Last week, we welcomed a diverse new class of 60 intelligent students as they take the next step to becoming international leaders of business and society on our Global Online MBA.

The on-campus Induction Week kick-starts the Global Online MBA, giving students the chance to meet their peers and faculty in-person, who they will be working with online for the next two years. Students are also introduced to their assigned syndicate groups, who they will work with closely on group projects.

Find out more about the new class, what they got up to during Induction Week and meet some of the students.

Class profile

38% of the class is female. As we strive towards gender parity across our programmes, we are happy to see this number continue to increase with each class.

The cohort has an average age of 35 and students bring an average of 11 years’ experience to the classroom, with backgrounds in a variety of industries. It is certain that students will benefit from the varied experience and wide breadth of knowledge of their peers.

The uniqueness of this MBA is its flexibility. Over two years, students study the programme completely in our bespoke online learning environment, with one more campus visit for at the end of the MBA for the Capstone Business Game.

This structure allows MBA candidates to study from anywhere in the world with ease, and the new class truly put the ‘global’ in the Global Online MBA. There are 26 nationalities represented in the class, with 72% of students coming from outside of the UK.

In an icebreaker activity, students called out the different countries and locations they hail from. Some of the highlights include “from the United States but living in Afghanistan”, “from Bahrain and live in Kuwait”, “French and living in Sweden”,from London but I work in Iran”, “I’m Japanese living in Japan”, “Italian”, “originally from New Zealand but I live in London”, “I’m from Nigeria”, and so it went.

Paolo Taticchi, Programme Director of the Global Online MBA, comments on the new class:

The January 2019 cohort of the Global Online MBA is again an impressive group of talented individuals. Having spent a lot of time with them during induction week, I can say I’m impressed by their determination, ambition and commitment to study. An incredibly diverse group, that reflect well the values of Imperial College London and the caliber of our students.

You can view more stats of the Global Online MBA class here »

Induction Week

The excitement in the Induction Week lecture theatre before the opening session was contagious – the whole room abuzz with the sound of chatter as students took a seat and introduced themselves to their neighbours, future colleagues and friends for life.

Francisco Veloso, Dean of the Business School, delivered a welcome followed by greetings from Leila Guerra, Associate Dean of Programmes, and Paolo Taticchi, Director of the Global Online MBA. All three of these key figures imparted their wisdom and shared some advice about the programme with students.

Francisco Veloso:

“Active management: as an active set of professionals, who are juggling many things, you’re making decisions about how to organise and how to invest your time. There’s a lot of work, but also there’s going to be prioritising and your own organisation about what are the things that really make a big difference for you; those are what you will invest more time on. And the others, you’re going to make whatever effort you think is appropriate.”

Leila Guerra:

“Have fun. Make the best of it. It’s going to fly away, you can’t even believe it. Try and find your work-life balance, it is very challenging, especially the first year. And of course you have your jobs, your friends, your families. Try and find that balance and reach out to us whenever you need.”

Paolo Taticchi:

“This programme is demanding, I’m not going to deny that. You will need to study, you will need to sacrifice some time with friends and family, and you may need to sacrifice some weekends in the next two years. But if you are here today it is because you are fine with that. My advice to you is to go for the extra mile. Really try to do your best in the next two years. If your goal for this experience is to go through a transformation, really try to go for full power.”

Following the opening remarks, students launched straight into a highly interactive icebreaker activity; the ‘maximising your worth’ game. Within seconds of the opening bell, students were stuck into the strategic trading game, bartering, negotiating and forming partnerships. By midday, the ice was well and truly broken.

Throughout the week, we eased students back into academia spending a whole day with Imperial College Business School Careers to begin their Personal Leadership Journey, as well as participating in sessions on networking online and working in virtual teams.

There was also plenty of time for socialising. A welcome dinner, drinks with students on our other MBA programmes including the Full-Time MBA, Weekend MBA and Executive MBA at the student bar, as well as a personal dinner in syndicate groups.

Student Amy Callis said, “Induction Week was fantastic. Bringing us all together for the week to get to know our cohort has been invaluable. This focus has allowed us to build relationships so the online work feels more connected. The Imperial team has clearly spent a lot of time thinking through how to maximise every hour and it’s worked!”

Students crossed many miles to arrive at Induction Week, brought together from all over the world in the shared pursuit of business acumen and developing an entrepreneurial mindset. This is just the beginning of an exciting journey of learning online, as well as the start of many lifelong friendships.

Meet some of the students in the January 2019 class

Ahmed Afrose

Ahmed Afrose
Solutions Architect at Cisco in Dubai

Why did you decide to study a Global Online MBA at Imperial College Business School? 

Imperial has a very good reputation and also a good ranking. The fact that it offered this comprehensive online programme is what attracted me the most. Also, there is a wide faculty and electives offered in terms of subjects that you can take on the Global Online MBA. The curriculum itself covers all of the important areas I want to cover in my MBA, so cumulatively, that’s why I chose Imperial College Business School.

What skills are you hoping to gain from your MBA?

I come from a technology background and I want to increase my business acumen. I also recently took up a new role at Cisco to do more business consulting, which requires more business knowledge. A driving reason behind my MBA is so that I can do this role better. I am surrounded by colleagues who have MBAs, and I feel that it’s an essential toolkit I should have in order to facilitate growth in the company, going to the next level and doing something new and different.

Amy Callis
Head of Communications & Advocacy, Polio at UNICEF in Kabul, Afghanistan

Why did you decide to study a Global Online MBA at Imperial College Business School?

I chose Imperial because of its focus on innovation and a demonstrated philosophy that business can and should be about doing well and doing good. As a social sector professional, profit isn’t the focus. However, there is still a strong argument for my sector to employ strong business principles – our efforts can be more effective and efficient, we can better demonstrate impact, and show good ROI for our donors. Imperial understands that and made someone outside the traditional business sectors feel welcome and valued.

How will you apply your MBA studies to your role?

I have a consulting business for social sector clients and I would like to use what I learn and the connections I make to extend our work to social entrepreneurship and CRS arms of for-profit companies. I also want to help my social sector clients – they do great work in a challenging environment. I want to help them do more and better with their resources, and show their value and impact to donors – it’s something I do now but this MBA will broaden my expertise to do that even better.

Dr Robbie Gosine
Engineering Duty Officer – Electrical Engineer: Flight Systems at the US Navy in Florida, United States

Why did you decide to study a Global Online MBA at Imperial College Business School?

For easy access, the ability to fulfil my roles as a Navy Officer and still keep on top of getting the MBA. I’m an engineer, so with the engineering background and research of Imperial around the world I figured it would be the right people to teach an engineer business skills. I want to learn more about how businesses operate, how to become an entrepreneur, how to develop more business strategy, grow as an individual and gain business background.

How do you plan to apply your MBA learnings to your role?

I have two options. One would be to change roles. Right now I’m in the military, but as you transition out of the military you need to get a civilian job. The other would be to further my PhD research, I do virtual reality and rehabilitation. I would like to commercialise that sort of work. I have a patent right now and it would be nice to get some investors and build a product.

Aaron Holloway-Nahum
Composer, Recording Engineer and Artistic Director at RiotEnsemble in London, United Kingdom

Why did you decide to study a Global Online MBA at Imperial College Business School? 

Of course, things like this are said all the time, but I really think this is a critical time for the Arts in the UK – and especially for music. I wanted to take time to dwell on these challenges while also developing and solidifying my technique as a business leader. Imperial was one of the very first places I looked when it came to exploring a possible MBA.  It has a massive international reputation, and I started out looking at the Executive MBA. It was the Imperial team, at a meet-and-greet who looked at my CV and suggested that the flexibility of the Global Online MBA – which allows me to continue in my musical career while undertaking such intensive study – might actually be a better fit. I did some research on the programme and was impressed at every turn, so I took the leap!

What skills are you hoping to gain from your MBA?

As a lifetime musician, I’m aware of my basic needs in fundamental business techniques such as finance and accounting, and I’m really looking forward to learning in these areas.  What I’m really excited about, though, are areas like strategy, leadership and sustainability.  It’s been such a joy for me to – at the very start of the MBA – to find an emphasis on things like corporate responsibility because these are things very close to my heart as an artist.  I’m passionate about things such as diversity, poverty and our direction as a society in 2019.  So I’m heartened to come into one of the most important business schools in the world, and to find these issues on the tip of the knife, as it were.

Laurent Sam
Energy Engineer at the Public Utilities Corporation in the Seychelles

Why did you decide to study a Global Online MBA at Imperial College Business School?

My background is in science, I have a PhD in Electrical Engineering. I want to progress and move higher up the ladder and I feel like I need to develop my managerial skills as well as my business acumen. In the short term, I would like to remain with my current company and help them navigate the challenges of the future; I think this MBA will be really useful for me to do that. I looked at a few universities, mostly in the UK. The Imperial Global Online MBA is among the top for online MBAs and is number one in the QS ranking.

How do you plan to apply your MBA learnings to your role?

I hope that as I progress through the MBA on the programme, I will get more challenges and opportunities. For example, the first few modules we are doing including Financial and Management Accounting and Organisational Behaviour, I want to put into practice. With project management, I could use the managerial accounting that I’d be learning. Hopefully I could put those skills into managing the costs better and managing the project in general.

Olajumoke Olopade
Contracts Manager, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company in Lagos, Nigeria

Why did you decide to study a Global Online MBA at Imperial College Business School?

I decided to do a Global Online MBA because of the flexibility it will permit. I have a full-time job, family commitments, three kids and it doesn’t make sense to leave my job to study. The Global Online MBA fulfils my aspirations for further studies and still work. Imperial hits all the right points in terms of a globally recognised name, a strong curriculum, and rigorous, intensive and detailed coursework. In terms of price, it’s not cheap, but it’s not as expensive as some other schools I looked at. It hit all the right notes for me.

How do you plan to apply your MBA learnings to your role?

Intrapreneurship. I hope that I will be able to see areas that require change and propose implementable and easy quick wins to change the system. I hope that will help me grow in the organisation faster. But beyond that, new solutions to current issues, burning ideas or in some cases, creating problems so that I could solve them!

Alison Slade
Director, Clinical Operations Lead at Therachon AG in Basel, Switzerland

Why did you decide to study a Global Online MBA and why Imperial College Business School? 

I wanted to study an MBA because I was looking to have a more holistic view of how a business should function beyond my own department and where I am now. I think the MBA is a way of seeing how different departments connect with each other to form the company strategy. The reason for choosing Imperial is they have a great online programme that is very well respected and accredited, and allows me to be able to continue my job and be flexible with my time management because my job is quite demanding. Imperial’s Global Online MBA also gives me the opportunity to study more of the scientific aspects because Imperial is a renowned science and technology institution.

How will you apply your MBA studies to your role?

I’m working as the head of clinical operations for a small biotech company. I run all of the clinical programmes that we have for all of our drugs that are in testing for humans. I’m hoping that I will be able to apply some of the managerial and organisational behaviour learnings because I think that is lacking for me. Also, for the department as a whole, look at how I can be more efficient in the way that I’m working with my teams, especially because I work with a lot of contractors. Being more efficient with their time helps us with the money that we have because we don’t make money and spend a lot of money. So it’s just being smarter with the money that we have and how we spend it the best.