Established in 2020, the Imperial MBA Women’s group was born out of a desire to bring women together from across the MBA programmes at Imperial. A place to facilitate networking beyond the classroom, the group is made up of current MBA students and alumni who talk job opportunities, share advice and support each other while studying at Imperial and beyond.
Joining the group
Created as a space for women to discuss their experience navigating the business world, the group is open to all who identify as a woman and currently study, or have studied, an Imperial MBA programme:
In addition to in-person and online meetups, the group stays active across a variety of platforms, publishing a monthly newsletter, running a successful podcast spearheaded by Samantha Bonnar, Executive MBA class of 2021, and writing on their blog.
"I believe there are common experiences that women who work in business share, and it's important to have a network of people who can relate to the issues you may face in the workplace and provide learnings and insights. Many women at Imperial work in male dominated sectors, and getting advice on how to navigate those environments can help women succeed in their career."
Why join the Imperial MBA Women’s group?
Expand your network
Studying an MBA allows you to connect with a pool of talented professionals in and out of the classroom. With four different MBA programmes on offer at Imperial, that’s a lot of potential connections in a concentrated space.
Weekend MBA student Lizzy Roberts has seen the benefit of being exposed to women across the different programmes:
"I really enjoy how the group spans across all the MBA programmes. We do so much with our specific cohort it's nice to network across the MBA suite, especially since we were so limited to group networking during lockdown."
The group also enables conversations between the cohorts in both a casual and professional setting, giving its members a chance to develop impactful relationships with other women from the Business School. Quinet Enakele who is studying Imperial’s Executive MBA thinks that it’s imperative to have a support network like Imperial MBA Women:
"It’s a platform that provides a connection beyond school or business. It is designed to help women build strong, meaningful relationships that will help them achieve their career goals."
Get access to exciting career opportunities
Networking and job opportunities go hand in hand. So, building relationships with people from outside your regular circle can open doors, which is one major benefit of being part of Imperial MBA Women. Members of the group share job openings at their place of work or alert others to roles that recruiters have sent to them, making the group a resourceful hub of activity for those wanting to change roles. Quinet has received multiple opportunities from referrals in the group:
I have been connected to three job opportunities and am currently in discussions with the hiring managers on next steps. Some women use their influence and work connections to link each other up with recruiters or a job opening at their place of work. As a result, we get details of relevant job openings posted on the platform almost daily for those looking to change careers or for a new job opportunity.
Gain a support system
Balancing an MBA, work and entrepreneurial ventures with your personal life can be challenging. But having a support system of other women that are going through a similar experience can make all the difference. Members of Imperial MBA Women have a lot in common and often use the group to share any difficulties they might be facing, with others being able to offer up advice.
Full-Time MBA student Chloe Zhang has welcomed the exchange of support within the group.
"There are many women related issues, confusions and difficulties in our career development, business and startup fund raising. A platform like Imperial MBA Women is a great community for females to get support and to give support too."
Aside from professional advice, the group encourages its members to chat about all aspects of their lives. Quinet has found that she’s been able to develop deeper connections with fellow members by learning about their interests outside of the MBA:
Women tend to share quite a lot in common and because of the history we share as fellow MBA candidates, we can hold one another up and together to win. It may seem counterintuitive, but speaking about hobbies and interests outside of the business world will enable us develop an even stronger connections and may give one a reason to stay in touch outside of classwork.
The past two years has presented its challenges, but despite this, Lizzy moved halfway across the world from San Francisco to London just before starting the Weekend MBA.
Imperial MBA Women has been so important to me, especially right at the start of lockdown. I moved from San Francisco to London in February, went into lockdown in March, and then started the MBA in April fully remote. The group provided me with an amazing support system of women who I could instantly connect with, who were also going through similar experiences.
Overall, I would say the female friendships and connections that I've made at Imperial have been the highlight of my MBA experience thus far!
You can find out more about Imperial MBA Women on the LinkedIn page.