Job Title: Business Analysis Lead, ABS Advanced Solutions
Organisation: American Bureau of Shipping (ABS)
Location: Houston, United States
Nationality: United Kingdom
Having completed her undergraduate studies in engineering at Imperial College, Elli Lembessis is back at the Business School for her MBA. Elli works in the maritime industry leading Business Analysis for a new Advanced Solutions unit at the ABS. Working in an agile start-up environment within a large company, Elli’s role sees her analyse industry intelligence to reimagine and reconstruct business for the digital/industry 4.0 age.
Out of looking at 30 other business schools, Elli made Imperial College her top choice for the Global Online MBA because of our leading stance on innovation as well as being a rounded industry programme.
“I needed a programme with a sterling reputation in industry, and which emphasised innovation and engineering – rather than banking or finance. The maritime/oil and gas industry is at an exciting time, so having made the jump from technical to a management track, I needed to learn the latest approaches to commercialisation of innovation and how to transform traditional organisations for a digital future It was essential that the MBA be primarily an online course, with the ability to integrate it directly into ABS projects. This is where Imperial excels and where we can both add value to ABS and the marine industry.”
How was your on-campus induction week?
The effectiveness of the induction week is best demonstrated by the impact it had on the cohort afterwards. Within only a week, they managed to turn 85 strangers into a cohesive group that keep in touch daily. We help each other out, share our wins, our frustrations, our sense of humour and our daily lives. Induction week set the tone – it was a fast-paced introduction to the way case studies are run, with guest lecturers, corporate team building games, networking and career events. It was a great opportunity to observe how the cohort asked and answered questions – that’s where you really got to know everyone. It was also great to see how Imperial has evolved since my undergraduate days, and I was pleased to get to talk to staff at the new research institutes that overlap with my interests.
Which part of the programme are you most excited about?
I’m looking forward to the corporate innovation and digital business modules, but especially the final project in our second year – this is where we’ll bring together everything we’ve learnt. We’ll work on a major project for our company to make a real difference and deliver real results.
The cohort come from very diverse industries, what have you learned from your fellow students?
There are the technical and then there are the unexpected learnings from fellow students. The ‘real world’ financial analysis skills I’m being coached on by my investment banker and accounting teammates are very valuable – but it’s the unexpected gains from them that are the most impactful. They bring different perspectives without any egos, so my team have given me a new way of seeing. We mostly have the same problems, but they tackle them in different ways and with different tools. It’s definitely two-way learning between peers. For instance, we use techniques in performing engineering risk assessments and failure analyses that I was surprised to find translated directly into addressing assignment problems on decision making and business risks.
How has your experience been so far with the online learning platform, The Hub?
The course and The Hub designers really understand how people learn and live. In my industry we’re accustomed to working remotely with different offices and cultures across the globe, so an online MBA is a very natural fit. Similarly, we have come to expect a lot from our online tools, which have evolved to take on the user-friendly attributes of social media platforms.
I’ve found The Hub to be a superb platform, and for me, it’s what makes the Global Online MBA possible. Course modules are broken down into small bite-sized video clips so you can fill in down-time whenever you can – be it an hour at the gym, or only five minutes waiting for a meeting. It has the look and feel of a well organised blogger platform, but is also a portal for live tutorials and classes, submitting your assignments, taking tests, messaging classmates and tutors.
What is your top tip for someone thinking about studying the Global Online MBA at Imperial?
If you can, work with your company as well as Imperial, to integrate the coursework and lessons learned from each module directly into your company work. This lets you engage with Imperial staff as innovation consultants rather than academic tutors and gives both you and your company instant payback.