This September, Imperial College Business School welcomed a new Full-Time MBA class. The programme is an intensive one year journey which equips the students with tools to develop solutions to emerging global business challenges through the integration of business and technology.
One of the most noticeable things about the new class is the number of women in the cohort. The class is 45% female, which benchmarks favourably against top US schools this year, and other schools in the UK.
Diane Morgan, Associate Dean of Programme explained the importance of aiming for gender parity in the class room: “Empowering ambitious, talented women to achieve their potential and pursue postgraduate management education is a key priority for Imperial College Business School. We know that an MBA can have a huge impact on a woman’s pay and position in her industry and organisation.”
Another striking aspect is the international diversity of the class. 84% of the class come from outside the UK, with 36 different nationalities represented in the cohort. Most students speak two languages – several are fluent in four languages.
“Our international cohort allows our students to learn about the different cultures that their classmates represent,” explains Programme Director Dr Katja Ahoniemi . “It provides our graduates with a very global personal network. Many candidates who have themselves lived only in one country mention our international cohort as something they particularly look forward to learning from.”
Before starting the MBA, the students have been consultants, project managers, lawyers, research scientists, marketers, analysts, managers and entrepreneurs, among others. They’ve joined Imperial from sectors as diverse as banking, consultancies, architecture, energy, consumer, aerospace, engineering, startups and not-for-profits.
More than half the class are 30 or under – the average age is 29 years old. On average, students in the class have six years’ work experience.
Only 15% of the class have an undergraduate degree in business or management, whereas more than half of the class have an undergraduate degree in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) subjects such as computing, product design, agricultural sciences, chemistry and electronic engineering.
For Dr Ahoniemi, the attraction of Imperial for STEM graduates is clear. “MBA candidates who have a prior STEM degree recognise the need for broader business skills to complement, for example, their engineering expertise. The combination of a strong STEM background and knowing how to run a business profitably is something employers greatly value.”
“Bringing STEM students into an MBA classroom,” she adds, “is also a perfect example of merging business and technology, which is something we take pride in at Imperial.”
The class includes a former tennis professional who was a three-time national champion of his country; a gifted engineer and member of the Triple Nine Society whose talents extend to areas as diverse as painting, Kendo and archaeology, and who aspires to launch a nanotechnology venture post-MBA; and a young entrepreneur who has set up a mobile tailoring business and designed and made clothes for clients including MPs and top classical and popular musicians.
Dr Ahoniemi is looking forward to working with the new class: “We are thrilled to have our new cohort here on campus, and look forward to partnering with them on their MBA journey.”
“Quitting my job and moving across the world to pursue an MBA at Imperial College Business School has proven to be one of the most exciting and rewarding decisions I’ve ever made. The cohort and programme team have surpassed my expectations and made my first few weeks in this vibrant city an unforgettable adventure that has already solidified why Imperial College Business School was the right choice for me.”
“You have to trust that making an investment in yourself is worth the uncertainty that comes with that and know you are at a school that is dedicated to helping you achieve success.”
Nicole Moogalian, MBA 2015-16. Nicole has worked in nuclear construction and energy and founded a site chapter of North American Young Generation in Nuclear – post-MBA she aspires to work in clean tech.
“Having spent a month in the MBA programme I can say with certainty that I made the right decision in choosing Imperial. My apprehension upon meeting my cohort for the first time was unnecessary. I realised very quickly that I was embarking on an exciting year with a highly capable, enthusiastic and supportive group of people – from classmates to the Business School team. In a short period of time I have been inspired by new people, new perspectives and new potential career paths. I feel very fortunate to be a part of this MBA 2015 cohort. This is exactly how I want to spend my year.”
Alisa Anantvoranich, MBA 2015-16. A Dot Griffiths scholarship winner, Alisa is a marketing manager from the biotechnology sector who is passionate about innovation and sustainability within agriculture and the food industry.