
- Head of Brand Management - Hazy Cheng (MSc Strategic Marketing)
- Head of Social Media - Pia Lessing (MSc Strategic Marketing)
Ollie: Collectively, what would say is your proudest achievement as a club?
FMCG: On top of the increasing number of club members (202 in total) which we are engaging every month through our exclusive industry events, one of the greatest achievements we had is to collaborate with other Careers Club to host events with shared passions and interests. Earlier this year, we organised a cross-club online event with Energy & Sustainability Club around best practices to drive sustainability in retail. The event was well received with positive feedback and excellent engagement with our virtual audience. Around 90 members signed up with a 65% turnout rate. As one of the IB Career Clubs, it’s important not to work in silos, but to understand the needs of members and deliver innovative topics with shared interests.
"As one of the IB Careers Clubs, it's important not to work in silos, but to understand the needs of members and deliver innovative topics with shared interests. We've made a lot of connections with each others and companies that I hope will be long lasting relationships."
Ollie: We love anything that brings people together for a cross-disciplinary approach, so I’m happy to hear you’ve collaborated with other clubs. If someone were to join the club, what can they expect?
FMCG: Members of the club can get first-hand information on potential opportunities in the sector, industry events hosted by partner business schools, weekly social media updates on the latest trends and developments, as well as a monthly newsletter on exclusive insights, a recap of previous club events in the FMCG, Luxury & Retail sector. They can also sign up for all club events, including panels, spotlights, and hackathons and connect with industry professionals and students.
Ollie: As we look towards the end of the academic year, what else have you got planned as a club?
FMCG: Highlight for the rest of the academic year will be our 1st Hackathon with sustainability as the key theme: Re-imagining Sustainable Retail. This is a student-led conference with support from the Student Life team at Imperial College Business School.
Our mission and vision for the 3-day conference are to 1) Increase students’ awareness of SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals), 2) Exchange ideas with business leaders in retail sustainability initiatives, and 3) Unleash creativity in reinventing solutions to solve the world’s pressing issues. There will be keynote speeches, panel discussions, workshops and competitions from leading industry practitioners and partner business schools.
Ollie: To draw us to a close, what would you say to a future student considering joining one of the IB Career Clubs?
FMCG: If you have a passion or interest in any industry, sector or region, joining one of the IB Careers Clubs is the best choice you will ever make. Connect with like-minded students and working professionals with shared passions as yourself, you will be able to broaden your professional network and gain insights into the latest trends and happenings in the areas of your interest! This will also be another benefit to showcase to your future employers that you are on always on top of the industry developments!