Anne Hayden

Anne Hayden


Anne recently completed her degree programme in Food and Agribusiness Management and was awarded a First Class Honours. In the third year of her degree she received the Colman O’Loghlen Prize for work placement excellence.

The Summer School experience

Why did you decide to study your Summer School course and why did you choose to study with Imperial College Business School?
This programme presented an opportunity to study at a distinguished institution in a phenomenal location. For me this course answered my who, what, when and where: the lecturers were top class, the course content was both practical and engaging, the course duration was substantial but not overwhelming and London city was an astounding backdrop to the whole experience.

What makes your Summer School unique?
This programme offers a unique synthesis of theoretical discussions with hands-on practical applications. Yet, without a doubt, the best thing about this course is the individuals delivering it. Throughout the three weeks I interacted with academics and business professionals who were as inspiring and generous as they were successful and knowledgeable. Participating in this course gave me opportunities to learn from some of the best minds in business, an opportunity I simply couldn’t get anywhere else.

What aspects of the course did you most enjoy?
Aside from the brilliant lecturers and location, for me it was forging connections and relationships with my peers which made my experience at Imperial College so enjoyable. While we came from a myriad of different backgrounds and countries, we shared a strong work ethic and drive which immediately brought us together.

What is the most challenging part of the course?
This three-week course is fast-paced and intensive. However, while I was kept on my toes, I soon came to see this fast-pace as a great advantage. The work was incredibly rewarding, we were preparing and presenting group work every day while developing a team pitch for our final project. This course requires constant work and engagement, yet so does the real world of business!

Imperial places a large emphasis on group work. What inspires you the most about working in this type of environment?
I found the group work insightful, informative and eye-opening. Our group discussions really were a meeting of minds, as we were encouraged to take on multiple different perspectives, ideas and outlooks. I came to understand the importance of sharing experiences, expertise and connections, all the while making friends and creating fresh ideas.

How would you describe your cohort at Imperial?
The group I was working with was incredibly diverse with people coming from different countries, academic backgrounds and life experiences. What these people all had in common was drive, intelligence and curiosity. I greatly enjoyed working with my peers and we have stayed in touch, becoming great friends and invaluable connections.

What parts of the social programme did you most enjoy?
Without a doubt the Boat Party on the Thames was the best part of the social programme. Held half way through the course, it offered a chance to meet new people and mix with your new friends, all with the stunning backdrop of London’s most iconic landmarks. It remains a great memory of my time at Imperial.


A wealth of opportunities

What has been the greatest opportunity during your summer at Imperial that you don’t think you would get anywhere else?
Throughout the outstanding programme of guest lecturers, we gained hands-on experience working with visionary new technologies. These ranged from innovations in eco design and wearable technology by Elena Corchero to edible biodegradable plastic by Bionet. Only Imperial College, with its reputation for excellence and innovation could attract such inspiring guest speakers.

What are your future career goals and how do you think your time at Imperial will help you achieve these?
My experience of the Summer Course has shaped how I look at my future in business. It has given me the skills I need to critically evaluate business opportunities and plan effectively. Most importantly, it has jumpstarted my professional network, highlighting the importance of connections, and strong working relationships.


Living in London

Where did you stay in London and why did you choose to stay there?
I stayed in a private apartment in Kensington. I choose this location because it was only a fifteen minute walk from the college. Overall I found it a friendly and very safe neighbourhood and enjoyed my stay.

What can a weekend in London look like for a Summer School student?
A weekend in London can be whatever you want it to be, it is absolutely true that there is a London for everyone. For me it was looking around the shops, sightseeing and exploring the city’s gastronomical offerings in the restaurants and cafes. The city also boasts amazing art galleries and parks, all easily accessible on public transport. If you are willing to explore you certainly won’t be bored in your free time.

What is the most exciting thing you’ve done in London?
Since I love trying out new foods I relished the opportunity to visit some of London’s up and coming restaurants and cafes. This was a great activity to do with friends and encouraged us to travel around to different parts of the city.


Advice for future students

What advice would you give someone who is thinking about applying for the Summer School?
My advice would be just go for it! If you are looking for an outstanding educational experience coupled with all the excitement of exploring a bustling metropolis then the Imperial Summer School is for you. Throw yourself in to it and don’t be put off by the fast-paced environment, you will get so much out of it – and it gets so much out of you.

Share with us a handy hint or trick that made settling into Summer School that much easier!
If you approach the experience with an open mind and become engaged, great opportunities present themselves. By participating in a social media competition held by one of my lecturers I was able to attend a talk on the development of apps for the housing market, which was exciting and interesting. If I hadn’t gotten involved I wouldn’t have had the chance, so if something comes your way go for it!

Anne Hayden

Entrepreneurial Smart Camp, 2016

Nationality:  Irish

University and subject studying:  Food and Agribusiness Management at University College Dublin