Earlier this month, we welcomed a new class of 78 dynamic and diverse professionals as they start their one-year journey as students on our Full-Time MBA.
The Business School is committed to achieving gender parity and we’re delighted that this year 44% of the 2017-18 Full-Time MBA class are female. Empowering ambitious talented women with the skills, business acumen and network to achieve their potential in graduate management education and beyond is a crucial step to tackling the global issue of gender equality in business and leadership.
As always, we have a truly diverse cohort. 78% of the class come from outside of the UK with 27 nationalities represented. Between them, 27 different languages are spoken and most students speak two languages or more – 13 students are fluent in four.
The academic backgrounds of the students are just as varied, with only 17% holding an undergraduate degree in business or management. As part of Imperial College London, one of the world’s leading STEM universities, the Business School’s attraction to professionals with prior experience in these subjects is mirrored by the student’s backgrounds – more than a third hold a degree in science, technology, engineering or mathematics.
Before starting the MBA, the students have been consultants, entrepreneurs, doctors, project managers, engineers, marketers, data analysts, managers and even a commanding officer in the army, among others. They’ve joined the Business School from sectors as diverse as energy, start-ups, healthcare, retail, finance, computing, engineering and not-for-profits. With an average age of 28 and an average of six years of work experience, the number of different professions and sectors represented in the class will enhance class discussions over the next year, bringing a range of different perspectives to each topic.
Crispian Poon, one of our new MBA students, can already recognise the value that he will gain from his diverse cohort, “The mantra “an MBA is as much about the networks as it is the academics” is so true – for the first two weeks I have already gained as much knowledge from my cohort as I have from the academic classes.”
Offering a warm welcome, Dean Professor Francisco Veloso, and the Programme Director, Professor Andreas Eisingerich, greeted the new class on the first day of their induction with an introduction to Imperial College London, the Business School and an overview of what they can expect in the exciting year ahead. In particular, Andreas highlighted the valuable network within the room – their MBA family for the next year.
For Natasha Lakhani, her favourite piece of advice for the year ahead came from this welcome, “One of my favourite messages from the Full-Time MBA induction so far, has been how we should collaborate with one another this year, rather than compete with one another. Our cohort is our tribe and I absolutely love that analogy. It’s a great culture to study in, and the support of the cohort is apparent already.”
The new Full-Time MBA class have had a full induction schedule over the last two weeks with daily activities, workshops and networking events designed to accelerate their relationships as a cohort and cover contemporary business topics, such as resilient leadership, personal branding and unconscious bias.
During their first week, the class have heard from Cath Bishop, an Olympic-medal-winning rower and diplomat; spent a day with our Careers & Professional Development Service meeting their individual Careers Consultants; built their professional and personal network with students across all of Imperial’s MBA programmes at our annual BBQ; and had the opportunity to listen to three of our world-leading academics outline their cutting-edge research. They have also spent a day outside developing their teamwork skills, tackling high ropes and obstacle courses.
The students have all joined the Full-Time MBA with ideas of what they want to accomplish in their careers. Almost half of the class are looking to change sector, and over one third are aiming to change the country they will work in after the MBA. With a third of the class interested in starting their own business in the future, the class has a clear entrepreneurial mindset.
Ricardo Diaz, one of our new class of MBA students and recipient of the Entrepreneurship Scholarship, comes to the class as an experienced entrepreneur, “I am very excited to be a part of a global community of highly talented and like-minded individuals; the potential to develop new, exciting and disruptive projects is immense.”
As our students dive into a busy schedule for their opening term, including core modules, a Careers Week and a welcome reception at the neighbouring Natural History Museum, we wish them the best of luck in their time at Imperial College Business School and echo Crystal Grant, Director of Admissions, “We are proud to have admitted such an exceptional cohort. They have incredible potential and we look forward to following their achievements over the next year – and beyond!” If you would like to be part of our next impressive Full-Time MBA class, request a profile review with a member of our Recruitment team to discuss the programme and how to give your application the best chance of success.
After completing her Bachelor’s degree in Management from The London School of Economics & Political Science, Natasha has spent the past seven years working in the Oil & Gas sector for Shell PLC in a variety of finance roles. She worked in Scotland, the Netherlands and Poland before moving to Kuala Lumpur as the Credit Manager for Asia Pacific, where she was Shell’s youngest leader in the region. Prior to joining the MBA programme, Natasha was working as the EMEA Treasury Manager, responsible for formulating financing strategies for over 90 Legal entities and JV interests. She is a member of the National Academy for Gifted & Talented Youth and has been awarded a Forte Foundation Fellowship. Natasha is passionate about the Energy Challenge and hopes to accelerate her career in this sector post-MBA.
Ricardo is currently Co-Founder and CFO/COO at One Leasing and Sky Sense and holds a Family Officer position for Santa Barbara Investments. Born and raised in México City, he has lived in Australia, France, UK and USA. Ricardo holds a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering and a Corporate Finance degree from Universidad Iberoamericana. He has previously worked for YUM! Brands International. With extensive entrepreneurial experience, Ricardo is the first recipient of our new Entrepreneurship scholarship, established to recognise the value that experienced entrepreneurs bring to our cohort. Ricardo is the perfect fit for the Imperial MBA and our inaugural Entrepreneurship Scholarship. An industrial engineer by education, he has built up an impressive entrepreneurial track record – from selling soda at a community swimming pool aged nine, to his current roles as Co-Founder and COO of leasing companies specialising in machinery and renewable energy equipment and managing a large portfolio of diversified investments for his family’s business.
Shirlyn comes to the MBA with four years’ experience in the social impact sector. Shirlyn led a team that established UnLtd Taiwan to empower early stage social entrepreneurs by providing training, mentoring, and networking opportunities. Looking to find better solutions to key issues and optimise the social enterprise ecosystem, Shirlyn plans to use her MBA to continue her impact in social innovation education. Shirlyn is the first recipient of our new Riley Family scholarship.
“From the first day of my induction week, I knew that the one year MBA experience would be colourful and inspiring. The diverse cohort, modules and comprehensive network will provide me with a variety of opportunities to step out of my comfort zone and equip me with all the capabilities and resources that I need to pursue my goals. I just can’t wait to experience the fantastic year!”
Before embarking on an MBA, Christian worked as an Analyst for London based Venture Capital firm Talis Capital, where he was involved with sourcing new investment opportunities, the due diligence process, competitive landscape analysis and market analysis for investment projects. Prior to this, Christian was a fully qualified investment adviser at Berenberg Bank, servicing sophisticated clients with a global reach. As part of the International Key Clients team, he focused on providing investment advice, creating diversified investment portfolios and liquidity management for UHNW individuals and families.
“I am excited about being part of such a forward-thinking cohort and learning from trusted leaders in an establishment known for its ground-breaking innovation and entrepreneurial edge.”
Right after graduating university in 2012, Fiona started working for an international development research organisation in Bangladesh. For two years, she supported senior researchers in evaluating health and nutrition programmes for some of the poorest populations in the country. After that, she went on to found her own social enterprise project that generated employment for trained workers in the apparel sector. In 2016, she moved to the UK and joined a non-profit that supports entrepreneurs in more than 100 developing countries to grow their business through a unique mentoring programme. After building her skills throughout the MBA programme she hopes to return to the non-profit sector.
“Imperial has a strong culture of collaboration. It feels great to be starting an MBA with a group of supportive peers who you know will have your back.”
Crispian Poon studied MEng Electrical Engineering at Imperial College. Shortly after graduation, he began working as a multi-disciplinary engineer at a hybrid electric vehicle research firm and they are sponsoring his MBA. He has spent his career delivering low carbon transports solutions at all levels; ranging from hands-on software design and electronics for hybrid taxis to selling autonomous trucks to top global companies. After completing his MBA, he is looking to assume a strategic management role, helping set the overall direction of the company, as well as guide long-term investment and innovation decisions key to the company’s growth. As an Imperial College London alumnus, Crispian received the Imperial Loyalty Bursary.
“Although it’s only the beginning, the MBA has already opened my eyes to areas I just wouldn’t have been exposed to in my previous career. I really look forward to the exciting year ahead and will make sure I have the chance to practice my new MBA skills on the summer internship!”
Monika Pratiwi has a deep understanding of banking and finance, with almost four years of experience in Corporate Banking and an accounting background. She has always been intrigued by start-ups and has a special interest in technology, which influenced her move to a technology start-up for the six months prior to the MBA. She is undertaking the MBA to sharpen her business and technology acumen and looking to accelerate her career in start-ups or technology after completing the programme. She received a scholarship from Imperial College Business School as well as being a recipient of the Chevening scholarship, the UK Government’s global awards programme. Outside of her career and education, Monika has a profound interest in performance art, particularly musical theatre and orchestra.
“Imperial College Business School is one of the world’s top business schools and is located in the centre of London. I can’t wait to undergo the MBA programme with other amazing fellows coming from so many different countries and backgrounds.”
Diego Martinez Bahena
After obtaining his undergraduate finance degree in Mexico, Diego has performed several roles in the finance industry. From setting up the risk department for a new Mexican bank, to constructing the portfolio strategy of multi-asset total return portfolios in a Global Asset Management Office in Mexico. After graduating from his MBA, he is looking to join a Private Equity Fund based in Mexico and dedicated to developing SME companies in the country.
“Imperial offers an extraordinary MBA programme, not limiting its value to academic excellence, but also considering other important aspects of professional development like career planning and networking.”