“Imperial College Business School has helped me tremendously as it is a school that promotes science and technology, encouraging business students to support and lead the commercialisation effort and solve global problems through science and technology. ”
Read Michelle's story
Why did you choose to study the Full-Time MBA at Imperial College Business School?
Through the MBA I wish to build up my global network and gain relevant, local UK experience by working with multinational professionals in different fields to sharpen my global perspectives. I would also like to strengthen my leadership skills to influence decision making of key stakeholders and create impact in the world.
Did you receive a scholarship?
I was very fortunate to receive a 50% scholarship from the Forté Foundation as a Forté Fellow. Forté accelerates women through advanced education so we can have a voice at the table. They allow us to connect with likeminded talented women and previous Forté Fellows at influential companies and leading business schools.
What are you enjoying learning about the most?
My favourite modules so far are Marketing and Corporate Finance. I am always a fan of marketing but this time we are not only learning the theories, but we are also applying the models to our final presentation, where we assess and market a crowdfunded startup toothbrush product that can brush your teeth in less than 20 seconds – that was really fun!
Prior to the MBA, I never imagined I would be interested in Corporate Finance at all, and I heard a lot of feedback from previous cohorts saying that this is the hardest module of all. This perception changed after I attended Professor Franklin Allen’s classes which are very lively. He encourages us to ask a lot of questions to make sure we understand the concepts. Thanks to him, I’ve found another interest to pursue after the MBA – diversifying my portfolio!
I am also very excited to take part in the Innovation Challenge where I will gain cross-disciplinary exposure to drive social impact creatively, including how FMCG manufacturers can innovate their packaging with bagasse (sugarcane residue) or create masks with recyclable materials which are now in-demand. I was also intrigued to pitch a concept in the Entrepreneurial Journey, supported by consumer research and business simulations. I believe this is how the Imperial programme differentiates from other business schools, and where innovation meets the real world.
What has been the most rewarding part of the programme?
One of the most rewarding parts of the programme is meeting and learning from a group of talented professionals in my cohort. They are so diverse as they come from different countries, industries, and sectors with various years of experience. People may come and go, but true friendship lasts a lifetime. I believe we will be able to maintain these relationships around the world even after we graduate. Greater self-awareness through working in teams.
"One of the most rewarding parts of the programme is meeting and learning from a group of talented professionals in my cohort. They are so diverse as they come from different countries, industries, and sectors with various years of experience."
A lot of our work on the MBA is completed in group projects with your syndicate team. As in real life, you do not always get to choose who you work with. It took us some time to get used to our various working styles and personalities at first, however I think transparency and frequent communication are key to making a team and the syndicate work, to know each other’s strengths and weaknesses and for everyone to own their part of the project.
How does the programme help you stay up to date with evolving industry trends, themes and challenges in the real world?
One of the goals for my MBA is to gain leadership experience and executive presence to fast-track my career post-graduation. I wanted to stretch myself as much as I can to see how far I can go by collaborating with different teams and launching new initiatives in the Business School. It is a safe environment for us to trial and error and learn how to improve. This year I want to bring the student voice to life by driving influence in the Dean’s Student Advisory Council and also stimulating exchanges of best practice across Student-Staff Committee Careers Leaders and Careers Clubs. My top three priorities are to encourage cross-club collaboration events, increase online engagement and bring in a student mentorship programme.
One of the things that amazes me about Imperial College London is its vast network and the resources they devote to science and technology. In terms of networking, not only are we working with Business School students, but we also have opportunities to collaborate with specialists from different faculties like engineering, chemistry and the Royal College of Arts during our Imperial Innovation Challenge Week and the Entrepreneurial Journey.
How are you planning to use your MBA for your future career?
My immediate goal after the MBA is to land a job in the UK, preferably return to L’Oréal or enter other FMCG/ luxury/ retail industries as an in-house business partner or consumer intelligence professional. I have established more visibility in my aspirations and motivations to succeed professionally through the Personal Leadership Journey hosted by Careers. I found the workshops and seminars by career coaches like Joseph Liu very practical and useful for life-long learning, as well as a systematic approach called the LAMP technique very inspiring for building job networks.
What advice would you give to someone who’s considering applying for this programme?
My advice would be to do your research. Know your goals and what you want to achieve after the MBA and plan for them to happen. Leverage the resources at Imperial as much as possible, which includes taking up leadership roles, expanding alumni networks, and committing to the Personal Leadership Journey to better understand yourself.
Secondly, talk to people and ASK! Nothing is more valuable than listening to others sharing their own experiences. Build your connections even before the start of the programme, which includes getting familiar with incoming and previous cohorts as early as possible – trust me this is very useful!
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