GMBA Meet the Class (image only)


Blog type

From the first class of 98 in September 2020 to another 121 students joining in January 2021 we are delighted to welcome 219 new students to the Global Online MBA class of 2020-22. They have joined us at a time when the value and accessibility of online study is more pertinent than ever, the cohort is full of motivated and diverse students from around the world.

Each student comes with the desire to join a global community of like-minded individuals who’ve made the decision to challenge themselves and invest in their future, despite testing times globally

For the new class, the road to the Global Online MBA at Imperial meant hours of commitment crafting their application (in many cases while working in demanding full-time roles) and interviewing with our specialist admissions panel, all while navigating the process online. An impressive achievement in any circumstance.

Find out more about this inspiring group of future business leaders and hear from them directly about their backgrounds, as well as what drove them to study the Global Online MBA at Imperial.

What does the new class look like?

At Imperial we are committed to creating an environment that gives our students an opportunity to develop and learn with a global perspective – which is supported by the diverse range of students that make up each cohort. The students in the new Global Online MBA class of 2020-22 excel in this area with 53 different nationalities represented across the 219 students in the cohort.

As you might expect, the Global Online MBA class of 2020-22 bring a significant amount of experience across a wide range of industries. Before enrolling on the programme, they accumulated an average of 10 years’ work experience in areas such as banking and finance, consulting/professional services, engineering and healthcare/pharmaceuticals, among others.

The STEM influence that runs throughout the School, due to close ties with Imperial College London, means that we attract many students who worked in in these areas before embarking on the Global Online MBA, as well as those who are interested in continuing their career in STEM industries.

Global Online MBA Meet the class statistics: 219 students, 36% female and 53 nationalities represented
"I would like to welcome this year’s Global Online MBA class. It is a very strong class, and it lives up to the label ‘global’ by being exceptionally diverse in cultural, geographic, and professional terms. They have decided to do their MBA at a particularly critical time, against the background of the global pandemic. Even though their degree is an online degree – and hence very suitable in this particular period – the pandemic will still pose challenges as workplaces, family and personal lives are all affected. Regardless, I am convinced that this year’s class is fully focused on the MBA, and I wish them enjoyment with their studies. Use this time with us for a period of personal and professional growth and delve deep into those areas that have always interested you, whether that is marketing, finance or entrepreneurship. Also, use the time to get to know as many of your colleagues as possible – make those connections that will last you for a lifetime."
Academic Director, Global Online MBA
Markus Perkmann

Meet the Global Online MBA students

Boncicia Tam, Global Online MBA 2020-22, student at Imperial College Business School

Boncica Tam

Role: Program Manager, Boost Group Limited 

Nationality: British


Can you describe your career journey up until now?

I studied my undergraduate in Biology at Imperial College London, during that time I had my first taste of business by running a social enterprise project for three years. After that, I started working in the market technology sector in Asia, designing and implementing client engagement strategies, leading teams through business expansion to exceed business goals. To prepare myself for the next phase of my career,  I have invested in studying project management technologies and techniques to become a Project Management Professional certified. This landed me in my next role in program management where I lead and implament the largest loyalty program in Hong Kong, where half of the population has participated. It was the number one app in Hong Kong in 2020 and we only launched at the end of July 2020. I have now moved into a regional role for APAC, expanding our footprint in South East Asia.

How did you come to the decision of studying an MBA, and why did you choose the Global Online MBA?

Imperial College Business School has a pioneering Global Online MBA programme with a unique balance of core business and technology modules, where I believe it sets the best track for my career to flourish as a leader, an innovator and a collaborator. It has become clear to me that an MBA with Imperial is where I can shape my future professional endeavours in marketing technology, with the support of the new Marketing and Analytics electives available. I'm also looking forward to the Digital Business module as this is where my passion lies. This MBA will unlock doors for me to pursue a position as a female CXO in the future. As of today, there are only 16% female CXOs in the world and it is my ambition to decrease this gender gap, encourage females to pursue a career in technology and build businesses to give back to the community. Since we work and live in a digital age, the Global Online MBA is the best option for me to balance working a full- time job, running a few businesses on the side and passion projects. Through this programme, I hope to be further inspired by the ingenuity of my peers to draw guidance from the reminiscence of others and to reflect upon my practical experiences through the lenses of academic frameworks, so that I may become a better-rounded, better equipped, influencer of tomorrow.

Gabriela Esmeral Herrera, Global Online MBA 2020-22 student at Imperial College Business School

Gabriela Esmeral Herrera 

Nationality: Colombian 

Role: Senior Consultant, Deloitte 

How did you come to the decision of studying an MBA, and why did you choose the Global Online MBA?  

I decided to pursue an MBA to broaden my leadership skills and further develop my knowledge in finance and strategic decision-making. Having worked in infrastructure development for the past four years, I was fairly familiar with the main concepts in funding and finance; however, I lacked structured knowledge of how organisations and companies make decisions and how they tackle business investment challenges when investing in the field.  Therefore, for me pursuing an MBA was a matter of wanting to master the skills and broaden my knowledge to ultimately be in a better position to take on these challenges.  

From the top B-school programmes, Imperial's Global Online MBA stood out as the best option for me because the flexible curriculum and specialised online delivery allow me to hone my understanding of business while continuing to work. In addition, as an international programme, it offered the opportunity to tap into a global, diverse network and engage with students from different backgrounds and experiences.  

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

I have devoted my professional career to working at the intersection of government and business, supporting infrastructure projects that promote private sector participation and generate a positive social impact, and will continue to work in this field after completing the Global Online MBA. For me, the programme is an opportunity not only to enhance my finance, economic and decision-making skills, but more importantly an opportunity to improve my leadership skills and better lead and manage people throughout my career as I move up into senior management and leadership in the next 5-10 years.  

Osaze Osunde, Global Online MBA 2020-22, student at Imperial College Business School

Osaze Osunde

Nationality: Nigeria

Role: Team Lead, Primary Market, The Nigerian Stock Exchange

How did you come to the decision of studying the Global Online MBA?

Following the completion of my undergraduate degree at San Francisco State University in the United States, I made considerable strides establishing myself within the Nigerian Capital Markets originating and executing transactions across sectors. The transition to a Senior Manager/Team Lead position at the Nigerian Stock Exchange following a successful investment banking career spanning over seven years played a prominent role in my decision to pursue an MBA at Imperial College Business School.

Why did you choose to study at Imperial?

The Imperial Global MBA presents a unique opportunity to position me for immediate success due to its diverse cohort base and networking landscape. Imperial is majorly a popular name in the business realm and impacted some of the most prominent alumni in Nigeria. The contribution of Imperial to the greater good of the society within the emerging markets has been significantly influential, guiding my decision to attend the Business School.

Most notably, Imperial is an institution that nurtures one’s entrepreneurial spirit, shapes a leadership approach and is perfectly suited in line with unique career journeys such as mine transitioning into a regulatory role with the Nigerian Stock Exchange. I am excited about the world of new possibilities post-MBA.

Christos Filippidis GMBA 2020-22

Christos Filippidis

Nationality: Greek

Role: Director of Product Marketing, ZeroLight

Can you describe your career journey up until now?

I come from a business background and have had quite a diverse career so far in terms of roles and experiences. My professional journey started while I was still doing my bachelor’s degree at Athens University of Economics and Business. From a young age I knew I was passionate about automotive and that’s why I decided to kick-start my career as a sales and marketing assistant at BMW Group in Greece. The economic crisis in the country created a lot of problematic conditions in the domestic job market and that’s when I decided to move abroad to chase better career opportunities.

My first international business experience was in Austria at the headquarters of KTM Group, Europe’s biggest motorcycle manufacturer, where I served as a Product Marketing Analyst. Within a few months, I was promoted into the Global Product Manager role where I managed the company’s largest product portfolio in terms of revenue.

I then decided to move to the UK in order to expand my knowledge of marketing and new technologies, working as a Global Product Marketing Manager at Triumph Motorcycles. As the pandemic hit the automotive and motorcycle industry particularly hard, there was a clear need for me to redefine my professional plan and search for a career still relevant to automotive, but in a sector offering better prospects. I accepted an offer from ZeroLight - my current employer. In my role as Product Marketing Director, I lead the branding, product marketing and marketing communications activities of the company together with a multinational team of marketing professionals. 

How did you come to the decision of studying an MBA, and why did you choose the Global Online MBA?

My career accelerated very quickly from the very early days and I realised that studying an MBA would be the best way for me to structure and enhance my business thinking. In addition to this, I wanted to improve my leadership skills and learn from knowledgeable professionals about how I could make an impact and drive change for both my organisation and I.

Because I wasn’t in a position to make the time commitment to take a year out of work for a full-time MBA, I decided early on in my decision-making process to do a part-time MBA. I explored lots of different options that were available with various universities and concluded that the Imperial Global Online MBA was the best option for me. I expected the innovative learning environment and flexibility of the Global Online MBA, in combination with the extremely diverse online community of people, to be by far the most enriching class a student can ever experience – an expectation which I have so far found to be reflected in the reality.

Yeside Onafuye Global Online MBA 2020-22

Yeside Onafuye

Nationality: Nigerian

Role: Chief Financial Officer, Zentih General Insurance Company

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

I chose Imperial College Business School for many reasons, but at the top of that list is the evolved views and expectations of the 21st century CFO. CFO’s are no longer considered corporate hideaways who sit in the dark recesses of companies, crunching numbers and emerging only to report on the results of our accounting. We are expected to devise business strategy and actively drive our organisations to the pinnacle of success. That is where my MBA at Imperial College Business School comes in. I believe my being here will thoroughly and effectively equip me for this and place me in a position where I am not just a supporting arm of the business; but the business itself. I believe that the MBA will broaden my view to support the business, not only in strategy development but also with a deeper understanding of marketing, digital transformation, and innovation.

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

I see the MBA as not only an academic degree, but one that exposes me to a diverse network of people from around the world. Learning how to effectively harness the power of many is at the top of my mind. I signed up to be a Student Ambassador, and my intention is to engage and help more people make their programme and school selection easier by sharing my experience. I also have a goal to immerse myself as fully as possible into the experience at Imperial, which will  extend to my guidance of prospective students; looking to distil more than just the academic benefits of the College. I also intend to apply the networking skills encouraged at the School by connecting with Imperial alumni from around the globe.

Vikki Leung Global Online MBA 2020-22

Vikki Leung

Nationality: Singapore

Role: Therapy Development Manager, Medtronic

How did you come to the decision of studying an MBA?

I want to broaden my knowledge base to better understand how the key drivers of the business world relate to each other. Despite having a robust academic and professional background, I recognise that there is more for me to learn to truly excel in my career. I want to better understand how strategic decisions are made by senior management, which would then allow me to steer day-to-day actions in a way which better compliments the goals of the organisation. A top-ranked MBA will not only fill that gap in my experience but provide me with a set of value-added skills that can contribute to an organisation at the decision-making level.

Why did you choose to study at Imperial?

Imperial College Business School drives education through the fusion of business, technology, and an entrepreneurial mindset. With digital technology radically transforming today’s businesses, the school’s vision of equipping leaders in a technology-driven world is certainly a key element that drew me to the programme. The fact that the learning experience focuses on creating leaders with an entrepreneurial mindset will provide me with multidisciplinary training to make management decisions in a dynamic business environment.

Furthermore, the Global Online MBA brings together a high calibre of professionals from around the world. I am drawn to the opportunity of being part of a community of individuals from different industries, locations, and stages of their career.

Xavier Navas Global Online MBA 2020-22

Xavier Navas

Nationality: Ecuadorian

Role: Regional Trade Product Manager Latin America, Citi

Can you describe your career journey up until now?

I was born and raised in Quito, Ecuador. Nevertheless, my deep interest and passion in global financial markets led me to pursue my undergraduate studies abroad in the US and the UK. After internships with an airline company in Spain and with an investment bank in the US, I secured a full-time job as a financial analyst in a rating agency covering structured credit products and financial institutions. Then I decided to join Citi, where I currently work as a Regional Trade Product Manager covering Latin America. We offer and structure working capital solutions to main corporate clients in the region. In a 7-year career with Citi I have had the opportunity to work in Mexico City, Ecuador, and the United States. What I enjoy the most in my current role is the cross-business and cross-country exposure; since I am exposed to both diversity and best global practices.

How did you come to the decision of studying an MBA, and why did you choose the Global Online MBA?

I always had it in my plans to study an MBA; however, I was waiting for the best time to do it. After some years of professional experience at a leading global bank with an accelerated career growth, I realised that for me to continue growing at the same pace, I had to strengthen my skills and knowledge. Thus, an MBA at a leading global university seemed to be the most appropriate choice.

Pursuing an MBA while I continue to work seemed, at first, a hurdle too high to overcome; but I took this as a personal challenge to prove to myself that I can keep up with the fast-paced environment that senior positions demand. The Global Online MBA was the perfect fit for multiple reasons, but the most important one is that it is a programme that truly provides students with the relevant skills to succeed in today’s world, which is significantly different to that of five years or even one year ago. In such a dynamic and technology-led environment, there are new skills and tools for business success that are now very valued by employers, in addition to the core foundations of any MBA programme. The strong focus and reputation of Imperial College in advancement of science and technology makes Imperial College Business School one of the most attractive propositions out there.

In addition to the programme focus, the fact that I am able to interact with people from all over the world is also ideal, as it allows me to continue expanding my network outside my regional boundaries. In addition to diversity and networking, I was also looking to share a class with brilliant individuals but who keep their feet on the ground and have a sensitivity towards social responsibility.

Lastly, I was also looking for a university that has a world-renowned name and will endorse my professional profile with the right credentials, whichever region I go to. The Global Online MBA programme at Imperial is consistently ranked among the top three in the world.

Caroline Ehrman Global Online MBA 2020-22

Caroline Ehrman

Nationality: British

Role: Strategic Communications Manager - International Projects, Cabinet Office

How did you come to the decision of studying an MBA?

I decided to pursue an MBA as I wanted to build on my professional experience by gaining tangible skills that I could apply to my work and bolster my career immediately.

Why did you choose to study at Imperial?

I chose Imperial because it is a world-renowned university known globally for its excellent business school, and I wish to pursue an international career. I chose the Global Online MBA because of its digital nature, providing flexibility to my work but also because it would draw a more international and diverse cohort, from whom I could learn and therefore provide peer knowledge to the MBA that an on-campus MBA might not.

Adaze Aguele Global Online MBA 2020-22

Adaze Aguele

Nationality: British

Role: Head of Economic Development, Government and Regulatory Management at FMDQ Holdings PLC

What is your main motivation for studying the Global Online MBA programme?

My main motivations are the recognition and the opportunity to improve my career trajectory, while being in an environment to expand my knowledge, and gain personal validation, all of which are important factors for me.

The Global Online MBA affords me the opportunity to learn from world-class professors and be involved in a global community that will be of immense value to me. I hope to come away with the confidence to handle things that are outside of my usual areas of expertise and be better equipped to both deal with uncertainty and adapt to change more seamlessly. I aim to speak confidently on strategic matters, transform organisations, mentor the young, develop infrastructure and save the planet from global warming through sustainability.

Did you have any reservations about doing an MBA? How did you overcome them?

I had a lot of reservations, including the COVID -19 pandemic. As a second-generation alumnus candidate (my father is an engineer and did his Master’s at Imperial), I always wanted to follow suit and do my MBA at Imperial College Business School, but did not have the financial resources or time to embark on it. Opportunities kept coming my way, followed by children, making the road to get here quite a long one!

It is indeed a privilege to be on the programme. After an emotional conversation with a considerate member of the Admissions team where I chatted about my reservations around having a tight schedule, young children and no work life balance, I decided to go with the flow. I have deferred many things in my lifetime. This wasn’t going to be one of those. There is a saying in Chinese - 机不可失,时不再来 "don't let an opportunity slip as it may never come again".

Embarking on the Global Online MBA was a life-changing decision. The circumstances around me such as the pandemic, working from home, schooling the kids at home, and hectic work schedules, were enough valid reasons to defer the programme for another year, until enthusiasm and doggedness took over. Even with the hard work, time and brainpower I need to study the Global Online MBA, I am happy with the decision I made.

What lies in the year ahead?

The Global Online MBA 2020-22 cohort will cover a multitude of subjects over the course of their two-year programme. Having already completed several pre-study modules in preparation, the students are now well underway with their first set of core modules in areas such as ‘Marketing Management’ and ‘Managerial Economics’.

As the programme progresses, they can also look forward to enhancing their skills in a chosen set of electives that focus on more specific subject matter such as ‘Advanced Company Valuation’ or ‘Entrepreneurial Finance’.

They’ll also have the opportunity to put theory into practice over the summer period of the second year with an optional independent project that sees them develop specialised expertise by researching a real business issue and influencing commercial outcomes. Projects range from consultancy assignments to theoretical analyses, and are often sponsored by companies. Students may choose to pair with their own organisation for the project, with the flexibility of choice making it an excellent opportunity to link with individual career objectives.

The programme culminates with the Capstone module, in which students are invited to spend a week on campus working in teams with complimentary skillsets to implement knowledge gained from their strategy, finance, innovation, management, entrepreneurship and leadership modules. Alongside a series of lectures on innovation, design, and entrepreneurship, they will ideate and develop an innovation, before creating a business case for it to be realised within a company.

The Global Online MBA has been designed around and for our students. The cutting edge online learning platform that enables students to stay connected with their peers, tutors and the greater Imperial community allows us to deliver a world-class programme that is built around the exact same content as our on-campus MBAs, and delivered by the same experienced teaching faculty.

Using our state-of-the-art online platform The Hub, means that this year’s cohort are in the best position possible to shape both their programme, and their futures, in a manner which not only fits their lives but also matches their career goals.

At the end of their programme, the Global Online MBA 2020-22 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 the year ahead!