Weekend MBA class of 2020-21 Zoom

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We are excited to welcome the latest cohort of students to our Weekend MBA class of 2020-21 who are commencing their 21-month MBA journey with us at Imperial College Business School.

Under usual circumstances, we would be welcoming the new class onto our beautiful South Kensington campus for their induction week, with spring’s bloom in full effect charged by the electrifying excitement that surrounds this time of year in London.

While these aren’t usual circumstances, we nonetheless had a wonderful welcome to our class of 98 students who joined us for a remote induction week, eager to begin their Imperial Weekend MBA.

The unique situation hasn’t changed the feeling in the class. In fact, it’s brought students together in a way that only a shared experience can.

Find out who the new class are, what a remote induction looks like and how our Weekend MBA students will be studying remotely one weekend a month, thanks to our Edtech Lab.

Class profile

98 students have joined the Weekend MBA 2020-21. The students who join this programme don’t want to take their foot off the pedal of their career. But at the same time, they want to upskill and be able to apply their MBA learnings in real-time at their work.

This year’s cohort has an average of 7 years’ work experience. Their commitment to accelerate their career development is reflected in their dedication to join a time-demanding MBA programme while juggling full-time work and personal commitments.

Diversity is a key goal for all of our programmes at the Business School, and representing 35 nationalities, this new Weekend MBA cohort is no exception. The majority of students are located in Europe and the UK (55% of the cohort combined), and 19% of students join from Asia/Pacific, 11% from the Americas and 5% from Africa and the Middle East.

Beyond nationalities and location, the cohort also join from a diverse range of sectors. The most common sector is engineering (19% of students), followed by IT/technology/telecoms (17%) and banking/finance (16%). This highlights the attraction of the Business School’s connection to Imperial College London, a top-ranked STEM institute.

Remote induction week

Induction week usually commences with a welcome from Professor Francisco Veloso, Dean of the Business School. This induction was no different, albeit Professor Veloso beaming in from his home to offer his sage advice to students.

The rest of the induction followed very much to suit with the usual icebreakers, sessions on returning to study, introductions with our Student Experience team, the Imperial Enterprise Lab and more. There was even a virtual ‘pub quiz’ after hours, which was a fun way for students to get to know each other outside of the academic setting.

Two in-depth sessions with Imperial College Business School Careers initiated the Personal Leadership Journey, an important module that runs for the duration of the programme to develop students’ leadership capabilities.

Weekend MBA Personal Leadership Journey

On the programme, students work closely in syndicate groups for assessment. Induction provides the opportunity to establish the working and personal relationships that they will rely upon during the programme.

Online ‘breakout rooms’ gave students the opportunity to connect to their syndicate groups and begin forming these relationships. Richa Raval, Weekend MBA student said:

It was exciting to be virtually connected to an enthusiastic, well-rounded and high-calibre cohort, while also learning about the extensive resources available to us as students at Imperial. The ease of communication online between the entire cohort was a pleasant surprise as we were able to connect well and keep a conversation going alongside the presentation, as well as utilise other online tools like quizzes, polls and breakout rooms to create a very interactive experience.

The success of the induction week’s ability to bring students together and make them feel a part of the programme and Business School in a remote environment can also be attributed to our Edtech Lab. Weekend MBA student Fiona Evans said:

Imperial acted effectively, and with amazing support, to get our learning experience remote and help us to network - even if it is virtually.  I think starting this programme we were all eager to meet each other and kick off our journey, so it being virtual was another factor which we all went through together as a cohort.

Our Edtech team have worked tirelessly in previous weeks to adapt the programme to be taught remotely, while ensuring the teaching and student experience is on par with the on-campus delivery. They have pulled off this feat while at the same time moving the teaching of our other 15 on-campus postgraduate programmes to remote delivery format.

The Business School is uniquely positioned to create excellent deliveries of our remote programmes thanks to our Edtech Lab. The team have already designed programmes from the ground-up: our top-ranked Global Online MBA and MSc Business Analytics (online, part-time), as well as the MSc Strategic Marketing (online part-time) programme which launches in September.

While the Weekend MBA temporary transition to remote learning has not been built in the same way as the online programmes – they take considerable resource and time to develop – we can use the same learning technology platform, The Hub, to translate these programmes in a sophisticated way. The below gives a quick snapshot into a module on The Hub:

Unlike online programmes, on the Weekend MBA remote format there is a fixed schedule with regular classes with faculty and classmates taking place via Zoom on the weekends that they would have usually joined us on campus.

Teaching emulates the in-classroom experience with faculty lecturing and leading discussion. Learning is enhanced by our online learning platform, The Hub, but it is not the focal point of students' experience.

Different mediums will be utilised to connect and collaborate – from study groups to events. The quality of teaching delivered on-campus and by remote learning remains the same. Conor McCone, a student on the programme said:

Due to the huge impact COVID-19 has had on societies worldwide, our induction was understandably moved to remote delivery. I was impressed with how well the material was adapted for online delivery. The use of technology and different online tools have kept the induction week fresh and interesting. It's been fun getting to know the cohort through quizzes and informal online chats. That being said, I think we are all looking forward to the opportunity of getting together on campus and meeting face-to-face!

Beyond induction week, students will be studying the programme remotely for part of their studies until the situation evolves. We’re pleased that induction week has been a great indicator for the student’s enthusiasm and confidence in studying remotely for part of their studies.

Meet some of the students in the new class

Fiona Evans, Weekend MBA 2020-21

Fiona Evans

Nationality: British
Location: London
Role: Data Governance Manager, Just Eat

Why did you study the Weekend MBA at Imperial College Business School?

“When choosing an MBA programme, I wanted to be able to continue my career at the same time. This programme provides focused learning whilst being able to create an impact straight away at work. My background is in engineering, technology and now data. Being able to retain that STEM focus was a key determinant for me in looking for a programme. That is what Imperial College Business School provides in abundance, through programme content plus all the extra-curricular opportunities. 

What goals are you hoping to achieve on the programme?

To gain a more commercial understanding and to hone my mindset to create a sustainable career. This programme provides many different facets of leadership from entrepreneurship to innovation to responsibility. I want to take this experience as an opportunity to have the tools and understanding to navigate to my success.

Conor McCone, Weekend MBA 2020-21

Conor McCone

Nationality: Irish
Location: London
Role: UK Carbon Manager, Skanska

Why did you study the Weekend MBA at Imperial College Business School?

For me, one of the biggest factors for choosing the Weekend MBA was that I could stay in employment and apply my learning directly to my role. The diverse range of students' professional backgrounds and industries offer a great opportunity for cross-sector knowledge sharing and networking. I am particularly looking forward to participating in the Entrepreneurial Journey and utilising the range of resources that give Imperial its great reputation for business, technology and innovation.

What goals are you hoping to achieve on the programme?

As a sustainability professional, I want to broaden my skill set in global markets and financial management so I can deliver sustainable strategies that create value and reduce risk.

Richa Raval, Weekend MBA 2020-21

Richa Raval

Nationality: Indian
Location: London
Role: Financial Analyst, American Airlines Group

Why did you study the Weekend MBA at Imperial College Business School?

I chose to study the Weekend MBA as I wanted to advance my leadership and management skills while applying them to my current role. I also wanted to gain the skills to take the leap into the world of innovation, technology and entrepreneurship. I chose Imperial College Business School as it provides a perfect framework that balances excellent academics and research with practical application and support for not only personal and professional growth, but also constant mentorship on the path to entrepreneurship.

How are you hoping to apply your MBA learnings to your role?

In the short term, I am hoping to emerge as a stronger leader and professional in my current role in finance, while also leading innovation and enabling change in the industry. In the long term, I am hoping to take the leap into becoming an entrepreneur and am confident that the MBA will give me a strong foundation to get me started on that path.

Lloyd Rayner Weekend MBA 2020-21

Lloyd Rayner

Nationality: British
Location: London
Role: Program Manager

Why did you study the Weekend MBA at Imperial College Business School?

Imperial was my top choice MBA school, I was attracted by their world-class faculties and strong entrepreneurial environment. Programme content emphasises the intersection of business and technology, which I have a strong interest in. The Weekend MBA being delivered one weekend a month is an extremely appealing factor for those in full-time employment. I knew this was the right place for me.

What goals are you hoping to achieve on the programme?

Overall, I hope to expand my knowledge of my chosen business fields coupled with building a network of highly talented graduates. In the long term. I intend to benefit from the entrepreneurial modules within the programme, with the eventual goal of starting my own business!

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Applications are now open

Would you like to join our Weekend MBA programme? Applications are now open for the April 2021 intake.

About Nicole Pires

Content Marketing Manager
Nicole is the Content Marketing Manager for Programmes Marketing.

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