BSc Computer Science, Redeemer's University
Senior Consultant, EY
Why I chose to study my MBA at Imperial
I chose to study the Global Online MBA at Imperial College Business School because I was looking for an opportunity to develop business management and leadership skills while still pursuing a career and directly apply concepts I was learning to everyday experiences and interactions. I specifically chose Imperial because it is a prestigious school with high rankings globally, and it is known for being innovative and technologically driven.
I self-funded part of my MBA with some assistance from family. I also received a scholarship from the Business School. I believe this is an investment that will pay off in many ways, including the knowledge and experience I am gaining and the networks I am building.
Rubbing shoulders with the world’s top students
The most rewarding part of the programme has been the people I am able to associate with – the students, the faculty, guest speakers. It is amazing how many connections I am able to make just by being an Imperial MBA student.
Building a successful mindset
My key takeaway so far has been that to succeed in whatever career path you choose, you must have an entrepreneurial mindset. Each module in this programme discusses a different component of this mindset. We are taught to understand why the business exists (Strategy), who the customers are and what they need and value (Marketing Management), how the internal teams work together to deliver on customer needs (Organisational Behaviour), what the financial implications of the business decisions are (Financial and Management Accounting; Corporate Finance) and how macro and micro economic factors may impact the business (Managerial Economics).
The most challenging part for me has been balancing work, life and school, finding time for assignments, study, seminars, and other networking activities.
Using online learning to my benefit
The Hub makes it easier to pace yourself based on whatever things you have going on at the time, so you can cover modules in advance if you have some extra time and you can also catch up much later if needed. I can ask questions and start discussions with other cohort members; it’s almost like being physically in class and having a discussion with classmates and professors. There is also the ability to request and get feedback quickly.
Unorthodox career paths
My cohort is a truly diverse and ambitious group of people. We have individuals from a large variety of backgrounds, experiences and industries, such as healthcare, technology, consulting, manufacturing, engineering and finance. My cohort is also quite ambitious. Some people are trying to move across different industries, others are looking to get ahead in their current specific industries. We also have people wearing the ‘entrepreneurship’ hat and starting their own businesses.
The unique connections formed in group projects
Group projects are a remarkably interesting learning experience. Groupwork happens mostly in syndicate groups – this is a group of five or six individuals put together for a year to do assignments and coursework as a team. Discussions are always very insightful and broad, because each person has different skill sets and unique perspectives to bring forward, so there is always a lot to learn both from a subject-matter point of view and a people management perspective. I have also found that the syndicate groups present an opportunity to build connections and friendships that will last beyond the MBA programme.
Intelligent and useful support from the faculty
The Business School faculty I have had the pleasure of interacting with are a very knowledgeable, approachable and helpful group of individuals. From the lecturers to the teaching assistants and even the Personal Leadership Journey coaches, they are all incredibly supportive and responsive.
Reaping the benefits of diverse teams
By taking part in the Global Online MBA programme, I have been exposed to diverse nationalities and industries. The programme also provides avenues to discuss how businesses and teams operate in different countries across the world. This gives you a kind of global business awareness that you may not have had before joining the programme. Another thing is the cultural perspective that you gain from interacting with people from different sociocultural backgrounds. It is inevitable that you will encounter people from many different walks of life if you are looking to be a part of any large-scale organisation and I believe the MBA programme provides a safe environment to develop the awareness and skills needed to maximise the unique insights that come from diverse teams.
Networking with fellow students and alumni
Being part of the wider Imperial College London community has helped me make connections with alumni from both the Business School and Imperial generally. It is such a comfort to know that you have a mass of people behind you and a pool of their resources and experiences to draw on when needed. I have reached out to a number of alumni and they have been incredibly helpful in answering questions, sharing experiences and just generally providing advice.
My Personal Leadership Journey
One of the first experiences on the Personal Leadership Journey was a strength/leadership qualities assessment. I found this extremely helpful because I believe for a person to get to where they want to go, it is crucial to understand where they are coming from. Personally, I have found Careers very instrumental in my leadership journey process. They have provided support in many ways, from offering advice on how to embrace the feedback of the assessment and practical steps for improvement, to being a sounding board for career ideas and development plans.
A challenging but rewarding programme
My advice to those thinking about applying for the MBA is to take the first step – reach out and ask questions. Although it is very engaging programme with huge time commitments, it is also a very rewarding experience. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right? If you are ready to make the commitment, go for it!