Last week, we welcomed a diverse new class of 85 entrepreneurial and innovative students as they take the next step to becoming future leaders on our Weekend MBA.
The new Weekend MBA cohort are truly global, representing 31 nationalities. This year we have students commuting to spend one weekend a month at our London campus from all over the globe, including Belgium, Egypt, Germany, France, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Switzerland and Thailand.
31% of the class are female and overall they have an average age of 30. This year’s cohort bring an average seven years’ experience to the classroom.
As the students sat all together for the first time in the Business School at the Induction Week welcome, the room was abuzz with chatter and excitement as they introduced themselves to their peers for the next two years of the programme.
Dean Francisco Veloso opened Induction Week with a warm welcome. He congratulated the new class for being accepted onto the Weekend MBA and paid tribute to their career triumphs that have led them to this point.
Francisco has previously taught Weekend MBA programmes for many years and he reflected that this group are markedly different from candidates of other programmes. These students have to balance the demanding learning experience, which is the MBA, with continuing to work full-time, while at the same time many are starting or already have young families.
Francisco also noted that these candidates have a wealth of wisdom they have gained through their prior experiences. He encouraged the new class to use this wisdom to help them make conscious decisions on organising their time and priorities effectively during the Weekend MBA.
Our recently appointed Associate Dean of Programmes, Leila Guerra, offered a word of encouragement to the candidates. She said:
I don’t want to give you advice, but do have fun. This is an exciting opportunity for you and us. You build lifelong relationships here, not only with the community but also with your peers and alumni. We will help you find those networks in the wider College who are not necessarily in your classroom.
Paolo Taticchi, Director of the Weekend MBA and Global Online MBA, finished the opening speeches. He compared the Weekend MBA journey to climbing Mount Everest:
The feeling today is the feeling of a basecamp. We are here and we are using a lot of energy to get to the top. I wish you keep this level of energy today for the next two years. What’s nice about the backbone of basecamp is that you meet many people, who typically come from many countries. In this journey, you are not going to be alone. The MBA is a personal journey but in a very collaborative environment.
Paolo finished with his top three tips for success on the Weekend MBA:
- I can’t stress enough the importance of networking. I know that all of you are brilliant professionals who can network, but from now on you need to network with a goal. You need to think where you want to be in the next five years and what you can do to get there. You need to look for people who will give you opportunities and network with the right people.
- Part of this journey is setting ambitious goals, I invite you to challenge yourself and go outside your comfort zone – there are many learning opportunities that happen here.
- Spend time with your classmates and make sure it is an enjoyable experience. Developing deep relationships with your classmates is an important asset that will be with you forever and make this experience a more enjoyable one.
The new Weekend MBA class had a full induction schedule over the week packed with learning activities, workshops, industry speakers and networking events to foster a strong bond among the cohort.
Students were eased gently into university life with a return to study session and brought up-to-date with referencing and plagiarism awareness. Imperial College Business School Careers also spent a day introducing the class to the Personal Leadership Journey and sharing the exciting services that are on offer to help them grow as leaders.
Amidst a busy itinerary, the new class managed to fit in lots of fun and socialising at the Welcome Dinner, many drinks receptions and met with other MBA students from across the suite at the iconic Imperial student bar, Eastside.
Abdulrahman Assal – VP of Business Development at Globaltronics S.A.E in Egypt
Abdulrahman will be commuting from Egypt for the Weekend MBA. His educational background is in Electronics and Communications Engineering and Telecommunications. He is the VP of Business Development of his family business, Globaltronics S.A.E, a manufacturer and designer of electricity measurement solutions. He chose to study at Imperial College Business School because he believes it is a prestigious institution that will ensure the best educational experience for its students.
Working in the Electrical Manufacturing industry, how do you hope to relate your MBA studies to your work?
I’m working in my family business. We’re in the phase of regional expansion and introducing new products to our portfolio. Doing an MBA is crucial to equip me with the set of knowledge and skills that I need to perform highly in a managerial position and when dealing with interested investors. I’m eager to acquire this type of knowledge and to build a more international network in addition to increase my exposure.
Mirsad Mustovic – Manager at Hitachi Consulting Co. Ltd in Japan (Bosnian)
Commuting for the Weekend MBA from Japan, Mirsad grew up in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, where he studied Architecture at university. He moved to Japan after receiving a scholarship by the Japanese government in 2006, where he practised as an Architect. Five years ago Mirsad transitioned to consulting, taking his passion for ideas, design thinking and teamwork skills to a new industry.
Living and working in Japan, why did you decide to study your MBA at Imperial College Business School in London?
Imperial for me is interesting because there is a business proposition that I can study without having to relocate. The second thing is that I want to get a foothold in Europe and connect more specifically with UK companies. Imperial has a great brand which is one of the key elements that helped me to decide to go for Imperial.
Melissa Myland – Consultant at QuintilesIMS in United Kingdom
With an educational background in biomedical science and public health, Melissa brings three years’ experience as a Healthcare Consultant to the MBA. Melissa hopes the MBA will enhance her progression towards a leadership role in healthcare, or enable lateral movement to other fields.
Why did you decide to study the Weekend MBA and which part are you most looking forward to?
I really like the Weekend MBA because I don’t want to take a career break and I like the focus on innovation and entrepreneurship. Also the scientific focus is more in my comfort zone, instead of financial focus, I felt welcome as someone without a business background. I’m most looking forward to the electives and being able to specialise a lot further. There is a module on sustainability which I think could be really interesting.
Aleksandra Polak – Senior Associate at Maruta Law Offices in Poland
Aleksandra will be commuting from Poland and brings eight years of experience as a Lawyer to the MBA. Her current role is in Maruta Law Office, one of the best Polish law firms specialising in digital technologies. Aleksandra would like to use the MBA to transition from a law firm to a technology company. Imperial College Business School was the perfect choice with our emphasis on innovation and technology.
What skills are you hoping to gain from your MBA?
More skills and knowledge about technology. Also because I am a lawyer, more finance skills and knowledge of the way organisations are structured and strategic business knowledge. These skills will build on my law background and help me move forward to a business position. I would also like to take the Entrepreneurial Journey elective – where Business School students work with students from other departments to commercialise business ideas. This is very interesting for me because it counts as real business experience.
Dean Robinson – Risk Analytics & Strategy Manager at Cigna in the United Kingdom
After graduating from Heriot-Watt University in 2014 with a BSc Actuarial Science, Dean went to work at health insurance company, Cigna. In his three years of working, Dean has quickly progressed from an Actuarial Trainee to a Risk Analytics and Strategy Manager. Aside from the educational background, Dean is eager to expand his network and learn from people in different industries, his professors and academics.
What do you think will be the most challenging part of the MBA?
Balancing my time. I’m still working full-time so being able to balance the group assignments, individual assignments and exams is going to be really tough so I’m going to have to make sure I structure it properly.