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Anjuli Patel

Programme
Full-Time MBA
Nationality
Zimbabwean
Undergraduate education
Bachelor of Laws, English and French Law, King’s College London
Year of graduation
2019
Anjuli Patel
Anjuli Patel, Full-Time MBA
“So far, one of the most rewarding parts of the programme for me has been working with a really diverse student cohort. Teaming up with people from different professional backgrounds and working styles has been a very positive experience. ”

About

From lawyer to business school

Prior to the MBA, I was practising as a Dispute Resolution lawyer for seven years at Baker McKenzie London. During this time, I also worked in Baker McKenzie’s Johannesburg and Hong Kong offices. My practice area covered a broad range of contentious and regulatory issues across a number of industry groups, including construction and engineering, consumer goods and retail, banking and finance, healthcare and pharmaceuticals. 

Operating in a firm with a huge global network and tackling legal and commercial questions on a challengingly large scale, my role involved constantly assessing and strategising the next legal step to balance and protect a client’s interests. It was through this aspect of my work that I became more curious about business management, strategy and leadership. Having been promoted to Senior Associate in mid-2018, I felt it was the right time in my career to focus on enhancing and expanding my business strategy and management skills by studying for an MBA.

Why Imperial?

I attended a number of information sessions at Imperial and other London business schools, but I felt that Imperial College Business School was the right fit for me. Through speaking with several students, alumni and admissions staff at Imperial, I gained a clear sense of Imperial’s community feel and supportive team-player attitude. This, along with its evident commitment to ensuring an MBA cohort with a diversity of cultures, ideas and industries, backed by the impressive educational infrastructure of a university with an internationally recognised brand, was what distinguished Imperial and made it an easy choice for me. I was satisfied that studying for an MBA at Imperial would not only provide me with the preeminent training and business opportunities of which other schools boast, but also a close-knit network and people-oriented ethos, which make it unique.

How did you fund your MBA?

I was lucky enough to receive a partial scholarship from Imperial on the basis of my application and interview, and that has been a huge help. The rest of my MBA is self-funded.

Programme

What aspects of the programme do you most enjoy the most?

There are so many modules that have been incredibly worthwhile and I have learned something from all of them. I have naturally enjoyed those that play into my strengths, for example, Strategy, Marketing, and Organisational Behaviour. But I have also appreciated many of the modules that have fallen well out of my comfort zone and challenged and extended my skillset, like Decision Analytics (which involves building financial models in Excel to help solve problems and make business decisions). It’s been very rewarding not only to see my strengths become stronger, but also to see my weaknesses addressed, and very beneficial to know that I am adding new strings to my bow.

"It’s been very rewarding not only to see my strengths become stronger, but also to see my weaknesses addressed, and very beneficial to know that I am adding new strings to my bow."

What has been the most rewarding part of the programme?

So far, one of the most rewarding parts of the programme for me has been working with a really diverse student cohort. Teaming up with people from different professional backgrounds and working styles has been a very positive – and sometimes challenging – experience. It has been interesting to appreciate how we have all had to flex our styles in the way we interact and the language we use to communicate how we analyse things. This was one of the things I was most looking forward to on the MBA and it has been very fulfilling.

People

How would you describe your cohort at Imperial?

My cohort is wonderful, I so appreciate everyone’s willingness to help and support each other. Coming from such diverse professional backgrounds, we all have different strengths and everyone has been open to sharing their knowledge to help others improve. There has been no competitive or cutthroat atmosphere that one might expect on an MBA. From my interactions with Imperial prior to starting the MBA, I was hopeful that the environment would be collegiate and collaborative, and it certainly has been. 

Opportunities

What has been the greatest opportunity you have had at Imperial?

I was fortunate to be selected as part of a team of five representing Imperial College Business School at the annual World Government Summit in Dubai to compete in the 2019 Global Universities Challenge. It was an incredible experience competing alongside the best business schools in the world on a policy-related case study. The Summit reminded me that true success in business often requires a good grasp of the socio-political and economic environment within which we are operating. The Challenge itself also showed me the power of assembling a team of ambitious people who are really dedicated and excited to learn.

What other opportunities have you had at Imperial?

We enjoyed visiting the different businesses and being shown around Copenhagen to find out more about the city’s sustainability agenda. It was a busy couple of days, opening our eyes to how many businesses in Copenhagen are seriously pursuing sustainability objectives to help make their city greener and more sustainable. It was inspiring because it seemed that it was a consideration at the forefront of many business strategies and not just a ‘tick the box’ exercise. It made us all think about how we might be able to contribute towards the same goals in our career aspirations post-MBA.

"It was a busy couple of days, opening our eyes to how many businesses in Copenhagen are seriously pursuing sustainability objectives to help make their city greener and more sustainable."

Career goals

What are your future career goals and how have they been realised since being at Imperial?

My pre-MBA employer, Baker McKenzie, was kind enough to give me a 12-month sabbatical to study full-time for my MBA. My main objective on the MBA was to take the time to learn more about business and upskill on business management and leadership. I have been a lawyer for over seven years so I wanted to learn more about business to expand my legal and business skillset as a whole. I am open-minded about my career aspirations post-MBA. My goal was to meet as many people and create as many opportunities for myself as I could and take as much from it in terms of learning, upskilling and extending myself. One of the most valuable things I have gained is a wider perspective and a new vocabulary about and in business, and I know this is going to be really useful to me in whatever I pursue post-MBA.

Tips

Advice to prospective students

I would advise prospective students to attend as many information sessions and talk to as many alumni, current students, and admissions staff as possible. Have a look on campus if you can and try to get a real feel for the place to see what distinguishes Imperial. That way you can be sure that you are making the right choice for you. 

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