Full-Time MBA class of 2019-20

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Last week marked a very important milestone for 70 exceptionally bright and motivated professionals – the beginning of their one-year journey on the Full-Time MBA at Imperial College Business School.

After the many hours put into their application, interview and GMAT preparation, meeting us at various events in the UK and internationally, every student in the class was personally selected by us to join this competitive programme.

We are so excited to welcome them to the Business School and to witness these students begin their MBA with us.

What does the new class look like?

At Imperial, we take great pride in our diverse student body. We are firm believers that a diverse classroom stimulates diversity of thought, interesting discussions and learning opportunities for students.

The new Full-Time MBA class of 2019-20 are exceptionally diverse. They represent over 26 nationalities and join us from countries all over the globe. In fact 91% of students come from outside of the UK. The class is also made up of 33% female students.

Meet the Full-Time MBA class 2019-20 map

A truly international bunch, our Full-Time MBA students join us from pockets all over the world

With an average of six years’ work experience, the class come from varied industry backgrounds. The majority come from banking/finance, consulting/professional services, IT/technology/telecoms and pharma/biotech/healthcare.

In terms of degree backgrounds, the highest proportion join us from engineering, followed by business/management, economics and science/medicine. This highlights the draw of the Business School’s connection to STEM as part of Imperial College London.

A busy and exciting induction week

Pursuing an MBA is a huge undertaking, and for many students, they are returning to full-time study after many years in the professional world. The first week of the programme is an induction week, which helps ease students back into studying life, as well as introducing them to the various teams and faculty who will be their support network during the programme.

This is also a time for the students to get to know their syndicate teams and each other in general. On the MBA, strong friendships are made, and it must feel surreal to students that the people in class with them on the first day are their future colleagues and friends for life.

To kick off induction, the Academic Director of the Full-Time MBA, Andreas Eisingerich, offered anecdotes about their forthcoming MBA journey and gave some advice to the students. Here are some of Andreas’ top tips from his welcome speech:

1. Make sure you ask questions

“Here are some very easy wins – listen, pay attention, and ask questions. It’s amazing what people will tell you. This rings true for your friends and colleagues sitting around you, and it also rings true with faculty. Faculty enjoy it when you ask questions. We have faculty who are truly passionate about what they do…these people would love it if you ask questions that are of interest to you.”

2. Be yourself

“Life is too short to pretend that you are someone else, so, be yourself. You made it, you are here! There’s something about you that we loved otherwise you wouldn’t be here in the first place. From day one, just be yourself. Sometimes we have to step outside of our comfort zone and that’s perfectly fine. But as part of this journey, we’re going to have more fun together, and you’re going to get more out of it if you are more yourself.”

3. Utilise your tribe

“Some days of your MBA will be like today – blue skies, white clouds, the birds are chirping, everything runs very smoothly and it’s happy days. And there will be days on the Full-Time MBA that will be wave after wave coming in, that is deadline after deadline. And all I want to say to you is that it’s OK. Life is like that. But the point I want to share with you is you are not alone. Take a good look around this room – this is your tribe. What you are going to get out of this year is up to the individuals in this room and what you make out of it.”

Following his talk, induction was in full swing. Throughout the week students had numerous sessions including pastoral care, library services, personal ethics and core values, as well as workshops on working in teams and unconscious bias training.

Students also spent a full day with our Careers service. Careers will be supporting students throughout the MBA, from one-on-one sessions with their Career Consultants to company visits hosted by our Employer Relations team, so this was an important introduction to set-up at the beginning of the MBA journey.

The week wrapped up with a fun team building day. The class ventured out on an away day to a high ropes course at an outdoor activity centre. Height defying tasks quickly fostered trust, unity and friendships amongst the cohort, and paved the path for comradery and togetherness that will only grow stronger over the year.

Full-Time MBA away day

Meet some of the students in the new class

Oscar Buckle

Nationality: Australian
Job prior to the MBA: Improvement Lead Project Engineer, BHP

Why did you decide to study an MBA and why Imperial College Business School?

The role of innovation and productivity is becoming more important for companies to stay relevant and profitable in today's fast-changing business environment. I am passionate about helping to solve some of the toughest problems we face, and I believe the next generation of business leaders will be required to embrace technology, innovation, and an entrepreneurial spirit. Imperial’s focus on these aspects and the diversity of the cohort made it an obvious choice for me.

How do you plan on getting involved in Imperial life outside the MBA?

An MBA is so much more than just the activities in the classroom. For me, the chance to study at Imperial allows access to one of the world’s most innovative technology and engineering universities. I am excited to be a part of the huge number of clubs, including the innovation and entrepreneurship clubs, and broaden my knowledge outside my field of expertise, attending lectures by some of the best professors in the world.

Hollie Dobson Full-Time MBA

Hollie Dobson

Nationality: British
Job prior to the MBA: Freelance Programme Manager, Facebook

Why did you decide to study an MBA and why Imperial College Business School?

My desire to study an MBA came as a result of reaching a certain point in my career. As I took on more senior roles, I became aware of what felt like a narrowing set of career options. Embarking on an MBA means broadening my horizons and exploring my interests. My background and passion remain at the intersection of arts and technology, so the easiest part of the MBA journey was choosing to study at Imperial College Business School. Imperial’s reputation for technology and innovation was a big draw, as well as its location in London, my favourite cultural melting pot.

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

I hope to be closely involved with the Imperial Enterprise Lab. The lab supports startup collaborations and creates an environment for meeting and working with a diverse range of students across both the Business School and the wider university. I plan to develop an entrepreneurial mindset and strategic skillset to help teams take their ideas further. My previous experience in large corporations has been an incredible journey, and I am ready for something small and dynamic.

Xabier De Aretxabala Full-Time MBA

Xabier De Aretxabala

Nationality: Chilean
Job prior to the MBA: FX Trader at Santander Chile

Why did you decide to study an MBA and why Imperial College Business School?

I’m pursuing an MBA to expand my horizons and acquire the knowledge and perspective I need to continue advancing my professional career, achieving excellent results in different areas and effectively leading teams. An MBA is a major investment in myself and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn from outstanding professionals from around the world. Imperial is the right school for me thanks to its intensive curriculum of core modules and numerous electives that will help me expand my finance knowledge as I train to become a leader in strategy and management. Moreover, Imperial is on the cutting edge of academic research and its scientific focus makes its MBA programme perfect for someone like me.

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

In an intensive MBA programme like Imperial’s, I’m looking forward to everything. But the relevance of group projects is amazing, from day one you start developing tools and networking, necessities for the success of the different group projects, such as the Group Consulting Project. Furthermore, the small class sizes foster a collaborative learning environment where I can build lasting relationships and share my viewpoints with people from around the world and enjoy memorable moments.

Arushi Gupta Full-Time MBA

Arushi Gupta

Nationality: Indian
Job prior to the MBA: Consultant at KPMG

Why did you decide to study an MBA and why Imperial College Business School?

I wanted to hone my leadership skills and critical thinking ability by working in an intensive and challenging environment, which is why I decided to pursue an MBA. I think Imperial College Business School provides the perfect platform to aspire, explore, learn and achieve! Through its well-crafted curriculum, Imperial is building an ever-growing community of influential leaders, and I wanted to benefit from the same. Imperial’s focus on the global industry also resonates with my motive of pursuing an MBA to grow as a global professional.

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

I am really looking forward to learning from the cohort as well as the knowledgeable faculty. It has only been two days since I have arrived, and it feels like there is a world out here that I didn’t know existed! 

Julio Axel Millan Hollsten Full-Time MBA

Julio Axel Millan Hollsten

Nationality: Mexican
Job prior to the MBA: Operations & Logistics Manager at Uber Eats

Why did you decide to study an MBA and why Imperial College Business School?

I decided to study an MBA to obtain the necessary skills and knowledge that will allow me to become a leader within the technology industry and also to help develop the people around me. Imperial will help me expand my network and expose me to different perspectives and solutions to the challenges that communities are facing in a digitised world. I am truly motivated to obtain an MBA from Imperial College Business School so I can fulfil my short, medium and long-term goals. Also, I am motivated to work with recognised and outstanding emerging leaders from all around the globe.

What goals are you hoping to achieve on the programme?

My objective is to create high-value projects to address the most pressing challenges we are facing today by bringing together diverse groups of experts and sharing knowledge with each other. I want to be able to create a productive environment where people can thrive and consequently help my community through job creation and economic growth. In addition, I want to build a network where I can learn from best practices and innovative perspectives from around the world where technological and sociocultural advancements are taking place.

Rhea Singhla Full-Time MBA

Rhea Singhla

Nationality: American
Job prior to the MBA: Senior Consultant at Virtusa

Why did you decide to study an MBA and why Imperial College Business School?

I decided to study an MBA to learn accounting and finance fundamentals while sharpening my leadership and management skills in a global environment. Imperial’s MBA programme stood out to me because the School is a reputable leader in innovation, technology, and entrepreneurship, which aligns perfectly with my pre- and post- MBA goals. Also, with the diverse cohort and faculty that Imperial has to offer, I will be able to learn from their experience and build a strong network. Lastly, I loved the fact that the school is in London, a major international business hub and my favourite European city.

How do you plan on getting involved in Imperial life outside the MBA?

Outside of the MBA programme, I plan on taking on leadership roles for some of the various clubs and organisations such as the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Club. Amongst that I will be actively involved as an ambassador to the Forté Foundation where I will use this platform to promote women in business, build contacts, and find job opportunities for others and myself. Finally, following my passions for innovation and social impact, I plan on starting at least one company with the help of my fellow peers, using resources like the Imperial Enterprise Lab to do so.

About Nicole Pires

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