It was a cold and rainy start to graduation, but no amount of downpour was going dampen the spirits of our excited Class of 2017. It’s that time of year again where we bid farewell to another graduating class, as students from MBA and MSc programmes walked across the stage at Royal Albert Hall and transitioned from students to alumni of Imperial College Business School.

For many students, graduation is bittersweet. It’s the beginning of a whole new realm of career opportunities, progression and personal development. At the same time, students have to say goodbye (for now) to the Business School and their cohort.

Every year, graduation is held at Royal Albert Hall, one of London’s most beautiful and iconic buildings. All our graduates should be immensely proud of achieving a degree from Imperial College London.

At the ceremony, President Alice Gast delivered a speech where she discussed current societal challenges including revolutionary changes in technology and the era of artificial intelligence. She offered a piece of advice for graduates:

As you leave this Royal (Albert) Hall with your Imperial degree, you are prepared to navigate and contribute to this new era. Apply what you have learned both inside and outside this great university to hone your judgment.

At the graduation receptions, graduates had a final chance to meet with their former classmates and faculty mentors and introduce them to their family and friends over canapés and champagne.

Another successful graduation had finished with a huge amount of excitement and anticipation of what’s to come. We can’t wait to follow the careers of the incredible new alumni of the Imperial College Business School.

Meet some of the Class of 2017:

This year’s graduating class gives true meaning to the word ‘global’, representing a staggering 98 countries across Africa, the Americas Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East. The top five countries by most numbers of graduating students are China, Germany, India, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Benedicte Aune

Benedicte Aune, MSc Finance

Investment Banking Analyst at Morgan Stanley in London. Nationality: Norway.

Can you share one piece of advice for prospective students considering an MSc at Imperial College?

 I would start early with planning where you want to apply for jobs and begin preparing your materials way in advance. This will have a huge impact on your ability to spend time on the courses, revising for exams and spending time getting to know fellow students the first semester. 

The thing I will miss the most about Imperial College Business School: The day to day life of going to lectures with my friends and learning from the many world-class lecturers we had. My experience was very social, and it felt like we were a little family. Plus, every day was interesting with new learning challenges.

Diana Copper, Executive MBA

Head of Portfolio Management at Commonwealth Secretariat in London. Nationality: Italy/United Kingdom.

How did your Executive MBA prepare you for this step up in leadership at the Commonwealth Secretariat?

The Executive MBA has given me new knowledge and a great deal of confidence. Since completing the MBA I am more strategic and comfortable with complexity and challenge. I am better able to articulate, evidence and communicate my ideas and be influential in the organisation.

Modules that have been most helpful to prepare me for this role have been organisational behaviour and change management, strategy, international business, sustainability and climate finance. The Executive MBA’s focus on innovation and entrepreneurship has helped me to approach challenges and problem solve in a new way.

The thing I will miss the most about Imperial College Business School: The intellectual stimulation that comes from being in contact with interesting people and ideas. Learning form incredible experts and from my fellow students, and always being challenged and stretched.

Ed Holgate, Global Online MBA

Global Market Manager – Petrochemical & Specialty Catalysts at Shell in Texas. Nationality: United Kingdom.

What is your key takeaway form the Global Online MBA?

The global nature of the cohort gave me powerful insights into the power of diversity and showed me that diverse perspectives lead to better solutions to today’s business challenges. Also, the Global Online MBA opened my eyes to the fact that there is a bigger world out there with infinite opportunities … you just have to be curious and grab them.

The thing I will miss the most about Imperial College Business School: The opportunities to continuously learn and the privilege of working with a truly diverse group of talented peers who will be the global business leaders of the future.

Alison Lane, Full-Time MBA

Analyst Development Specialist at HSBC in London. Nationality: United States.

How did the Careers and Professional Development Service help you secure your post-graduation job?

My careers coach helped me figure out which path to take post MBA. Her advice and counsel was invaluable, from our first Skype session before I moved to London to our continued coffee chats even after I’ve finished the MBA.

Which of the skills you learnt on the MBA will be most useful to your new position?

Balancing multiple projects at once, and working through conflict with multiple stakeholders who have different priorities. On the MBA I had a lot going on, from networking events, social events and extracurricular commitments to classes with multiple project teams and deadlines. On top of that, I was working with a diverse group of classmates from across the world and across cohorts, from the Full-Time MBA to the Executive MBA. These experiences allowed me to build interpersonal and project management skills that I use every day at work.

The thing I will miss the most about Imperial College Business School: The social side – I really enjoyed connecting with my classmates across programmes in the classroom, at events on campus or on trips abroad. Keeping in touch isn’t as easy now that we’re back in full-time jobs all around the world!

Omar Learbuch-Butt, Weekend MBA

Innovation Advisor Imperial College Health Partners and Co-Founder of Episodic in London. Nationality: Netherlands.

Can you tell us more about the start-up you co-founded on the Entrepreneurial Journey Project?

My Entrepreneurial Journey (EJ) syndicate group developed a plan for a digital platform that specialises in serialised literature. The EJ module helped us refine the content of a business plan and ask ourselves the right questions to create a viable business, which has led to the creation of Episodic. We have received our first round of funding which we are putting to use building the digital platform and native applications which is scheduled for completion near the end of the summer.

The thing I will miss the most about Imperial College Business School: Walking through the foyer to lecturers genuinely excited to learn and catch up with friends and also the sense of camaraderie that comes from all going through the same challenge. 

Nicolas Theis, MSc Management

Consultant at Siemens Management Consultant in Munich. Nationality: Luxembourg.

Can you share one piece of advice for prospective students considering an MSc Management at Imperial College Business School?

Think about it hard. Think about what doors this could open and always think two steps ahead. Do not do the Master’s just for the sake doing one but think where you want to go later.

The thing I will miss the most about Imperial College Business School: The people, you really create a tight bond through the programme and extra-curricular activities. Now that I don’t work in London anymore and lots of people are abroad, that’s the sad part – not being able to be with each other on a daily basis and learn from each other.

Charlotte Willems, MSc Strategic Marketing

Brand Specialist at Amazon in London. Nationality: Netherlands

What was the best part of the programme?

The best part of the programme was that it was not too theoretical. You have a lot of practical things you can do. There are so many professors that are so knowledgeable. You can talk to them, everyone is very open and very keen to talk to you outside the normal lectures as well. There is also a lot of international people on the MSc and it’s very interesting and inspiring. You meet so many people and make friends all over the world, which eventually is the downside as everybody moves back but it’s really nice.

The thing I will miss the most about Imperial College Business School: All of the people around you that have super good ideas. The Business School is a really good place to get great opportunities. You have to work for them but they’re also provided to you and that’s such a good opportunity and I would tell other students to go for it.  After you start working you have to really fight for those opportunities, but the Business School has so many resources you can make use of.

Graduation 2018