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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 and January 2020.

In September and January, 139 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 2019/2020 combined

Truly putting the ‘global’ in Global Online MBA, students in the September 2019 and January 2020 cohorts represent 47 different nationalities. 70% 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 they hail from.

Global Online MBA 2019/2020 combined 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, 30% of the class is female and the average age in the cohort is 34.

Induction week

The Global Online MBA is a primarily online programme, yet it also includes some key classroom learning experiences. One of these is induction week where we formally welcome students onto campus at the beginning of their MBA.

The Academic 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.

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. By the end of the induction weeks, the new classes 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

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.

Aaron Tang

Nationality: Malaysia
Role: Chief Marketing Officer, Burger King Indonesia
Location: Jakarta

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

Coming from an engineering background, I have always been keen to learn more on business. Beyond knowledge, an MBA for me is about having access to a lifelong intellectual sounding board that is global, and diverse. The GMBA in itself is true to Imperial’s innovative roots. The programme leverages technology in a way that offers versatility, allowing me to integrate extensive learning around my professional and personal commitments. The School excels in combining science and technology with management and entrepreneurship, enabling innovation, sustainability and intelligence in business. That is the future we all aspire toward, what better way to be equipped for that than to kickstart the decade in the right direction!

What did receiving the Deans Excellence scholarship mean to you?

I am humbled and honoured to be learning from and with the best; to be given a scholarship for that, all the more so. I am determined to maximise learnings and draw invaluable experiences from this programme. Having met the faculty and my cohort, I have no doubt it will be an enriching two-years which will probably go by too quickly. I’m truly grateful for this opportunity, I hope to bring meaningful impact to the roles and businesses I operate in going forward.

Jessica Thilaganathan, Global Online MBA

Jessica Thilaganathan

Nationality: British
Role: Medical Communications Specialist
Location: London

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

As a scientist by background, I have worked my way up in the medical communications space to manage teams and large-scale projects, but I lack formal training in marketing, finance or strategy. I decided to do a Global Online MBA for two reasons; primarily because I wanted to engage with a diverse cohort and think about problems from a global to local perspective, as this is a huge challenge for my clients in the pharmaceutical industry and secondly, I needed the flexibility to fit study around a full-time job which involves a lot of travel. Imperial stood out to me because of its reputation in science and technology, as well as the interactive online learning experience and the flexibility to take some modules on campus as a Londoner.

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

I am very excited to learn from other industries throughout the programme, through case studies and examples on the course and conversations with my cohort. I am most looking forward to the entrepreneurship and innovation part of the programme. Considering how the use of technology is constantly evolving I’m hoping these modules will push us to evolve our way of thinking. In addition to the electives, I can’t wait to bring all we’ve learnt to life in the Capstone project and hope to make it on one of the Glocal trips to see how the learnings apply in a real-life setting.

Jack Lim, Global Online MBA

Jack Lim

Nationality: Singaporean
Role: Principal International Auditor, Coca-Cola Company
Location: Singapore

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

The decision of pursuing an MBA comes naturally as I seek to expand the essential skills and knowledge to propel myself as one of the finance leaders within the company. I am an international traveller and my job requires me to travel all around the globe and having an MBA programme which offers flexibility in tackling the curriculum is crucial. Reputation, learning experience and alumni network are important elements I consider in a business school for me. Imperial offers not only the perfect blend of the above, but the School has also been consistently ranked as one of the best in the world. This will certainly raise my career profile and increase my visibility within the business.

How are you hoping to apply your MBA learnings to your role at The Coca-Cola Company?

One of my aims from this MBA journey is to enable myself to identify and have an in-depth knowledge of the existing relationships between the business theories and strategies used in my company. Therefore, I hope with the exposure at Imperial, I will be able to unravel and appreciate how strategies executed in one business unit could be adopted in others, while considering the challenges of the different macro and micro-economic environments to achieve synergies. I’m also expecting to make use of the analytical and problem skills learnt to identify potential areas in existing processes for improvement and/or to create new processes.

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Scholarships available for our January 2021 intake

We are offering scholarships up to £15,000 to our most talented applicants. The deadline to be eligible is 25 September 2020.

About Nicole Pires

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