Summer School class

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Summer School at Imperial College Business School is a chance to develop strategic thinking, problem solving skills and learn about yourself in an extremely enriching multicultural environment.

Why leave sunny Spain for Summer School?

Early on my studies, I was fascinated by the impact business strategy can have in a firm, a sector or even on society as a whole. The launch of the iPhone or the ways Amazon has transformed our way of consuming still impress me now.

Moved by this passion and keen on getting a deeper understanding of the underlying fundamentals of strategic management, I decided to take part in the Business Strategy & Consulting Summer School 2017 course, which I’m sure has been an important milestone in my undergraduate studies.

When comparing to similar courses offered by other universities, I saw Imperial as the clear choice because of the level of the faculty and hands-on approach to learning.

The Imperial experience…

The course content was really well structured and allowed us to develop an eye to analyse, and understand very different business models, no matter how much experience we had, or how business-related our background was.

I shall also highlight the quality of the lectures. Unlike in other programmes where lectures are as interactive as a stand-up show, at Imperial every session was an insightful experience. Not only was discussion fostered among students, lecturers, and guest speakers on the issues that matter; but the sheer quality of everyone’s entrepreneurial and professional ventures, were as insightful as the content of the course itself.

In the programme we were taught the importance of following a correct implementation policy for a strategy to be successful. Similarly, this principle on decision-making was continuously applied throughout the course. As above-mentioned, every lecture was unique, also when it comes to methodology. With wide-ranging sessions combining workshops, case studies and trips, we were able to effectively apply the theory learnt throughout the course.

Moreover, another highlight of the Summer School, that I am convinced helped us solidify all the acquired knowledge, was the final project we had to present to Siemens AG General Manager in the UK. It proved to us the importance of delivering a professional and concise presentation in a real-life context, after being embedded in the life of a strategy consultant, with no more clues than what we could retrieve from the annual reports, and Mr. Google.

Identifying issues within the company and developing solutions for it was, challenging, yet extremely rewarding. The degree of complexity of the solutions we came up with were definitely shaped by the team composition. To give you an example, in my team five nationalities were represented and our backgrounds ranged from law to economics. Dealing with different cultural approaches to work made the teamwork a life changing experience.

Living in London

London is great. The cultural offer is extremely wide and always changing. A stay of three weeks will allow you to learn more about the city’s history, architecture, nightlife, and believe it or not, the food. Aside of being a dynamic business hub, London is a cultural hotbed where people from every country on earth share their culture with others, like in the Summer School, which makes it a magnificent city to live in for any period of time.

On top of that, the staff at Imperial organised unforgettable experiences that made us enjoy things to the fullest and that we would not have done otherwise ourselves. Like our visit to the Mercato Metropolitano or the boat party on the River Thames.

The key takeaway…

It is said that with every decision we make in life, over time, we surround ourselves with likeminded people with whom we share ideas, values and interests.

At the Summer School not only this is true, but the experience is also enriched considering that all the students come from widely different backgrounds and countries, with four continents represented in just one classroom.

From the very first day, you will feel how much you can relate to your peers and will be able to share experiences and stories that are as valuable as those Marc Andreessen provides to his investees.

These meaningful friendships developed in the course are what in the end you will carry for longer. It is phenomenal to know that you will have friends to meet in nearly every corner on earth you decide to travel to.

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About Alberto Criado