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September is an exciting month for everyone at Imperial College Business School, none more so than our new Full-Time MBA class of 2021-22, who joined us to begin their one-year journey towards becoming future leaders in business and society.

For this exceptional group of bright, forward-thinking individuals, the path has been long and demanding. Against the backdrop of an extremely challenging period globally – their decision to invest in the future and join us in London for this transformational experience is all the more admirable.

Following an exciting period of induction activities taking place around our South Kensington campus, the new cohort are already settling into their rigorous programme of core modules, as well as preparation for their post-MBA careers on the Personal Leadership Journey.

A warm welcome to the entire class of 2021-22! We’re delighted to finally have you with us and look forward to witnessing everything you’ll achieve in the next 12 months and beyond.

What does the new class look like?

Imperial’s commitment to fostering an inclusive and diverse learning environment that all of our students can thrive in is visible across all of our programmes. The Full-Time MBA is no different in this regard, with our class of 2021-22 a truly global cohort. Comprising 53 students from 23 nationalities, they’ll be uniquely placed to learn from one another and develop an international outlook.

In addition to joining us from a geographical spread, the new class has an average of 7 years of work experience from a wide range of sectors including banking/finance, consulting, consumer goods, IT/technology and media/entertainment among others.

Full-Time MBA 2021-22 Class Stats

Full-Time MBA Academic Director, Markus Perkmann, shares his thoughts about the 2021-22 cohort:

This year’s cohort is really excellent. The students encompass a great variety of impressive professional, personal and geographic backgrounds. The pandemic has brought great societal and personal changes, and the coming period will be a time where an innovative mindset and problem solving will be very important.

Beyond that, for each of our MBA students, we aim for our programme to provide them with the opportunity to learn about everything they always wanted to but didn’t have the time or support to do so. The students will use their time at Imperial to discover and develop their interests in the specific subjects in which they want to excel in. And thanks to the diversity and global nature of this class, they will make connections that will last them a lifetime.

Meet some of the Full-Time MBA students in the new class

Alice Connelly FTMBA 21-22

Alice Connelly

Nationality: British

Job prior to the MBA: FX Sales, Sales & Trading, Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Why did you choose to study at Imperial? 

I chose to study at Imperial as I had reached a juncture in my career where I was ready for a change of path. I’ve had the opportunity to work on the trading floor for the last five years, and while this was a great environment to develop my professional skills, I was also able to take a step back and consider what the next steps of my career would be. I decided to embark on an MBA to develop my skillset and open up new opportunities; whether that be working in another industry or starting my own venture. I was keen to study in London and Imperial really stood out as the place I wanted to be due to the enterprising culture and also the focus on championing female entrepreneurs.

What are your long-term career goals and how do you believe the MBA will support them?

Long term I want to be challenged and feel inspired in my career. I was motivated by the fast pace and high pressures that my previous role brought, however I want to have a changing influence on a business at a more strategic level. I am interested in strategy and having a tangible impact by identifying and exploiting a company’s strengths, and finding solutions to rectify its weaknesses, all of which are skills that will be refined and developed through an MBA.

David Rex FTMBA 21-22

David Rex

Nationality: American

Job prior to the MBA: Manager of Technical Support & Channel Development, FareHarbor

Why did you choose to study at Imperial? 

I was looking for a school that offered strong business fundamentals as well as a focus on entrepreneurship. I felt that I possessed strong soft skills, but needed a formal business education to get me to the next steps, and Imperial can offer me just that. Imperial also brings together students from all over the world which makes for an incredibly exciting cohort. I also have always wanted to live in London and this is an incredible opportunity to make the most of the city.

What are your long-term career goals and how do you believe the MBA will support them?

In the long term I would love to start or be a part of a new business, most likely in the tech space. I enjoyed working in a startup environment and I can’t wait to do that again. Imperial will help me grow through activities such as the Entrepreneurial Journey and the School’s overall focus on entrepreneurship. I also plan on taking advantage of the holistic nature of the Imperial Full-Time MBA, between academics, interpersonal skills and the variety of clubs and other ways to get involved. I expect to come out of the programme as a well-rounded business person with greater confidence.

Hannah Lyu FTMBA 21-22

Hannah Lyu

Nationality: Chinese

Job prior to the MBA: Senior Product Manager, DiaSorin

Why did you want to study in London? 

As Samuel Johnson once said, “If a man is tired of London, he is tired of life”. London has a splendid history and diverse culture of its residents, which make it very hard to resist. Imperial College Business School is embedded in a world-class university with a distinguished reputation in medicine, matching my area of interest perfectly. There was no other choice for me but London and Imperial.

What are you most looking forward to in the year ahead?

The fact that I get to learn from the very best excites me the most – in terms of both the faculty and my cohort. I’m hoping that this one-year journey will equip me not just with well-rounded knowledge regarding all aspects of business, but also a valuable chance for me to embrace different cultures and diverse ways of thinking. There is no safer place than a School to challenge oneself and grow, even if it means making mistakes. The experience I expect to gain through the Full-Time MBA will no doubt give me a global perspective and an opportunity to explore, supporting me no matter what my next step might be.

Michael Goeters FTMBA 2021-22

Michael Goeters

Nationality: Mexican

Job prior to the MBA: Product Manager, Grupo Profusa

Why did you want to study in London? 

As a real estate professional, I have to say ‘location, location, location’. London is one of the top global cities in the world. The multicultural ambience that it has makes studying here a truly international experience. In addition, all the most prominent companies have offices here, allowing networking and recruiting to be very accessible. London offers everything I was looking for when I decided to pursue an MBA.

What are you hoping to achieve on the programme?

I hope to achieve personal and professional development and gain the knowledge and skills to become the inclusive and impactful leader that the world´s biggest companies demand today. Learning from my classmates´ experiences, professors´ insights, and all the tools and workshops Imperial offers, I am sure I will achieve it.

Sanjana Sahgal Full-Time MBA 2021-22

Sanjana Sahgal

Nationality: Indian

Job prior to the MBA: Assistant Manager, KPMG

Why did you choose to study at Imperial?

I had reached a point in my career where I knew that I required formal managerial education to generate innovative approaches and tackle modern problems and their ensuing solutions. In light of this, the components and design structure of the MBA programme at Imperial especially stood out because of its focus on innovation, leadership and most importantly- ‘intelligent business’. These characteristics coupled with a clear geographical advantage, made Imperial College Business School the perfect choice to facilitate my career progression. Moreover, the exceptional people-driven culture at the School brings forward a degree of support to incoming students that is, in my view, unmatched!

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

Passionate about diversity and inclusion, I look forward to participating in some of the fantastic Career Clubs at the School including Social Impact & Responsible Business and the Imperial LGBTQ+ Business Club. There are some incredible opportunities, such as “What the tech?”, to immerse yourself in community service by utilising your skills to volunteer and help senior residents in the city with technological problems. The Personal Leadership Journey, the Imperial Innovation Challenge and the international trips are some of the other initiatives I’m really excited about!

Stanley Cookey Full-Time MBA 2021-22

Stanley Cookey

Nationality: Nigerian

Job prior to the MBA: Senior Engagement Manager, Solina Group

How did you come to the decision to study an MBA?

I chose to do an MBA for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I want to strengthen my core skills and knowledge base so that I can better design and implement transformational programs that lead to sustainable change. Secondly, I plan to leverage my programme at a world-renowned school to widen my professional network. Finally, an MBA will give me credibility as I take on more senior roles in my journey towards becoming a global leader.

Why did you want to study in London?

It’s simple really. London, being the heart of the European financial market, will provide me with enormous opportunities to land my dream job. It also happens to be the location of my dream school – Imperial College Business School.

Thijs Deblaere Full-Time MBA 2021-22

Thijs Deblaere

Nationality: Belgian

Job prior to the MBA: Thought Leadership Researcher, Accenture

How did you come to the decision to study an MBA?

With a background in work and organisational psychology and four years of work experience in several parts of Accenture, I realised that while my skills were being finely honed and specialised, I could still markedly improve my business fundamentals. Whether you’re aiming to climb in a corporation or start one from scratch, these fundamentals become increasingly important later in life. This drove me to look at solutions to build these skills. Eventually I settled on Imperial as the best place to do so, as the Full-Time MBA focuses so intently on innovation and technology in a new world – a topic I believe the world needs more experts on.

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

I’ve organised a few meetups for our cohort already and hope to be able to continue to help engage them in activities in settings outside of the classroom - the connections you make during an MBA could last a lifetime! Additionally, I’m scoping out the wide range of societies that Imperial has on offer. I’ve already engaged with the Gaming & eSports (competitive gaming) commentating some matches the Imperial team has played in tournaments, and taken part in a show match myself (which we ended up winning!). I’ve also signed up for the AR & VR society as I’m keen to get a more hands-on understanding of some of the ideas we’ve been toying with in Accenture’s research.

What lies in the year ahead?

The new class have much to look forward to over the next 12 months. In addition to delving deep into complex business topics in their core modules, they’ll have the opportunity to chart their own course through the MBA in the form of electives that span a wide range of topics such as climate change and business strategy, managing negotiations and emerging technologies in marketing to name but a few.

Students will also take part in the Imperial Innovation Challenge, which explores how business insight and innovation can transform society, linking up with some of our incredible STEM researchers and scientists at Imperial College London. They’ll put theory into practice when they take part in the Group Consulting Project or the Entrepreneurial Journey.

Towards the end of the academic year, the students will have the opportunity to complete a personal project or even an internship to help prepare them for the next step in their post-MBA careers.

Living in London gives students the opportunity to take advantage of a truly global city – placing them in a prime position to develop relationships with leading international organisations. The Imperial Careers team are on hand to help nurture these relationships and work with students on a one-to-one basis, developing their goals on a Personal Leadership Journey that will help to define their own leadership style, personal brand and career path.

The Full-Time MBA has been designed around and for our students. Our aim is to develop well-rounded business leaders of the future by equipping them with the latest data and insights from our leading research combined with real-life, practical application. At the end of their programme, the Full-Time MBA 2021-22 cohort will have a comprehensive toolkit that enables decisive decision-making and the ability to deliver impactful outcomes in their future leadership roles.

Here’s to a memorable and life-changing year ahead!

Listen to our podcast, Inside IB, to learn more about how to navigate the application process

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About Glen Mann

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Content Marketing Coordinator working in the Programmes Marketing team at Imperial College Business School