In the first term of the Full-Time MBA, Imperial College Business School Careers host a Careers Week with all students on the programme. An important aim of the MBA at Imperial is not only to provide students with a foundation in business, but to also equip them with the leadership skills to launch into meaningful and successful careers.

This formative week feeds into the Personal Leadership Journey, which runs for the duration of the MBA to help students identify their strengths and areas for development in terms of their leadership capability and professional effectiveness.

Careers Week comprises of a mix of compulsory sessions for all students and tailored events and workshops that they can choose depending on their career interests. We look at three of the key events run during Careers Week: the development centre, Entrepreneurs Day and tailored careers sessions.

Development centre

The Full-Time MBA 2018-19 Careers Week kick-started with an intensive two-day development centre, compulsory for all students on the programme. This session is deliberately scheduled early in students’ MBA journey as the intense experience draws out the competencies that are so critical for candidates to work on throughout the MBA.

Marie-Jo Wilson, Assistant Director, Careers Consulting, said:

The Development Centre is a fantastic opportunity for students to experience an intensive Assessment Centre-style activity. Put into teams, working on a business scenario, students practice a variety of skills as they engage in stakeholder meetings, information analysis, problem-solving and ultimately pitch their solution to the client. 

While we have designed the centre for learning development, MBA students enjoy the element of competition and relish the opportunity to achieve success and win the competition!

At the end of the two-day Development Centre, each student receives individual feedback on their strengths and areas for development from a Careers Consultant who has observed them in action.

The areas that are assessed in the centre are:

  • Communication and impact
  • Interpersonal skills and teamwork
  • Commercial awareness and drive to achieve
  • Resilience
  • Creative and analytical thinking
  • Leadership

Marie-Jo said, “Without a doubt, this is the highlight of Careers Week for most students. They really value the opportunity to try out new leadership styles, practice their creative and analytical thinking and hone their team working skills; and getting specific feedback is particularly helpful.”

Entrepreneurs Day

Developing an entrepreneurial mindset is the cornerstone of the Imperial MBA, so it’s only fitting that we dedicate a whole day during Careers Week to entrepreneurship. Imperial Enterprise Lab runs Entrepreneurs Day; they are a College-wide hub who are at the heart of Imperial’s innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem.

Liz Choonara, Head of Programmes & Community at the Enterprise Lab, discusses the value of Entrepreneurs Day:

“We were delighted to run the Entrepreneurs Day masterclass at Enterprise Lab as part of the Full-Time MBA Careers Week. It was great to be able to give these talented MBA students the opportunity to explore what it means to be entrepreneurial in both a corporate and startup setting. These skills are crucial in the development of the next generation of business leaders.”

Vidhi Dwivedi is a Full-Time MBA student who participated in this enriching day at the Enterprise Lab. She says:

It was one of the busiest yet most insightful events during Careers Week in all senses. The session is as useful for a professional like me who wishes to return to the corporate world, as it is for those wanting to start their own business straight out of the MBA.

Vidhi highlights some of her learnings from the day:

  • The Lean Canvas concept – how to recap your entire business on one small page
  • The importance of knowing your early adopters, i.e. those who desperately need the solution you are willing to provide
  • Being an entrepreneur is not about having the perfect idea but rather having the strength to fail, try again and the knowledge and discipline of going through the right process
  • As Professor Davide Turi says, the key is to NEVER fall in love with your first idea

She concludes, “I will always look back on this day at the Enterprise Lab for inspiration for new ideas or challenges in my future career. The learnings of the day are a perfect way to start fresh and think out of the box.”

Tailored careers sessions

With such a diverse class, we offer students a highly personalised and tailored Careers service to suit each students’ needs and interests. During the week, we hosted a variety of specialised sessions for them to choose from.

Whether students want to get into consulting, finance or technology, our employer sessions throughout the week brought in representatives from companies in a range of sectors. This year’s line-up featured Alix Partners, EY, PA Consulting and Amazon. These sessions give students the chance to get a real insight into these industries and explore jobs opportunities in the companies.

Additionally, the Careers service also ran drop-ins for sector-specific careers guidance, skills sessions on interview preparation and panels with professionals from various industries.

Following Careers Week, students meet with their Careers Consultant to complete an Action Plan assignment to reiterate their learnings from the week and form a plan that will put them on their path to becoming a global leader of business and society.

Careers Week is just one element of our MBA students’ Personal Leadership Journey and Careers services available to students. More information on Full-Time MBA Careers here.