Laura Arribas

Laura Arribas

Why did you choose to study your programme and why specifically at Imperial College Business School?

Doing an MBA to complement my previous engineering degree was always in the plan since I finished university. However, I wanted to wait until I had gained several years of work experience to ensure I was doing an MBA with a clear objective. Eventually, that objective took the form of a career change where I could use my programme management skills and learning potential to lead projects that have a positive social impact, but I had no clear path about how to get there. With that high-level goal in mind I decided to apply for the Weekend MBA at Imperial College Business School. The structure of programme was perfect for me (part-time, on campus), it was targeted to individuals at a similar moment in our careers (around 7 years working experience) and I was really attracted to Imperial College London because of its connection with non-business school faculties, which, in my view, make the MBA experience more enriching (I guess I was biased by my engineering background…)

How did you find living in London?

Living in London is one of the main advantages of doing the MBA at Imperial College Business School. I moved to London at the start of the MBA as I wanted to make the most of every opportunity provided by the Business School and the city to learn new things and meet new people. In London, I have found think tanks, networking groups etc. aligned with my career interests that I hadn’t heard of before and which have proven to be fantastic sources of knowledge and contacts.

Career & professional development

How do you view your experience of studying at Imperial since you left?

Doing the MBA was the best decision I’ve made in my professional life. Within a few months from finishing the programme I have been able make the career change I was seeking and it was during one of my MBA electives that I came across the company I currently work for.

How has your programme contributed to your career success? 

The Weekend MBA has been instrumental in achieving the career change I was seeking.

In the core modules I learnt general business concepts that gave me the confidence to trust my ability and consider moving to a new field (like finance or consulting), and then through the electives I was able to gain specific knowledge on subjects like sustainability and competitive advantage, inclusive business or strategic problem solving that helped me further define the type of role that I wanted. Thanks to the Imperial Weekend MBA I spent two weeks at HEC Paris doing one of my electives, which focused on social innovation and inclusive business. It was during that course that I came across the consultancy company that I would eventually work for. Therefore, without the MBA I simply would not be where I am now.

The alumni network

What value do you get out of your connections with the Business School and your fellow alumni?

For me, even though the programme has finished, keeping the connection to Imperial through the alumni network is very much part of the MBA experience and it is fundamental to maximise the value from the MBA. I still live in London, which makes it easier to keep in touch with fellow alumni and attend Business School events, but if/when I move to another country I will get in touch with the local Imperial alumni group to keep the connection alive.

Advice for future students

What advice would you give to a prospective student considering studying the same programme as you?

Take every opportunity the Business School gives you to get closer to your career objective:

  • Attend talks and seminars even if they are not related directly to what you want to do
  • Take part in student-led career clubs
  • Join personal development workshops organised by the Careers team
  • Make use of career consultants and coaching services
  • Take the opportunity to do one of your electives at a business school abroad
  • Finally, be open and share your career objective with your cohort and people you meet throughout the MBA, you never know who might be able to help you

Weekend MBA 2018

Nationality: Spanish

Undergraduate education: MSc Telecommunications Engineering

Job prior to Imperial College Business School:  Programme Manager, Virgin Media

Job after studying at Imperial College Business School: Consultant in Social Innovation and Inclusive Business,  Azao UK Consulting