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When you think of an online MBA, you think an international classroom, diversity of industries and roles, and a myriad of different experiences. This is exceptionally true of our new Global Online MBA class of September 2019-21.

Last week, 77 professionals from all around the world joined us for their Global Online MBA induction week. They spent a week on campus getting acquainted with their classmates for the two-year programme, adjusting back into studying life and enjoying some time in our beautiful South Kensington location.

What does the new Global Online MBA class look like?

Global Online MBA class stats

Truly putting the ‘global’ in Global Online MBA, students on the programme represent 36 different nationalities. 73% of students join us from outside of the UK and travelled many miles to join us for induction week. We have students living in New Zealand, South Africa, Thailand, Malawi and Belize, to name a few of the many different countries.

Global Online MBA Map

On average, the students bring 10 years’ of work experience to the classroom. That combined with a variety of industry backgrounds, with the majority of students coming from pharma/biotech/healthcare, banking/finance and IT/technology, will stimulate colourful class discussions.

In addition, 27% of the class is female and the average age in the cohort is 33.

Induction week

The Global Online MBA is a fully online programme, but we formally welcome students onto campus at the beginning of their MBA for an induction. This week is a chance for the cohort to connect with their classmates, faculty and staff members face-to-face.

In the opening session, the room was abuzz with excitement and chatter as everyone introduced themselves to their classmates. Kickstarting the week, the newly appointed Programme Director, Markus Perkmann, welcomed the new class. As the former Head of the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Department, Markus brings his wealth of experience in entrepreneurship and startups to the role, which will be a valuable asset to our Global Online MBA students.

Commenting on the new class, Markus said:

The new Global Online MBA class is truly impressive. Having talked to them in the classroom and to many of them informally, I am especially impressed with their ambition to learn and self-improve. The class is also very diverse, both geographically and professionally, providing the opportunity to learn from each other and build new connections that will last for their entire career.

Following his speech, the Programmes team led a trading game activity where students, working in groups, had to interact with each other to trade their “resources”. This was the perfect ice breaker, quickly breaking down any nerves or pre-MBA jitters.

Throughout the week, students had a variety of sessions to ease them onto the MBA, including online learning, returning to study and plagiarism awareness. Due to the global nature of the programme and that the majority of coursework is completed in syndicate groups, there was also an afternoon dedicated to diversity and inclusion on identifying strengths in diverse global virtual teams.

Students also spent a day with our Careers service who deliver the Personal Leadership Journey during the MBA. We describe this module as a ‘journey’ because students will spend time being introspective, examining their career up to joining the MBA and what it might look like beyond. This is a hugely important part of the MBA and their personal growth on the programme.

The week also provided plenty of opportunities to socialise and get to know each other at networking events and group dinners. On day two of induction, the students had a special welcome dinner which gave them the opportunity to socialise with Dean Francisco Veloso and Associate Dean Leila Guerra in-person.

By the end of the week, the new class left the Business School with a whole new group of classmates and comrades, ready to take on the two-year Global Online MBA journey.

Meet some of the students in the new class

Aik Wee Lim Global Online MBA

Aik Wee Lim

Nationality: Singaporean
Role: APAC Employment Compliance Counsel, Nike
Location: Singapore

Why did you decide to study a Global Online MBA and why Imperial College Business School?

A lawyer by training, I have no formal training or background in finance, strategy or management. I knew I wanted to pursue an MBA at some point in my career, the initial impetus being that it would complement my background and open new doors for me. Imperial College Business School stood out prominently as I had known some students that graduated from the Global Online MBA and highly recommended it. Also, the delivery of the programme is another major factor as the content, interactive lectures and live sessions will keep learning as engaging as possible.

Which aspect of the programme are you most looking forward to?

I am most looking forward to the entrepreneurship and innovation part of the programme. Considering how technology is now part of our lives, I will relish the opportunity to acquire skills to start my own business.

Giulia Macagno Global Online MBA

Giulia Macagno

Nationality: Italian
Role: Economist, European Investment Bank
Location: Luxembourg

Why did you decide to study a Global Online MBA and why Imperial College Business School?

I have been thinking about doing an MBA for quite some time. Despite having a robust academic background, I felt that a solid understanding of financial, accounting and entrepreneurship would be very useful in my current position and open up new career possibilities. I was also interested in the development of my strategic thinking and leadership skills. After research on the different opportunities available, I concluded that an MBA would provide me with all these competencies and add significant value to my professional profile. An online MBA seemed to be the perfect solution as it provides the flexibility I need to combine study, work and family life. My choice of Imperial was determined by its excellent reputation, strong focus on sustainable business and research, as well as its invaluable network of faculty, alumni and students.

What was the best part of induction week?

The induction week has been a fantastic occasion to meet with my cohort. This is particularly important in an online programme where most of the students are based in different locations. In this sense, I loved all the activities that lead us to know each other such as the initial ice-breaker and the video project by each syndicate group. I also very much appreciated the discussions that took place during the lectures we had during the week. Given the wide diversity of educational and professional backgrounds in the class, I found these discussions extremely enriching.

Cen Liu Global Online MBA

Cen Liu

Nationality: American
Role: Senior Programme Manager, Google
Location: New York City

Why did you decide to study a Global Online MBA and why Imperial College Business School?

I believe an MBA education and networking will accelerate my professional growth and enable me to champion innovation with a business pedigree. My professional background has spanned roles as an engineer, a product manager, project manager and programme manager in the energy, government, blockchain/startup, and technology sectors. Building upon such a diverse background, I can leverage an MBA to systematically sharpen my business acumen while keeping me oriented in technology. The reason why I pursued an MBA at Imperial through its Global Online MBA programme is that my career aspirations, as well as profile, match well with the growth opportunity the College offers with its candidate profile as a leader, an innovator and a collaborator.

What skills are you hoping to gain from your MBA?

I hope to gain both academic and interpersonal skills through my MBA. I have gained business knowledge through various professional endeavours, and it will be a great opportunity for me to formalise business learning in a structured way. On the other hand, the academic knowledge I will gain through the MBA will reinforce my performance at work. Furthermore, I'd like to gain skills in communication, facilitation, and motivation when working with professionals in different industries and from a myriad of backgrounds. These skills will definitely pay dividends for my career advancement.

Daniel Rode Global Online MBA

Daniel Rode

Nationality: German/Russian
Role: Asset Management – Sales Associate, Goldman Sachs
Location: Zurich

Why did you decide to study a Global Online MBA and why Imperial College Business School?

The decision to enrol in the Global Online MBA programme at Imperial came naturally to me, as two things were paramount to my decision. On one side I had high expectations regarding academic excellence and reputation. Both of these aspects are met to the highest degree at Imperial. On the other hand, I wanted to study a programme which would provide me with the necessary degree of flexibility, so I could combine my demanding work schedule with the rigorous academic agenda I was looking for.

Which aspect of the programme are you most looking forward to?

I am excited to work together with a truly global cohort. Most of my peers are experts in their respective fields and are still actively working during their Global Online MBA studies. The structure of the programme provides the unique opportunity of cutting-edge insights into different industries and companies. Furthermore, the academic discussions benefit immensely from the diverse set of experiences. The strong and broad network of Imperial is another aspect, which is adding to the benefits of the programme. To connect and develop relationships with alumni around the world is something I am truly looking forward to.

Lola Ololade Global Online MBA

Lola Adedokun

Nationality: British/Nigerian
Role: Health Economics, Market Access and Reimbursement Lead at Johnson and Johnson
Location: London

Why did you decide to study a Global Online MBA and why Imperial College Business School?

As a growing leader in my organisation, I recognise that I need to develop my business knowledge and management skills. While I’ve been exposed to these informally, I wanted to study an MBA in order to further develop these skills via formal study. Imperial College is world-renowned and was one of the few institutions I researched while exploring MBA routes. I was pleased to discover that a Global Online MBA was offered as this allows me the flexibility to take the MBA part-time and also remotely. Being based in London, the option to undertake some electives on campus also appealed to me as I would benefit from interacting with my colleagues in person and also be able to utilise the College’s facilities. Really a best of both worlds!

How do you plan to get involved in Imperial life outside of the MBA?

There are several opportunities for networking via the different activities going on in the College. I plan to connect with the Alumni team, to share experiences with professionals who have undertaken the MBA.  I also plan to join a student club, in order to connect with others that have similar interests in science and entrepreneurship. Finally, if I have the capacity, I hope to enrol in an evening language course to up-skill my travel vocabulary.

Malik Attar

Nationality: Saudi Arabian
Role: Petroleum Engineer, Saudi ARAMCO
Location: Saudi Arabia

Why did you decide to study a Global Online MBA and why Imperial College Business School?

I come from an engineering background and recently when I was faced with a challenge, I realised that it’s not always finding the most optimal engineering solution but managing one’s resources. Resource management is a major key to any business decision. At that point, I decided to pursue my MBA to learn the tools and skillset in order to enter the business world. I selected Imperial College Business School as my gateway because the programme offers a much more unique experience and an unconventional approach to an MBA. While Imperial is known worldwide and valued for its excellence in science and research, the Business School harvests these principles into their MBA programme, creating a much more innovative and entrepreneurial programme.

Which aspect of the programme are you most looking forward to?

I look forward to multiple networking events and academic lectures, but most notably the Global Experience Week where we will work on a consulting project to deliver business results to a business problem in an emerging economy. This will expose me to a project of my interest, where I am able to leverage my own experience as well as learn from individuals with diverse backgrounds and hands-on operations.  

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Nicole Pires

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