Komal Bapna, Full-Time MBA student shares her experience of her first 100 days studying the programme at Imperial College Business School.
10 March 2022
It was my dad's birthday. We were just about to cut the birthday cake and I screamed I got in! I am going to London to complete a Full-Time MBA. I am going to be joining Imperial College Business School. That's the moment I knew my life was going to change. Throughout the application process, it was a possibility but now it was happening. I was finally fulfilling my London dream.
The next few months were exactly how you would imagine them to be – very busy. The visa application, the nervous moment when I opened my passport to see if I had received the visa, the endless nights of hustle trying to get my new home in London, and a few trips with close friends and family.
25 August 2022
The day was here. I was all packed, super excited and not nervous but super anxious with Butterflies in my tummy. I remember my family telling me to enjoy this next year; just soak in the experience and not put any pressure on a job/visa or sponsorship. My brother drove myself and my parents to the airport and my cousins and my best friends were all there, waving at me as I departed. Hours later, I landed in London. As I stepped into my mews apartment in Kensington, I felt proud of myself.
5 September 2022
Dressed in my powder pink suit, I walked through the cobbled street to my first day at Imperial College Business School. The next two weeks were a busy and exciting ride as we had an amazing induction planned for us. From the Welcome day at Saatchi Gallery to the adventure team-building trip to Reading – the school and the programme team made sure that I got to know my diverse cohort, that represents 30 nationalities extremely well.
To be honest, I was overwhelmed as I realised it was not just the Business School but the entire university including Royal Colleges and Global Challenge Institutes that I had access to! The induction week introduced me to the endless opportunities and networking available within the Imperial Realm.
By the end of induction, the Business School felt like home. The routine was set, and we went straight into our curriculum. We were thoughtfully split into our diverse study groups to make the most of our peers here at the Business School. The classes had begun, from Business Analytics to my favourite Innovation and Entrepreneurship module – it was all happening and so fast!
To make the most of my time here, I also applied to be a part of the career clubs at the Business School. Being a fintech professional and tech enthusiast, I wanted to be a core part of the Finance Career Club. In a week I was the Head of fintech for the Business School and I was already planning my first event for the Autumn term. While navigating through this new student life, I was also making sure I get the complete essence of living in London! From visiting Richmond Park, and Hampstead Heath to the London markets and South Bank – every weekend I tried to get out and explore the city before the chilly and cozy winters began!
23 October 2022
As weeks passed, Diwali was here. Diwali is one of India's largest festivals celebrated across the globe. It's a festival of lights, a festival to be with your family at home! But this Diwali I was in my new home, London with my new family. But to my pleasant surprise, I missed my family a little less than I imagined, this was thanks to the boat party that our social heads arranged. Dressed in traditional Indian outfits while on the banks of the Thames, we all danced and grooved to Bollywood music all night.
Just when I thought my learning curve was steep enough, it was time for the Imperial Innovation Challenge (IIC). It was going to be held at Scale Space which is a part of the Imperial's White city campus. Scale Space is a very interesting state-of-the-art facility built in collaboration with Blenheim Chalcot. It's not just a co-working space but a community for start-ups to incubate, innovate, grow and scale. As a part of the IIC, we were assigned a team and each team had to work on a complex technology that is still in ideation/design or testing. Within 10 days of not knowing what solar fuels are to my first MIRO board, I pitched to a panel of investors an alternate use of the technology of solar fuel with my five-member team.
With October ending on this note, November started with more than a dozen deadlines and events to look forward to! While trying to sail through the weeks of deadlines and submissions, one particular project that stood out for me was the strategy group project. It was the perfect example of working in ambiguity and under time pressure. As a team, we picked up the video gaming industry to analyse (none of us in the team had direct experience in), and in a week I knew so much about that industry including the top three US publishers and their strategic competence. I also conducted my first fintech panel as a host, themed - Purpose Driven Fintech. What made this term even more special was my first interview experience, I got shortlisted for one of the top entertainment companies in the world and had the opportunity to interview with them while hustling through the course.
Well, I cannot write this blog without the word 'networking'. Though I have been meeting new people every day since I stepped foot in London, the Full-Time MBA also introduced me to speed networking! In the first week of December, the careers team organised an MBA cross-cohort speed networking event - the MBA World Café. It was a wonderful experience to get introduced to Alumni/Weekend and Global MBAs in 10-minute round table sessions. What made the event even more special was that I was covering it live on Imperial College Business School's Instagram as a content creator. In the same week, we also had the MBA winter party – a small celebration of the Autumn term with some mulled wine and Christmas cheer.
16 December 2022
And the day was here, after strenuous two weeks of studying, the social leads planned a Secret Santa Soiree for the class at a fancy venue where we exchanged gifts, laughed all night, reflecting over the term while sipping on Christmas cocktails.
Looking forward to the next 9 months
While that was the Autumn term at Imperial College Business School in 2022, there is so much that I'm looking forward to in 2023. Amongst the zillion things that I am yet to experience in the spring and summer terms, the things I look forward to most in the next 9 months:
Scholars Reception and Winter Ball at the National History Museum
MBA Careers Week
London Tech Trek
Global Experience Week – Rio Di Janeiro, Brazil
The Entrepreneurial Journey
Startup nation elective in Tel Aviv, Israel
The last 100 days summed up as "What we learn with pleasure we never forget." - Alfred Mercie
Blog by Komal Bapna